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Unintentional Qur’an burning

30th May 2013

By Elham Asaad Buaras


A Nottingham school head has hit out at “inaccurate” and “exaggerated” online rumours of how pupils burnt a translated page of the Qur’an.


Fernwood School Head Teacher, Ann Witheford, has confirmed that the paper had been set alight by two Year 10 boys but insisted the act which took take place outside school premises was completely unintentional.


Witheford was so worried about escalating rumors she called the police.


She said: “This was an unintentional act carried out without knowledge of the importance and reverence of the document concerned.


“On Friday [April 26] evening some boys from our school were gathered in Wollaton Park. Some papers were on the ground and two of the boys picked them up and lit the corner.


“Another boy then said that it was a page translated from the Qur’an, that had been left there. The boys had not known it was from the Qur’an. They are extremely apologetic and upset by what has happened.”


She added: “We are a very harmonious school and we have no problems whatsoever between different groups of students.


“Our last Ofsted report says one student summed up the views of many that ‘the school is a family which we are proud to be part of.’ That is what we are all about at Fernwood.


“This incident has been exaggerated by inaccurate comments on social media sites and has been blown out of proportion.


“On Monday [April 29] morning I contacted the police myself because I had heard about what had happened. I wanted to make sure nothing escalated after school.


“The pages of the Qur’an have been collected by a senior member of staff and we are working with the local Muslim community to dispose of them in the correct manner.”


Nottinghamshire Police confirmed they have stopped their inquiry after initially investigating it as a potential hate crime.


In a statement to The Muslim News the force said they are “aware of speculation and ill-founded rumours circulating in some quarters about the nature of the incident that took place in the park on Friday, and can confirm the rumours about acts that could be perceived to be racially motivated are utterly without foundation.”


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