Police call after teacher quotes 9/11 to reprimand homophobic students, but call attackers Muslims rather than terrorists
- Muslim gay activist Khakan Qureshi spoke at a school in the West Midlands
- He told Wednesdaybury’s Wood Green Academy that he came and was a Muslim
- He was asked to be gay and Muslim was wrong and also received death threats
- Teacher scolded class after calling 9/11 terrorists ‘Muslims’
A teacher has been embroiled in an extraordinary row of Islamophobia after quoting 9/11 while berating pupils for clashing with a gay Muslim activist.
Activist, Khakan Qureshi, was invited to Wood Green Academy in Wednesbury, West Midlands, last week to share his experience of coming out.
But during a testy Q&A with sixth graders, Mr Qureshi was met with hostile questions, with one student asking him: ‘Do you agree that being gay and a Muslim is a mistake?”, and then received death threats.
Angry at the way Mr Qureshi was treated, the teacher then taught the students about tolerance.
But it provoked a backlash when he was filmed calling the 9/11 attacks Muslims rather than terrorists.
In his reprimand, the teacher said, “We live in a diverse and tolerant country. We are tolerant towards different religions. Twenty-one years ago, a group of Muslims blew up planes against buildings, killing thousands of people. At this point, people stood up and said, “No, we shouldn’t condemn Muslims for what a few have done.
“Because we are a tolerant society, and that means we may not like some things you say, but you have the right to say them.”
Police are currently investigating the death threats and online abuse received by Mr Qureshi. The school reportedly reported the incident to the counter-extremism program, Prevent, and – with tensions running high – is in contact with community leaders.
The school serves a large and diverse area of the West Midlands and around half of its pupils are Muslim. A complaint sent to the school by hundreds of students and parents said, “Why did he use the word Muslims as opposed to terrorists?
“He linked terrorism directly to Muslims and Islam. His tone is extremely aggressive and I have a hard time understanding how this is considered appropriate behavior. Last night, the professor declined to comment.
Mr Qureshi, 52, told the MoS that “a few inveterate students” didn’t even let him finish his speech before asking him a barrage of questions. He said he gave a similar lecture in 2020 on being gay and Muslim and was warmly received by students.
But this time he was warned by teachers that he could face a more hostile audience as a number of Muslim pupils had moved to the Academy from a local faith-based school.
Mr Qureshi said: ‘They kept saying you can’t be gay and Muslim because that contradicts the Quran.’
He added that the teacher referred to 9/11 because he was prompted by what he himself had said earlier in his speech.
“I told the public that there was only one time in my life when I didn’t identify as a Muslim, and that was after the 9/11 attacks, when Muslims were discriminated against and vilified. .”
ATROCITY: The Twin Towers on 9/11
Mr Qureshi said he had received numerous death threats in the past week and more than 100 hate messages on social media, and had notified the police.
The school said in a statement: “A number of videos are currently circulating on social media which show a member of our staff speaking to students…Although the school has not yet concluded its review of this matter, it is clear that some of the videos have been cropped… We apologize for any upset or distress caused by this incident.
West Midlands Police said: ‘We are working with the school and reviewing the content of the videos.