Mohammed cartoon teacher suspended and ‘in hiding’

Mohammed cartoon teacher suspended and 'in hiding'

Mohammed cartoon teacher suspended and ‘in hiding’

A cabinet minister has labelled demonstrations which took place after a teacher showed a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils as ‘disturbing.’

Police were called to Batley Grammar School in Bradford for the second time today after dozens of people gathered, calling for the teacher involved to be sacked.

The caricature is thought to have been published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo, and was shown to pupils in a religious studies lesson earlier this week.

Any depiction of Mohammed is considered offensive within Islam, and the use of the image has resulted in outrage among pupils, parents and religious officials.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation in Manchester, described the incident as a “despicable attack on our faith”.

According to reports, the teacher has been suspended and is now in hiding with police protection.

Headteacher Gary Kibble said:

“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.”

But, in an interview with Sky News, Robert Jenrick said the protests outside Batley Grammar School were “not right,” and “completely unacceptable,” adding that “we shouldn’t have teachers feeling intimidated.”

Many within the local Muslim community are calling for the teachers resignation, but the views of the general public have tended to be more sympathetic to the teacher.

Speaking via Twitter, one local expressed hopes that “they’ve suspended the teacher for his/ her own safety and no other reason.”

A Sky News reader said:

“The school has apologised along with the teacher involved. Issue resolved and people need to move on with their lives. There’s no need for protests, no need to suspend the teacher and making threats towards the poor teacher is despicable.”
“Everyone has the right to religious beliefs. However, this was a mob none the less,” added another.
A spokesperson for Humanists UK wrote:
“We are concerned to hear that a teacher has been suspended over a picture of Muhammad in an RE lesson.
“We don’t know precisely what was depicted in the image in question, but religious blasphemy laws have no place dictating what goes on in the classroom.”
What do you think – should the teacher involved be forced to resign, or has the apology resolved the issue?

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