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ARTICLE: British values and the Operation Trojan Horse case

Picture: Horse. Possibly Trojan! by Tama Leaver, license CC BY 2.0

The case of “Operation Trojan Horse” was used for identity politics constructing “British values” within a narrative of radicalisation, states a new article by Elizabeth Poole of Keele University.

This article examines the case in two British newspapers, the Daily Mail and The Guardian, including all coverage in 2014.

The author writes that the case was used as a vehicle for the UK government and parts of the press to advance an ideology of muscular liberalism. In this kind of interpretation about the event, it was argued that, under a Labour council, policies regarding multiculturalism had now led to an infiltration of Islamist ideology in schools.

An issue of local governance was transformed into an issue of terrorism. This allowed government agencies to intervene and to promote a new agenda of national identity, here constructed as “British values”, the author writes. Even though the allegations of an Islamist plot remain controversial, press coverage construed the allegations as facts.

The article “Constructing “British Values” Within a Radicalisation Narrative” as recently published in Journalism Studies and is available online (free abstract).

Picture: Horse. Possibly Trojan! by Tama Leaver, license CC BY 2.0

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