Another storm is brewing over a depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a British school, this time in Sheffield – where a teacher showed the image while praising Muslim students during Ramadan, in what has been dubbed a “genuine mistake”.
Responding to the controversy, Sheffield dad Atif Mohammed said his kids would not be returning to Hunter’s Bar Junior School “until this matter is resolved. I believe awareness needs to be out there for that to happen, otherwise it is going to get brushed under the table again.”
The Sun also reports that he is calling on other parents to join him in boycotting the school.
In a simpering statement trying to explain a briefly displayed image depicting an historical figure, the school’s head Michael Watson called the display of the image a “mistake” and said: “We are aware and understand fully how offensive this is to our Muslim community and I offer my heartfelt apologies for the upset caused.”
He went on to say that he has been “meeting and working with the children, parents and staff affected” by their exposure to the image.
“We will conduct a formal investigation in accordance with the Sheffield Local Authority process into how and why the incident occurred and establish findings and actionable recommendations.
“I want to reassure our Muslim community that we are doing all we can to find a fair and just way forward that rebuilds trust and faith in our school, so you can be confident that our pupils, families and staff understand, support and celebrate our diverse community that we are so proud of.
“Once again we want to acknowledge the deep hurt and upset this has caused some of our community and offer our sincere and humble apologies.”
The Federation of Mosques has called for calm, saying that parents should “accept the apology” and “enlighten them with Islamic teachings. We see no benefit in external elements getting involved in our city and raising issues.”
It follows protests outside Batley Grammar School in Yorkshire where a cartoon image of Muhammad was used in religious studies classes, sparking outrage from locals in a town with a massive Muslim population and demands that the teacher responsible be sacked.