Quran damaged at school recorded as ‘hate incident’ by police

The home secretary has expressed concern after the police recorded a “hate incident” at a school where four pupils allegedly caused “slight damage” to a copy of the Quran. Reported here at New English Review over the weekend. 

Last night a source close to Braverman said: “These are very concerning reports. The home secretary is clear that the police response should always be proportionate and consider the welfare of young children as a priority over any perceived insults.”

The case appears to be an example of a “non-crime hate incident”, a designation the police use to record those not meeting the criminal threshold. Last year the College of Policing, the standards body, changed its guidance to stop officers recording trivial incidents.

Inspector Andy Thornton addressed concerned parents at the local mosque and told them the damage was being treated as a “hate incident”.  Thornton said the pupils had “a lack of appreciation and understanding . . . of their actions and the wider impacts and upset that will cause”.

Tudor Griffiths, the headmaster, said there had been “no malicious intent” but the pupils’ actions were “unacceptable”. In a recording of the meeting seen by The Times, the headmaster said: “If more consequences have to be followed, that will be the case.”

Wakefield council said the Quran had suffered “slight damage”.

I thought the video from 5pillars of the mother of the autistic boy, the one who received the death threats, apologising and begging for forgiveness and mercy was excruciating; but what would any of us do to protect our child.  I didn’t at that time see the video of the headmaster and police inspector.

The headmaster should also be protecting his pupil and demanding that death threats cease and action taken to educate those who make them. But no, appeasement is the name of the game. 

I suspect that this incident will not convince the pupils of Kettlethorpe High School to love and respect Islam but rather to bite their tongues round Muslims, while despising it as a totalitarian faith for bullies. Lessons will have been learned, but not the ones the grovelling adults want taught.  Note also from the first video that I posted on Sunday that the mother had to sit separately from the men at the other end of the row. 

In a tweet that was later deleted, Usman Ali, another councillor, claimed the book had been “desecrated” and it “needs to be dealt with urgently by all the authorities, namely the police, the school and the local authority”.

Steerpike at the Spectator ponders thus

A Labour councillor suggesting a pupil be criminalised? Are the blasphemy laws now back? That wasn’t one of Sir Keir’s five missions…

Mr S asked Labour for whether Ali would be condemned for his comments and if the party whip would be withdrawn. The party declined to provide a response to multiple requests – though the tweet of his statement was deleted after The Spectator got in touch last night. Funny that.

 Humanists UK, which campaigns for freedom of religion or belief in schools … said it was alarmed by the story, offered its support to the children’s families, and called upon the UK Government to voice support for the pupils and clarify guidance for schools. That’s more like it.

A Humanists UK spokesperson commented: … So the UK Government must make a firm statement of support for the children, and also offer the school its full support when standing up to vocal religious groups outside of the school community. Meanwhile the police should be taking any death threats against children very seriously indeed. It beggars belief that it should be necessary to clarify that public pillory and death threats are never an appropriate reaction to childish tomfoolery.’

Other than the initial terse BBC Yorkshire report, this article in The Times is the first mention in British newspapers of the incident, and more importantly, comment upon it. Only the international press and current affairs magazines like the Spectator,  Spiked and The Critic have shown an interest. 

I hope to hear that Suella Braverman does take some action to effectively support these children. 


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