A school in Batley, West Yorkshire, has apologised to parents after a teacher showed blasphemous images of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to pupils.
Batley Grammar School, which has a significant Muslim intake, acknowledged that the “resource” used in an Religious Studies lesson on Monday was “completely inappropriate and had the capacity to cause great offence to members of our school community.”
The school, which caters for pupils aged 5-16, says it has launched an investigation, removed the resource from lessons and is now reviewing the Religious Studies curriculum.
A peaceful but angry protest by some parents who want the teacher to be sacked took place outside the school this morning.
Imam Mohammed Amin Pandor, who is liaising with Batley Grammar School over the blasphemous images of the Prophet (pbuh) shown to Muslim pupils, said the school has suspended the teacher pending an investigation. However, this has yet to be confirmed by the school itself.
5Pillars has spoken to parents at the school who confirmed that a teacher (who we have decided not to name) showed derogatory caricatures of the Prophet (pbuh) and told the students that it was his right to show them. According to parents, the teacher later refused to apologise or accept any wrong doing when challenged.
5Pillars understands the lesson was on the topic of blasphemy and the students were told that they would be shown an image of the Prophet which many in the class would find offensive. The image is thought to be the Charlie Hebdo image of the Prophet with a bomb and the Kalimah written on it.
The teacher then gave a background to what happened when the image was published and asked who was to blame – the cartoonist for drawing, publishing it and causing offence, or the person who killed the French teacher for showing it?
Following the lesson several Muslim organisations in the area wrote to the school asking for an urgent meeting. The organisations say they wish to find an acceptable solution for all stakeholders – the school, children, their parents, scholars and the wider community.
The letter was signed by local organisations IMWS, The Peace Institute, Rabetah Al-Ulama Al-Islamiyyah, Masjid Quba, Ilaahi Masjid, Masjid Noorul Islam, Masjid E Noor, Masjid Mahmoodiya, Jamia Masjid, Jumma Masjid, Madina Masjid, Dawatul Islam, Al-Hira Educational Trusts and other masjids, senior scholars and community leaders in Kirklees.
Meanwhile, the school issued the following statement in response: