Birmingham City Council bullishly insisted there was no evidence of extremism in city's schools as MPs held an inquiry into claims Islamist hard-liners plotted to take over colleges.
Councillor Brigid Jones, the council's Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services, told MPs: "Any direct evidence of extremism has yet to be presented to me."
And Mark Rogers, Birmingham City Council's chief executive, said he believed the original letter which set out details of a plot named "Trojan Horse" to take over Birmingham schools was a fake.
He said: "I have yet to be convinced that it is an authentic letter from one plotter to another.
"I think what it sets out is a set of issues that somebody had some concerns about and wanted action over."
They were speaking to the Commons Home Affairs Committee which is conducting an inquiry into claims that schools, including Park View School in Alum Rock, have been infiltrated by extremists.
Lee Donaghy, Park View's vice-principal, insisted the school never tolerated any extremist views and claimed critics were motivated by prejudice against Islam.
He told MPs the criticism came from "plain old Islamaphobia, either witting or unwitting".
Park View was one of five Birmingham schools placed into special measures by Ofsted following inspections as part of investigations into the alleged plot by hard-line Muslims to take over schools in the city.
Liam Byrne, the school's MP, has written to Education Secretary Michael Gove following a weekend meeting with parents, saying: "The large majority of parents want the governors to resign now so a fresh team of parents can be elected to draw up an action plan to respond in full the findings."
Mr Donaghy said the school "honours the faith of the pupils, it respects the faith of the pupils inside the school", for example by broadcasting a call to prayer which pupils are free to attend or not.
But he insisted it never segregated pupils by making boys and girls sit apart. The school had invited Christian and Jewish speakers to address pupils as well as Muslims, he said.
And he said: "There's been a wilful misrepresentation of things that we've done and some things have been outright lies."
While inspectors from Oftsed and officials from the Education Funding Agency had published criticisms about the school, for example by claiming a biology teacher had said Muslims did not believe in evolution, many of these had been extremely vague and failed to name the teachers involved, making it impossible for the school to investigate them, he said.
Mr Donaghy told the inquiry: "I'd like there to be some consensus about what we mean about extremism.
"To me, that means there are practices that are imposed or enforced on people against their will and I don't see any evidence of that at all."
He said much of the criticism had been motivated by Islamaphobia, although in some cases this may have been due to ignorance about Islam and Muslim communities rather than malice.
And he insisted inspectors from Ofsted could not have given the school a fair hearing when they make inspections prompted by the "Trojan Horse" letter.
He added: "There's no way that inspectors could have come into the school in that climate and made a judgement in an impartial way. There's no way the school in that report is the one that I work at."
Coun Jones said she had heard nothing about allegations of a plot to infiltrate schools before she saw the letter in October 2013.
The council took the letter to West Midlands Police but they told them there was no need for them to take action.
"It seemed clear the letter was a hoax of some kind because it contained contradictions and 'many inaccuracies'," Coun Jones said.
The Birmingham Post has launched a free app for iPad and iPhone. Download it here.