Australia: Muslim student forced by teacher to look at cartoon of Prophet Muhammad
By Sumeyye Dilara Dincer
ANKARA, Turkey, (AA): A student in Australia was the victim of Islamophobia when her teacher forced students in her class to look at a cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad on October 14. The Victorian education department is investigating the incident.
“My media teacher put this cartoon on television and then said it is the Prophet Mohammed. It just shook me to the core. I was really sad and shocked,” 11th grader Sara Ammar from Melbourne told Anadolu Agency.
The 16-year-old said she was not the only one in shock but everyone in the class. “They were all speechless like how I was.”
There were several other Muslim students in each class, according to Ammar.
Although she expressed discomfort with the cartoon, her teacher did not answer her request to leave the classroom.
“The teacher kept on talking about how Muslims killed an innocent person who created that cartoon,” she said, noting that she does not want other children to experience similar humiliation.
“It is a very traumatizing,” she said.
Her father Muhammad Ammar demanded that the teacher be suspended and a formal apology from the school. “We can’t accept anything against our Prophet and Islam,” he said. “When I went to take her up, she started crying. She said that they have shown the content.”
“My daughter also tried to express her discomfort at the video but unfortunately the teacher didn’t care and continued to play the video, forcing my child to view that content,” he said.
Right after the Islamophobic episode, Muhammad Ammar talked to Mount Ridley College in Craigieburn officials and wrote to the concerned departments of government.
The student’s parents have raised concerns with the school, the ICV, Victoria’s Department of Education and Training (DET) and the state government.
A DET spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that the department was assessing the incident.
“Once the assessment is complete and the department has consulted with community groups, it will be decided whether additional advice should be given to schools on similar sensitive issues,” the spokesperson said.
“All affected students will receive full support.”
The Islamic Council of Victoria said in a statement: “We are seeking to urgently confirm whether this offensive content is a standard part of the DET curriculum, and, if so, we will ask DET to immediately withdraw this content.
“As Australians, we believe that it is very reasonable to expect that the material taught in our schools does not seriously offend members of different communities and is cognisant of Australia’s multi-faith and multi-cultural diversity.”
Authorities contacted the elder Ammar about the incident and the family received an e-mail from a member of parliament.
The French weekly magazine, Charlie Hebdo, published a blasphemous cartoon of Prophet Muhammad in 2015, which sparked massive protests across the Muslim world.
Additional report by The Muslim News
[Map of Australia by CIA Factbook/Public Domain]
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