A teacher has spoken of his fear of being killed after he showed a controversial cartoon to his class of students.
Here’s the full story…
Now, this comes just months after a similar incident unfolded in Paris, France.
In October 2020, teacher Samuel Paty was murdered after he showed images of the Prophet Muhammad to his class during a lesson on free speech.
The forty-seven-year-old teacher was beheaded outside the school by his eighteen-year-old attacker, Abdullah Anzorov…
Who investigators say had been seeking revenge for his victim’s use of the images.
A female student from his class had claimed that Paty had asked Muslim students to leave the room before showing the images.
Though after his death, she admitted to lying and even revealed that she had never even seen the images.
The girl’s lawyer, Mbeko Tabula, told AFP news agency:
“She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson.”
Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are famously taboo in Islam…
But the issue is particularly fraught in France, where the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, has published “offensive” cartoons of the prophet on several occasions in the past.
The magazine came under attack in 2015 when gunmen stormed its offices and killed twelve employees after it published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
But, undeterred, the satirical publication reprinted the caricatures last year ahead of the trial into the 2015 attacks.
However, not everyone is as fearless as Charlie Hebdo.
As stated earlier, there has been another instance of the incriminating cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad being shown in a classroom, and the teacher has now spoken of his fear of persecution.
The man, who has remained anonymous, teaches at Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire, England.
The twenty-nine-year-old and his mother have both gone into hiding amid growing concerns that their wider family may be targeted by extremists.
The teacher allegedly showed his students Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in a religious studies class looking at blasphemy…
And now fears for his life as a result, his father has claimed.
Mass protests have been held outside the school since it emerged the teacher showed the controversial caricature.
“He should never teach again,” one demonstrator told The Independent. “We’ll keep coming here until he is gone.”
There have been several calls for the protests to end by community groups and leaders…
However, their words have so far fallen upon deaf ears.
Of course, the teacher is utterly terrified of what could happen to him as a result of his actions…
And both he and his family have now spoken about their fear.
“My son keeps breaking down crying and says that it’s all over for him,” his father told the Daily Mail.
“He is worried that he and his family are all going to be killed.”
His father explained that the family is all too conscious of what happened to Samuel Paty back in October.
“Look what happened to the teacher in France who was killed for doing the same thing. Eventually, they will get my son and he knows this.”
“His whole world has been turned upside down. He’s devastated and crushed.”
The rest of the family are apparently “petrified” of being targeted by extremists, too.
“My wife is petrified that we’ll also be targeted and has become a bag of nerves since all this happened. She’s unable to stay in our home.”
“This whole incident has had a devastating impact on us, and we are all scared about the situation we find ourselves in.”
He added that CCTV cameras are being set up at his home and that police officers have visited to provide advice on staying safe.
“The school and my son have issued a full apology, and both have said that they won’t allow the same thing to happen again,” his father concluded.
“That should be the end of the matter and my son should be allowed to get on with his life.”
A petition set up in support of the teacher has since reached nearly 70,000 signatures.
The former chief inspector of Ofsted – the government department responsible for inspecting schools – Sir Michael Wilshaw weighed into the debate saying that a “firm line” had to be taken to defend free speech in schools.
“There’s no excuse for the sort of demonstrations we’ve seen outside the school. It does raise a whole issue of the sort of society we are and the value that we put on free speech. People need to protect that.”
Make sure to stay posted for further updates.