Reports suggest Batley Grammar School used materials that depicted the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) wearing a turban with a bomb in it. Such caricatures are extremely offensive and distressing which only serve to play into the stereotype of Islam and Muslims being synonymous with terrorism.
The BBSI has undertaken to prepare a clear statement about the status of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, explaining precisely why Muslims are so hurt and distressed at such insulting depictions of him.
Schools have a responsibility to provide an environment in which children can feel safe, valued and respected and wherein their learning is carried out without ridicule of their beliefs and practices.
We welcome the acknowledgment of Batley Grammar School that the material used was inappropriate and was not conducive to a safe and healthy teaching environment, and note the steps they have taken in engaging with the local Muslim community to resolve the matter together.
We would also like to commend the various Batley Muslim community organisations on how they have constructively engaged with the school and are confident that an appropriate resolution will be reached.
Further, we support the right to publicly express views in a responsible and legitimate manner, which is also part and parcel of the Islamic tradition.
Finally, we encourage all Muslim communities in the UK to engage positively with their local authorities and schools on appropriate teaching materials which are age appropriate and sensitive to the pupils’ religious and cultural heritage.