Union donated to Islamic charity that published name of their member

‘Muhammed cartoon row’ teacher’s own union gave £3,000 to Islamic charity that named him online and ‘endangered’ his life

  • National Education Union in Kirklees donated £3,000 to Purpose of Life charity
  • The charity in West Yorkshire went on to publish the teacher’s name online 
  • Charity accused of ‘endangering his safety’ and acting in ‘reckless’ manner

The union representing the teacher who showed a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad had donated money to the charity that went on to oust him. 

The National Education Union’s (NEU) Kirklees branch, in West Yorkshire, which represents the Batley Grammar School teacher, had donated £3,000 to the charity Purpose of Life who went on to publish the teacher’s name online.  

The Islamic charity, which has now removed the teacher’s name from its online post, has since been accused of ‘endangering his safety’ and acting in a ‘reckless’ manner and have been reported to the Charity Commission.    

The National Education Union’s (NEU) in Kirklees, which is representing the Batley Grammar School teacher, donated £3,000 to Purpose of Life who went on to publish the teacher’s name online

Protesters stand outside Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire after pupils were shown a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad

After receiving a donation from the teaching union, Purpose of Life, which provides aid to the homeless in West Yorkshire as well as those in the Rohingyan Crisis, shared a video on YouTube thanking the teaching union for their ‘kind donation’. 

However the organisation later put the teacher’s name in the public domain.

Dr Paul Stott, associate fellow at the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, told The Telegraph: ‘There is now a real question mark about the ability of the NEU to represent its members at Batley Grammar School. 

‘That the Kirklees branch of the NEU has funded an organisation that calls for the sacking of a schoolteacher for doing his job is lamentable.

‘The NEU now needs to review the organisations it funds and works with, to avoid a repetition of this farce.’  

Last week Mohammed Hussain of the Purpose of Life group admitted sharing the teacher’s name on social media with a letter condemning him.

He said: ‘His name was already widely available in Internet posts and it was going around. I didn’t make public his name first. 

‘It was not our intention to cause any danger to him. In fact we asked for only peaceful protest. We don’t want people breaking the law. But we do feel that if this had been something that offended the LGBT community or something that was anti-Semitic, he would’ve been sacked on the spot.

‘His resignation should be forthcoming immediately. He has insulted two billion Muslims on the planet. We cannot stand for that. We have to make our voices heard on it.’

It came as the Free Speech Union said they were concerned that the actions of the local charity had exposed the teacher to ‘serious disrepute and physical harm’, in a letter to the Charity Commission. 

Purpose of Life has since removed the teacher’s name from its online post and was reported to the Charity  Commission. Pictured: Chained gates at Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire

Last week dozens of furious parents protested outside the historic school and called for the teacher to be sacked

An independent investigation will probe how pupils at the school were shown the cartoon

In their letter they said: ‘It should have been clear to the trustee who signed the letter – and indeed to any reasonable person – that merely naming the teacher could endanger his personal safety. 

‘Naming him as a sadistic abuser of Islam, in the wake of the murder of Samuel Paty in Paris, was unforgivably reckless.’

The letter added: ‘As a free speech organisation, we are concerned that the actions of Purpose of Life could expose the teacher to serious disrepute and physical harm as a result of teaching his students about a controversial topic.

‘The exercise and promotion of the right to free expression should not have such potentially dire consequences in this country.’

Last week dozens of furious Muslim parents protested outside the historic Batley Grammar School as they called for the teacher to be sacked.

The teacher, who has been defended by free speech campaigners, has been suspended and gone into hiding for fear of his own safety.

It comes as an independent investigation prepares to probe how pupils at the school were shown a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. 

Batley Multi Academy Trust said that an inquiry panel would begin work within a fortnight to drill down into the ‘context’ of the episode.  

It said in a statement: ‘We understand everyone will want clarity as soon as possible.’

It added: ‘We’re grateful for the constructive engagement with all our stakeholders over the last few days with regard to Batley Grammar, one of the schools within our trust.

Crowds of people gather outside the school gates after the teacher was suspended for showing an image of the Prophet Muhammad

‘We believe the right way forward is for an independent investigation to review the context in which the materials (which caused offence) were used, and to make recommendations in relation to the Religious Studies curriculum so that the appropriate lessons can be learned and action taken, where necessary. 

The statement added: ‘We will continue to support the whole school community as the investigation progresses, including all school staff and students.

‘We understand everyone will want clarity as soon as possible, so can confirm we expect to be able to announce that we have appointed an independent investigation panel over the next two weeks, with the investigation commencing on the April 12, and anticipate the investigation outcomes towards the end of May.’ 

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