A primary school teacher has been banned from the classroom for life after sending money to Islamic terror groups.
Miriam Sebbagh, 52, who taught children at Hunwick Primary School in Crook, County Durham, was sending Islamic terrorists thousands of pounds, a Teaching Regulation Agency disciplinary panel found.
Police discovered £4,670 in a safe at her address which was intended to fund terror attacks. The money was subsequently forfeited under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 and Ms Sebbagh was also ordered to pay costs of £12,654.
The misconduct panel also heard that she had tried to radicalise a friend.
Ms Sebbagh had been arrested in July 2017 by Counter Terrorism Policing North East (CTPNE), but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to charge her with any criminal offences. CTPNE “maintained a high level of concern regarding Ms Sebbagh's state of mind, the opinions which she espoused and her actions within the teaching arena”, the panel was told.
From the published order of the Teacher Misconduct Panel
The panel was provided with evidence suggesting that Ms Sebbagh had liked a number of pages on Facebook including individuals linked to ISIS, extremist views and hate speech. One such individual, Individual D, was convicted of stirring up racial hatred in the UK...
Individual C’s witness statement also confirmed that a small number of provocative and inflammatory images were found on a mobile phone believed to belong to Ms Sebbagh . . . Finally, Individual C’s witness statement confirmed that Ms Sebbagh had refused to be drawn on her religious views but had stated that she did not support democracy and, in the past, she had more concerning views but she had come away from that way of thinking. In light of the above and, in particular, District Judge Holland’s findings (District Judge Holland made the Forfeiture of Detained Cash order which confiscated the money she was intending to fund terrorism) , the panel concluded, on the balance of probabilities, that Ms Sebbagh held views that violent jihad was the correct interpretation of Islamic teaching.
The teacher was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute and was prohibited from teaching indefinitely.
Hunwick Primary School headteacher Stuart Joyce said (to the BBC) none of the allegations concerned her employment there. She had been suspended as soon as the school was informed of the allegations and then formally dismissed in October 2018, he said.
Ms Sebbagh is co-director with one Moner El Saeidy of the Miami Pizzeria, a takeaway food shop in Shildon, a town 5 miles away from the school, serving kebabs, pizzas and other comestibles. While I know that it is possible, indeed common, to sell chips and pizza in a wholesome respectable environment (because I do like pizza. And chips!) I have a nasty mind at times....
Rob (Robin) Blair Harris
Assuming this woman is British-born, doesn't it (again) beg the question, as to how long it takes (years and generations) before Muslims leave their old enmities behind? Following on from that can I ask the question: 'How many British lives and bodies must be sacrificed before we say 'Enough'
Banned from teaching, for life, in all British (secular?) schools? Is this kind of penalty the severest for funding terrorist activities? Are British authorities still ignorant, stupid, and/or criminally collusive with terrorist fellow-travelers?