Ramadhan Foundation Press Release – for immediate release

BATLEY SCHOOL CARTOON ROW IS OFFENSIVE TO BRITISH MUSLIMS

Published: Thursday 25th March 2021 21:00

Mr Mohammed Shafiq, CEO of the Ramadhan Foundation comments:

I want to condemn in the strongest terms the offensive cartoon of the Holy Prophet Muhammed PBUH that was shown in a Batley School.  The World knows the love and respect we have for our Prophet and our hearts are pained tonight to know a teacher working with 70% Muslim pupils didn’t consider the hurt this would cause.  We understand the anger parents have been feeling and as we know this is not the first time under the cloak of freedom of speech our faith is being attacked.

We love the Prophet Muhammad PBUH more than own lives and this incident has happened which will now be hijacked by those who have an interest in perpetuating an image of Muslims, we will not allow these attacks to go unanswered.  The real debate is that those that bang on about freedom of speech are the ones who want to silence British Muslims; we are expected to tolerate these despicable attacks on our faith and not respond.  We are proud to exercise our civic rights in regards to freedom of speech by standing up against such depictions.

We do so in peace and reject any violence or threat of violence.  We urge all who love the Prophet Muhammad PBUH within the British Muslim community to remember our responsibilities to reject violence and never give in to the narrative that some want to paint us as. 

It is alarming that the Department of Education chose to amplify those divisions by attacking the parents and pupils rather than looking how we can come together to have a respectful discussion and seek an end to this issue.  There is still time for calmer heads amongst the Department and we urge them to seek language that brings us together and address the issue without deflecting.

The Education sector has a duty to protect the needs of all pupils and we are heartened that the School Leaders recognise the pain and suffering caused by this incident.  You can have a discussion about freedom of speech and blasphemy without using such offensive cartoons.  As I have said across the media today we in the British Muslim community are up for that challenge and debate but it has to be done in an environment which is respectful.

Some bang on about cancel culture but are eager to cancel the voices of British Muslims on this issue, we will not be silenced; will exercise our democratic right.

END

1) The Ramadhan Foundation is based in Greater Manchester and working to build cohesion between communities since 2005.

2) Mohammed Shafiq the Chief Executive of the Foundation was subject to death threats from terrorist groups in 2013 for our work against terrorism.

3) The Ramadhan Foundation was founded in 2005 and is based in Greater Manchester. Mr Mohammed Shafiq  Chief Executive, Ramadhan Foundation

Twitter:     @mshafiquk 


Email:         mohammed.shafiq@ramadhanfoundation.co.uk

Web:          www.ramadhanfoundation.co.uk

"The Ramadhan Foundation was the first to bring British Muslims together on one platform"

–Yvonne Ridley

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