Teacher Accused of Blaspheming Islam Suspended, School Closed, Muslims Demand Criminal Investigation

What a woeful ideology it must be if it cannot survive without threats of fines and imprisonment, without public floggings or executions.

A school in Yorkshire has been forced to close after mobs of Muslim protesters chanting “Allahu akbar” gathered at the gates following reports that a teacher had allegedly blasphemed Muhammad.

Muslim protesters are calling for a “criminal investigation” after the school’s religious studies teacher allegedly showed his class a cartoon depiction of Muhammad taken from the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Batley Grammar School told their 980 students to avoid the school as Islamic mobs gathered for the second day of protests outside the grounds. The decision comes after it was revealed messages circulating on social media urged Muslims to rally and demand a criminal investigation.

The Daily Mail reported that none of the protesters they had spoken with were parents of students at the school, but had “travelled to Batley from Dewsbury, Bradford and Leeds to join a smaller group of locals” after being alerted over social media.

The outlet said many pledged to protest outside the school every day until the teacher is fired.

The school’s headmaster, Gary Kibble, issued an apology to the offended Muslims, thanking them for alerting the school to the teacher’s “completely inappropriate” actions.

“The school would like to thank the parents who contacted us on Monday, March 22 highlighting concerns with the resource used in an RS [religious studies] lesson that day,” Kibble said.

“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.”

According to The Guardian, the school later confirmed the teacher had been suspended, and issued yet another apology in an updated statement.

“The school unequivocally apologises for using a totally inappropriate resource in a recent religious studies lesson. The member of staff has also given their most sincere apologies. We have immediately withdrawn teaching on this part of the course and we are reviewing how we go forward with the support for all communities represented in our school.”

Mufti Mohammed Amin Pandor, one of the Islamic leaders who met with the school’s leadership, said “We’re going to work with the school to ensure that in the future things like this don’t happen again.”

A spokesman for the mob told reporters outside the school that they do not accept that the school has taken the issue seriously because it took them four days to merely suspend the teacher.

“The teachers concerned must be independently investigated with senior stakeholders from the Muslim community being involved,” the spokesman said.

“The incident, from Monday 22 March must also be investigated from a criminal perspective given that it was a clear attempt to stir up religious hatred.

“We also use this opportunity to call upon the entire British Muslim community to review the materials being taught in the children’s schools, whether they relate to offensive content or inappropriate relationship and sex education.”

In May 2019, the UK government rejected a proposal to introduce Islamic blasphemy laws into the UK through a redefinition of Islamophobia so vague that it would essentially prohibit all criticisms of Islam.

The definition, proposed by a cross-party group of MPs and adopted by the Labour party, stated: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

What’s concerning is that, at the time, the proposed definition was backed by more than 750 British Muslim organisations, 80 academics and 50 MPs. And they’re numbers that are expected to increase.

The question is, why do we need the government to protect certain ideas from criticism? What a woeful ideology it must be if it cannot survive without threats of fines and imprisonment, without public floggings or executions.

Truth says, “Come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). Only falsehood fears reason, for it might see through the disguise.

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