By Tony Winterburn • 27 March 2021 • 20:54
More Than 44,000 Sign Petition Backing Teacher Amid Prophet Muhammad Cartoon Row. image: Twitter
More Than 44,000 Sign Petition Backing Teacher Amid Prophet Muhammad Cartoon Row.
More than 44,000 people have now signed a petition backing the Batley Grammar School teacher who showed an “inappropriate” cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to a class.
The teacher, who showed pupils the image in a religious studies lesson, was suspended after protests gathered outside the West Yorkshire school. The online petition, set up by a user called “A BGS student”, states the teacher “was trying to educate students about racism and blasphemy”.
However, it is not clear whether it was set up by a student of the school. It adds: “He warned the students before showing the images and he had the intent to educate them. He does not deserve such large repercussions. He is not racist and did not support the Islamophobic cartoons in any manner.”
Protesters first gathered outside the school on Thursday, March 25, and further demonstrations occurred on Friday.
A protester speaking “on behalf of the Muslim community” read out a statement outside of the school on Friday, in which he said: “The teachers have breached the position of trust and failed their duty of safeguarding, and this issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency. We do not accept that the school has taken this issue seriously, given that it’s taken them four days to merely suspend only one of the teachers involved.”
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has said is was “deeply troubled” by reports the teacher was in hiding.
The Yorkshire teacher has reportedly since received death threats for showing the cartoons to students while teaching them about religious blasphemy. Although the exact nature of the drawings is unknown, one parent claimed that they were the ‘French’ cartoons, referring to the 2012 Charlie Hebdo publication which resulted in the murder of 12 people in Paris.
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