13:52 GMT12 April 2021
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    Previously, UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson's department denounced parents' protests against a teacher allegedly showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in class as unacceptable.

    A Muslim preacher, Mohammed Amin Pandor, who participated in protests against the showing of Charlie Hebdo’s controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoons outside Batley Grammar School, took to social media to oppose vaccination against COVID-19, The Mail on Sunday reports.

    The 62-year-old preacher, who announced the suspension of a teacher due to the Charlie Hebdo cartoon scandal to protesters outside the Yorkshire school last week, belongs to the conservative Deobandi movement within Sunni Islam. He recently shared a fatwa - a nonbinding qualified opinion on a point of Islamic law – on social media that stated that the COVID-19 vaccine should not be promoted due to “the uncertainty about the ingredients” in them.

    The document stated that God had given a “definite remedy for safety from every form of harm and disease,” telling followers to pray.

    The imam had sparked controversy in the past by signing letters opposing gay marriages, sharing false stories about the UK’s Chief Rabbi allegedly saying it would be permissible to take sex slaves; and even saying in an interview that his religious beliefs meant that the highly popular TV show Strictly Come Dancing was “not acceptable”.

    The preacher later apologised for sharing the fake story about the Rabbi on Twitter and also said that there are different fatwas on COVID-19 vaccines, adding that he doesn’t agree with some of them, adding that he is apologising “for the confusion”.

    ​When Pandor was taking part in protests outside the Batley Grammar School last week, he said that what happened was “totally unacceptable and we have made sure they are aware”.

    “The teacher has been suspended. They can’t just sack him, they need to do their due process. We’ve asked for an investigation, an investigation to be independent. We are going to work with the school to make sure things like this don’t happen,” he said.

    A small grammar school in Batley, UK was hit by protests from parents, who were demanding that a teacher who had showed a caricature of the Prophet Muhammed to students be fired. The teacher, who is in his 20s, was suspended after two days of protests for his use of the cartoons of the Islamic religion's primary figure, in a lesson about the use of free speech.

    Cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad have triggered terrorist attacks in the past, including the 2015 shooting at Charlie Hebdo's headquarters. The magazine published several caricatures of the religious figure, which ultimately led to 12 deaths.

    In October 2020, history and geography teacher Samuel Paty from France was beheaded by a terrorist after showing Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons to his students in a class about freedom of speech.

    Tags:
    anti-vaccination, Charlie Hebdo, COVID-19, vaccine, UK
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