Monday, June 24, 2024
HomeNews ReportsUK govt realises teachers need protection from 'blasphemy' allegations: The threat of Islamist violence...

UK govt realises teachers need protection from ‘blasphemy’ allegations: The threat of Islamist violence is already a reality in Europe

The report by Lord Walney underscored the necessity of guidelines to manage so-called blasphemy-related incidents. It would prevent schools from publicly identifying the teachers involved in such cases which would help in saving them from any aggressive harassment.

The government of the United Kingdom has realised that there is an urgent need to protect teachers from blasphemy allegations. To protect teachers from Islamist extremism within Europe, a government-commissioned report has put forth recommendations to ensure that the right to freedom of expression among teachers is legally upheld. The report came after the commission was set up following a series of incidents where teachers were subjected to violent backlash for their teachings. Notably, it is no longer uncommon for a teacher to face backlash from the Islamic community in Europe for anything and everything that Muslims feel is blasphemous.

The commission was chaired by the advisor on political violence and disruption, Lord Walney. In the report, the commission has put forth recommendations to ensure teachers freely and legally practice their freedom of expression. These proposals include barring the educational institutes from automatically suspending staff members in response to complaints of blasphemous actions against the teacher(s). It also provided clear guidance that there is no obligation on schools’ part to consult religious groups to find out if the content that is being studied in the schools is potentially “offensive” or not.

In a post on X, Walney said, “Encouraging to hear. Hope all parties will commit to this. Teachers could get legal protection from blasphemy claims.”

The recommendations came after a series of troubling incidents in the UK. For example, in 2021, a teacher from Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire received death threats after he showed a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the classroom during a religious studies lesson. The life of the teacher faced unrecoverable disruptions even though the investigation into the matter cleared his name. The investigation revealed he had no intention to offend anyone but he still had to go into hiding after the incident.

Another incident was reported in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, where a slightly damaged copy of the Quran at a High School was recorded as a “Hate Incident” by the local police. The overreaction from the authorities exposed how they succumbed to the pressure tactics of the Muslim community and imposed de facto blasphemy laws over small matters. Following the incidents, then-Home Secretary Suella Braverman introduced a code of conduct to protect freedom of expression. The report talked about several other such cases that happened at different schools leading to suspension of the teacher and threats to the teacher and his or her family.

Notably, the above-mentioned two incidents were not isolated. A trend of censoring teachers in schools in the name of “offending religious sensibilities” has been going on in the UK. According to a survey done by YouGov in 2023, it was revealed that one in every six teachers in the UK changed their curriculum on religion after the Batley controversy. Many teachers expressed concerns about intimidation and potential violent repercussions.

The report by Lord Walney underscored the necessity of guidelines to manage so-called blasphemy-related incidents. It would prevent schools from publicly identifying the teachers involved in such cases which would help in saving them from any aggressive harassment. It also aimed to rectify the deep impact on freedom of speech in the classrooms across the country.

Over time, the Islamist slogan of “Sar Tan Se Juda” has gained popularity across the world. Raised by Islamists, it means to call for beheading the person who insults Prophet Mohammed. The slogan found its roots in Pakistan and was echoed in the Indian subcontinent soon enough. The slogans later found a place within European Islamist circles. It is often used to intimidate and threaten people to stop them from saying anything against Islam.

“Ghustakh e Rasool Ki Ek Hi Saza, Sar Tan Se Juda”, means anyone who offends or disrespects the Prophet should be beheaded without fail. In Islam, the punishment for the apostate, the infidel and the blasphemer is death. The ideology has been manifested verbatim by countless fanatics across the world over centuries.

Suella Braverman and her predecessor Priti Patel have backed the recommendations tabled in the report by Walney. They emphasised the fact that Britain must not capitulate to Islamic Sharia laws under the guise of protecting religious sentiments. The leaders argued that the fundamental British values of freedom of speech and expression must be upheld. If someone feels his or her sentiments are hurt, they should choose formal processes to deal with it and not the mob rule.

Teachers, students and society at large need protection from any kind of Islamic violence and imposition of blasphemy codes. Especially when Europe finds it hard to resist the rising Islamic influence on the society.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Anurag
Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -