15:06 GMT20 April 2021
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    In October 2020 a French history and geography teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was beheaded after he showed students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on free speech. Muslims consider it “haram” or forbidden to draw a picture of the Prophet, let alone a cartoon.

    Dozens of Muslim protesters are protesting for the second day outside a school in the north of England where a teacher has been suspended for showing pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad during a religious education lesson.

    The teacher, who is in his late 20s, was suspended on Thursday, 25 March by the head teacher at Batley Grammar School who has offered a fulsome apology.

    ​But Muslims continued to protest outside the school on Friday, 26 March.

    Batley Grammar School was forced to close on Friday and switch back to online learning as 50 protesters showed up and demanded the teacher be sacked.

    He is said to have been put under police protection.

    ​Police officers and private security guards are monitoring the demonstration.

    Batley, which is near Bradford, has a large Muslim population as thousands of people emigrated to the area from Pakistan in the 1960s and 1970s to work in factories and textile mills.

    Discussion of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad has become common in schools across England, but teachers are not supposed to show pupils the cartoons themselves.

    In the wake of Samuel Paty’s murder last year the French President, Emmanuel Macron, came out strongly in defence of freedom of speech and the teacher’s right to discuss the issue and show the cartoon.

    Tags:
    Yorkshire, Muslims, Islam, Prophet Muhammad
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