A Muslim student has been left traumatised after an Australian teacher forced her to look at a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad at a school in Australia’s city of Melbourne.
During a media studies class at a Melbourne college, the teacher played an “explicit and blasphemous” cartoon to the class that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, the student’s father said.
According to the Herald Sun, the offensive cartoon is believed to be a Charlie Hebdo front page from 2015, which sparked massive protests across the Muslim world.
The Muslim student raised objections to the material but did not leave the class and the teacher continued, according to news.com.au.
“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 the content.” the father explained.
“Forcing a child to view content is illegal and against the law. This has aggravated my child and my family’s sentiments in a painful manner and has put us in a painful psychological and mental trauma.”
Public apology demanded
The father has demanded a formal apology and explanation, and an assurance that “such kind of events should not take place in any institutions” in future.
According to the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), the Department of Education (DET) confirmed that the offensive material taught in the year 11 media studies class is not part of the standard curriculum.
Mount Ridley College is completing its investigation of the incident, and DET will be updated on the outcomes.
ICV said that it has made it clear that, as a minimum, the school should issue a public apology acknowledging the seriously offensive nature of the material presented, and the harm caused to students and the wider school community.
The council also demanded that the school should also outline what steps are being taken to ensure that this type of incident will not happen again.