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Ricky Gervais Criticises Those Protesting Over Muhammad Image Shown In School

by : Emily Brown on : 30 Mar 2021 13:49
Ricky Gervais Criticises Muslim Protests To Muhammad Image Shown In SchoolPA Images

Comedian Ricky Gervais has criticised those who are protesting a school teacher who reportedly showed a cartoon that mocked the Muslim prophet Muhammed. 

Demonstrators gathered last week to demand disciplinary action from the Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire, with protestors slamming the teacher’s actions as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘Islamophobic’.

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The teacher was ultimately suspended, though thousands of people showed their support for them by signing a petition which argues the teacher was trying to educate their students about racism and blasphemy.

PA ImagesPA Images

Gervais, who has long been an advocate for the right to free speech, took to Twitter last week to have his say on the matter and slammed those who have been criticising the teacher.

He wrote: ‘Blasphemy? F*cking Blasphemy? It’s 2021 for f*ck’s sake. What next? People being punished for insulting unicorns?’

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Thousands of people appeared to agree with Gervais as his tweet racked up countless likes and shares, though some Twitter users responded to argue that the teacher should be held accountable.

One person wrote: ‘Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of consequence.’

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Other social media users attempted to offer a more balanced argument, with one suggesting that showing a cartoon of the prophet was not blasphemy, but ‘just bad judgement’.

They wrote: ‘In an RE CLASS.. “Muslims forbid images of Mohammed………so here’s a cartoon of Mohammed.”
I think the teacher needs a proper look at a career change and perhaps write out “There’s a time and a place” a few hundred times. I don’t think it’s blasphemy, just bad judgement.’

Though the teacher has had a lot of support, the headteacher of Batley Grammar School, Gary Kibble, issued an apology for their actions.

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In a statement, he commented:

The school unequivocally apologises for using a totally inappropriate resource in a recent religious studies lesson. The member of staff has also given their most sincere apologies.

We have immediately withdrawn teaching on this part of the course and we are reviewing how we go forward with the support of all the communities represented in our school.

Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has said he was ‘disturbed’ to see the protestors gather outside the school and said that there ‘has to be an appropriate balance’ between having free speech and using it in a way that it is ‘respectful and tolerant’.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Muslim, Protest, Ricky Gervais

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Ricky Gervais/Twitter
  1. Ricky Gervais/Twitter

    @rickygervais