Prophet Muhammad Prophet Muhammad people Grammar Batley … More School: Mohammed over gather
Thu, 25 Mar 2021 19:00:00 +0000
Robert Jenrick told Sky News the protests outside Batley Grammar School were "not right"
Robert Jenrick told Sky News the protests outside Batley Grammar School were “not right”.
Friday 26 March 2021 10:34, UK
Demonstrations outside a school where a teacher showed a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils are “disturbing”, a cabinet minister has said.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the protests outside Batley Grammar School were “not right” and that “we shouldn’t have teachers feeling intimidated” as more people gathered there again on Friday.
“That is not a road we want to go down in this country so I would strongly urge people concerned about this issue not to do that,” he told Sky News.
Mr Jenrick added that reports the teacher is now in hiding are “very disturbing”.
Dozens of people gathered outside the school in West Yorkshire on Thursday calling for the teacher involved in the incident to be sacked.
Video footage showed people chanting as they crowded around the school gate, which was flanked by police officers.
The caricature of the prophet, believed to be one published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo, was shown to pupils in a religious studies lesson on 22 March, according to a letter seen by Sky News.
Any depiction of Mohammed is considered to be deeply offensive within Islam.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation in Manchester, described the lesson as a “despicable attack on our faith”.
“Our hearts are pained to know a teacher working with 70% Muslim pupils didn’t consider the hurt this would cause,” he said.
Yunus Lunat, an executive member of the Indian Muslim Welfare Society in Batley, told Sky News he thinks the teacher “went off script” and was trying to “provoke”.
“I’m absolutely shocked that we’ve arrived where we are today.
This wasn’t part of the approved curriculum,” he said.
The school has suspended the teacher involved, with headteacher Gary Kibble saying: “The school unequivocally apologises for using a totally inappropriate image in a recent religious studies lesson.
It should not have been used.
“A member of staff has also relayed their most sincere apologies.”
Speaking “on behalf of the Muslim community”, a protester stood outside the school on Friday read out a statement, which said: “The teachers have breached the position of trust and failed their duty of safeguarding, and this issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
He claimed the school “had not taken the issue seriously”.
Another protester, who gave his name as Hussain, added: “A Muslim is required to stand up when Prophet Mohammed is insulted, and when all the prophets are insulted, including all the prophets of the Old Testament, including Jesus.”
The Department for Education last night condemned the demonstrations as “completely unacceptable”.
A spokesperson said in statement: “It is never acceptable to threaten or intimidate teachers.
We encourage dialogue between parents and schools when issues emerge.
“However, the nature of protest we have seen, including issuing threats and in violation of coronavirus restrictions are completely unacceptable and must be brought to an end.”
West Yorkshire Police confirmed they were called to monitor the demonstrations, but no COVID fines or arrests were made.
Mr Shafiq and Mr Lunat expressed fears the debate will now be “hijacked” by those looking to criticise British Muslims.
“We urge all who love the Prophet Mohammed within the British Muslim community to remember our responsibilities to reject violence and never give in to the narrative that some want to paint us as,” Mr Shafiq said.
He also accused the government of “amplifying divisions” by condemning the protests.
Labour MP for Batley and Spen Tracy Brabin said the “upset and offence caused” was “understandable and predictable”.
“I hope the school and concerned parents can now move forward constructively and focus on their children’s education and overcoming the challenges presented by the pandemic,” she added.
It comes after French teacher Samuel Paty was murdered following reports he showed an image of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils at a school near Paris.
Prophet Muhammad Prophet Muhammad
Thu, 25 Mar 2021 19:00:00 +0000
Batley Grammar School has suspended the teacher who is believed to have shown religious studies students the Charlie Hebdo image of the Prophet
The protests that took place outside a school in West Yorkshire where a teacher was suspended for reportedly showing pupils a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed were “not right”, the Communities Secretary has said.
Robert Jenrick said reports that the teacher at Batley Grammar School in Batley, near Bradford, was in hiding were “very disturbing”, telling Sky News: “I don’t know precisely what a teacher did in the classroom.
“We know that the school is looking into the matter and investigating, and that is absolutely right – the Department for Education (DfE) is liaising with the school and the council.
“What I can say is there has to be an appropriate balance – we have to ensure there is free speech, that teachers can teach uninhabited but that has to be done in a respectful and tolerant way and that’s a balance to be struck by teaching professionals and the schools concerned.”
Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside of Batley Grammar School on Thursday morning, with some calling for the teacher to be sacked.
“What I would also add is that I was disturbed to see scenes of people protesting outside the school – that is not right,” Jenrick added.
“We shouldn’t have teachers, members of staff of schools feeling intimidated, and the reports that a teacher may even be in hiding is very disturbing.
That is not a road we want to go down in this country, so I would strongly urge people who are concerned about this issue not to do that.”
The caricature shown to students is believed to be the one published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Sky News reported.
Any depiction of the Prophet Mohammed is considered blasphemous in Islam.
In an email sent to parents, the school’s headteacher Gary Kibble apologised for the use of the “inappropriate” cartoon.
“The school would like to thank the parents who contacted us on March 22 highlighting concerns with a resource used in an RS [religious studies] lesson that day,” YorkshireLive reported.
“Upon investigation, it was clear that the resource used in the lesson was completely inappropriate and had the capacity to cause great offence to members of our school community for which we would like to offer a sincere and full apology.”
Teacher suspended at Batley Grammar School after Prophet Muhammad cartoon sparks protest
The school said in a statement that the teacher in question had “given their most sincere apologies” but had been suspended pending an investigation into the incident.
“We have immediately withdrawn teaching on this part of the course and we are reviewing how we go forward with the support of all the communities represented in our school,” the statement read.
“It is important for children to learn about faiths and beliefs, but this must be done in a sensitive way,” it continued.
“The school is working closely with the governing board and community leaders to help resolve this situation.”
Local Imam Mohammed Amin Pandor said: “What has happened in the school – we are appalled.
What has happened is totally unacceptable.
We have made sure that the school understands that.”
Additional reporting from PA.
© 2021 Associated Newspapers Limited.
– March 25, 2021
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