A day after Islamists in the United Kingdom stormed near a school to protest against a school teacher and got him suspended for showing satirical cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad to students, students and parents have come in support of the suspended teacher. They also have launched an online campaign demanding the school to reinstate him.
According to the reports, students and parents have now expressed solidarity with the teacher who was suspended for allegedly showing students a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed in his class. The unnamed teacher was suspended by the school authorities this week after a mob of Islamists had protested outside the school for showing the cartoons taken from the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo during a religious studies lesson this week.
The protests by Islamists had created a security scare in the town of West Yorkshire, resulting in the deployment of the police officials. The school authorities succumbing to the pressure and security threat of Islamists had suspended the teacher and had initiated an inquiry.
However, a day later, students and parents have now demanded that the teacher should be brought back to school. An online petition has been launched to save the teacher’s job even as furious Muslim parents have called for his sacked and continue to protest outside the school despite being condemned by the government.
The petition launched by a student at Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire said the teacher had “pure intentions”, adding, “He is not racist and did not support the Islamophobic [sic] cartoons in any manner.”
Thousands sign petition, ask authorities to recall teacher
The petition said, “The religious studies teacher was trying to educate students about racism and blasphemy. He warned the students before showing them the images, and he had the intent to educate them. He does not deserve such large repercussions. He is not a racist and did not support the Islamophobic cartoons in any manner.”
The petition has been signed by thousands of people and is gathering momentum despite protesters calling for the teacher to be sacked.
Liz Haste, whose daughter, 15, and son, 12, have been taught the religious studies course by the same teacher, said, “It is a vigilante hunt on (him). He shouldn’t be sacked. I have stood in support of the suspended teacher and have also launched an online petition calling the Batley school authorities to reinstate the teacher,” she said.
The unnamed teacher, who is now under police protection, has been suspended from his role with Batley Grammar School on Thursday after school authorities issued an apology to parents who have been protesting outside the school gates.
On Thursday, the headteacher of a school in the United Kingdom was forced to apologise to Muslims after a massive protest was organised outside the school on Thursday morning, calling for the teacher’s resignation. Imam Mohammed Amin Pandor, the director of the ‘Peace Institute’, and a few others gathered outside the school to condemn the use of the images as “totally unacceptable” and demanded that the teacher involved has been suspended.
Mob continue to protests, Government criticises such protests
Meanwhile, the angry Muslim mob have gathered outside Batley Grammar School for a second day on Friday, forcing the school to close at the last minute this morning.
Following the scare, the school’s headteacher Garry Kibble suspended the school and put students on online studies after more than 50 protesters turned up at the school gates.
The protests launched by the Muslim mob outside the West Yorkshire school has generated a massive controversy in the country. Several people have condemned the protests carried out by Muslims against the teacher, saying such protests are “completely unacceptable.”
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he was “disturbed” by the protests, adding there had to be an “appropriate balance” between free speech and behaving in a tolerant way. He added that there was a “balance to be struck by teaching professionals” between free speech and respecting different cultures.
“What I would also add is that I was disturbed to see scenes of people protesting outside the school. That is not right. We shouldn’t have teachers, members of the staff of schools feeling intimidated. 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,” Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said.
On Thursday, the Department for Education has condemned the protests and threats, saying such protests are “completely unacceptable”. The spokesperson also said the protests were in violation of coronavirus restrictions.