Speaking on Channel 4 News the week before last, Samir Rauf, a teacher at Birmingham's Oldknow Academy, cut an apparently convincing figure of injured virtue as he proclaimed the school's innocence of charges that it had been taken over and "Islamised" by Muslim hardliners.

He said the claims made him "feel really angry". Asked about reports in this newspaper that Asif Khan, Oldknow's Arabic teacher, led nine- and 10-year-old children in anti-Christian chanting, he said: "As far as the staff are aware, nothing of the sort happened."

Christmas had not been cancelled, Mr Rauf insisted, and as for Oldknow's non-Muslim headteacher, Bhupinder Kondal, her absence was due merely to "sick leave, and I pray that she recovers quickly".

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