Byline: ELIZABETH DAY
Colin Cook was a teacher who only wanted the best for his pupils. As a British Muslim convert teaching at an Islamic school, he tried, above all else, to instil in his young charges the values of peace, tolerance and respect embodied by both his faith and his country.
So when he discovered that staff at the Saudi-funded King Fahad Academy in Acton, West London, were teaching children from the age of five with textbooks that described Jews as 'apes' and Christians as 'pigs', he was left with a feeling of disgust.
'I felt betrayed,' says Mr Cook, speaking exclusively to The Mail on Sunday.
'I'd been there for the best part of 20 years, trying to teach my pupils the British values of tolerance, respect and peace, and I felt that what was in these Saudi textbooks suggested the complete opposite of that.
I don't think I've seen a clearer example of racism in my life.' Last week, it emerged that Mr Cook, 57, is bringing a tribunal claim against the school for unfair dismissal on the grounds of race discrimination. Mr Cook, a father of three, was earning [pounds sterling]35,000 a year and is seeking [pounds sterling]100,000 in compensation.
As part of his claim, Mr Cook, who grew up in Catford, South-East London, quoted a series of disturbing extracts from textbooks used at the school.
Pupils were being asked to name 'some of the repugnant characteristics of the Jews' and to 'give examples of worthless religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, idol worship and others'.
When a few of the extraordinary details of the case were revealed, it seemed especially shocking that such hate-filled messages were being taught with impunity in the heart of multicultural Britain.
But The King Fahad Academy, an independent school established in 1985 for the children of Saudi diplomats in London, has effectively become a small but potent fiefdom. It is run from Riyadh by the Saudi Ministry of Education, which lays down the curriculum and provides teaching materials.
Its head …