Muslim pupils across Britain are suffering a backlash of bullying and abuse following the Charlie Hebdo massacre amid a broad rise in Islamophobia in schools which the Government is failing to tackle, campaigners have told The Independent.
The sole UK charity monitoring anti-Muslim hate crime said it had recorded a “significant” increase in incidents in schools in the wake of the killings in Paris with both parents and teachers reporting verbal and physical attacks against Muslim students.
In one case, a teenage Muslim pupil at a school in Oxfordshire was this week allegedly slapped and called a “terrorist” by classmates after a teacher raised the murders of 12 people at the French magazine in a classroom discussion and suggested Muslims should be “challenged” by the display of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. The boy told his parents he did not wish to return to school.
Teachers unions and anti-racism groups told The Independentthey have recorded an increase in Islamophobic incidents in schools with the 400,000 Muslim pupils in British schools increasingly likely to be taunted as “terrorists”, “paedophiles” or “immigrants”. The NASUWT, the teaching union, said the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment is causing “uncertainty and fear” in schools.