School causes fury after teacher uses photo of Osama Bin Laden to portray Prophet Muhammad in religious studies lesson
- The children were having a lesson at All Saints Academy in Dunstable, outside Luton
- The teacher, who has not been named, was suspended and the school apologized
- It’s unclear how the al-Qaeda leader ended up in the PowerPoint slides
A secondary school has come under fire after it used a photo of Osama bin Laden to depict the Prophet Muhammad.
Grade 10 students were sitting in a religious studies lesson when they were shown the image in a PowerPoint presentation on Friday.
All Saints Academy in Dunstable, outside Luton, has apologized and suspended the teacher after receiving complaints from pupils. An investigation will be conducted.
It is unclear how the image of the leader of al-Qaeda who orchestrated the September 11 attacks ended up in the PowerPoint presentation.
In Islam, it is deeply offensive to depict the Prophet Muhammad as it is considered similar to forbidden idol worship.
All Saints Academy in Dunstable, outside Luton, has apologized for using a photo of Osama bin Laden to depict the Prophet Muhammad
The use of the image was brought to the attention of the Academy by a concerned student in the 10th grade class.
In a statement, the school said it was “completely inappropriate” to use the image and that it “acknowledges the profound pain and distress” caused.
They said: “Not only was it offensive to attempt to portray an image of the Prophet Muhammad, but the image that was used was of Osama bin Laden, a terrorist leader, which added to the deep insult.
“The academy reiterates its sincere and unreserved apologies for the distress caused by this episode.”
After suspending the teacher, who has not been named, the school said it would also undertake a review.
They said ‘very useful’ links had also been made with the Muslim community in Luton.
Social media users reacted angrily to the school’s online statement, demanding it explain how the image was used.
Columnist for Middle East Eye – a publication focusing on current affairs in the region – Dilly Hussain called the use of the image “shameful and unacceptable”.
The school teaches about 700 students between the ages of 13 and 18 and claims to have a Christian ethos.
When last inspected by OFSTED – the school’s regulator – in 2019, it was described as “in need of improvement”.