It was recently revealed that another young person is feared to have joined ‘ISIS’. Zubair Nur, now aged 19, was a pupil at the East London Mosque’s London East Academy until 2012. Records show there was no evidence Zubair had extremist views or associations; rather, he was a balanced pupil who loved football and was popular with staff and pupils. The London East Academy has always taken a strong stand against extremism; this was confirmed by an unnamed former classmate who is quoted in media reports saying, “The school didn’t tolerate extremism”.

Indeed, when Zubair was a pupil Ofsted’s inspectors praised the school: “students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding, as is their behaviour. They leave the school as confident and articulate young people. The school has robust procedures for safeguarding.”

Zubair then went on to study at the Chelsea Academy, by all accounts an outstanding Church of England school, where he was deputy head boy. According to former pupils, “He wasn’t known at all for causing trouble or having extreme views.”

It would be wrong to blame schools for the recent cases where young people are thought to have turned to extremism. It is recognised that children and others are increasingly vulnerable on the internet and through social media.

It has been falsely reported that Nur was a lead volunteer for the Young Muslim Organisation (YMO) and attended private study classes with our Mosque’s imam. YMO has confirmed to us that Zubair was neither a member nor a volunteer. Moreover, we can confirm that our imam, Shaykh Abdul Qayum, did not give private study classes to Zubair Nur. Our teaching and encouragement to all those who attend the Mosque is to follow the balanced teaching and practice of Islam which denounces extremism.