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Teacher suspended after showing Prophet Muhammad image can now return

16th Jul 2021

Elham Asaad Buaras

The Religious Education teacher who ignited protests at a West Yorkshire school after using an offensive image of Prophet Muhammad in class has been cleared of causing a deliberate offence and his suspension lifted on May 26.

The teacher was suspended in March for showing pupils a drawing taken from the French magazine Charlie Hebdo at Batley Grammar School, provoking protests outside the school’s gates.

An investigation, launched by the school’s governing trustees, found the teacher had shown the image on more than one occasion, but that the teacher “genuinely believed that using the image had an educational purpose and benefit”, to start a discussion about the meaning of blasphemy.

A spokesperson for the Batley Multi Academy Trust said the Trust aimed to immediately implement the investigation recommendations.

The recommendations included establishing a structured approach to quality assurance of individual teacher planning, and more rigorous monitoring of teaching aids. It pledged never to use images of the prophet in any future lessons.

“The topics covered by the lesson could have been effectively addressed in other ways,” said a spokesman for Batley Multi Academy Trust.

Adding, “The trust deeply regrets the distress caused by the use of this resource, and we would like to thank all of the trust’s stakeholders for their contributions and support during what has been a difficult period.”

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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