'Who is running our schools?' Ian Collins responds to the Wakefield Qu'ran incident

TalkTV's Ian Collins warns that the manner in which four pupils were suspended from a West Yorkshire school after a copy of the Quran was damaged was 'deeply disturbing'.

The incident at Wakefield's Kettlethorpe High School led to one of the suspended pupils receiving death threats and police meeting local Muslim leaders for a community cohesion meeting.

"We assume the teacher called the police, perhaps fearing the local sensitivities would not be so generous. The teacher said, 'look there's no malintent here', but the police were called anyway - then logged it as a hate incident, a hate incident!

"Scratched a book? A hate incident. Despite the teacher saying there was no ill intent, four boys were suspended and they hold a press conference in a mosque where you've got the Imam, the Chief of Police, a local Councillor - all over an incident in a classroom.

"Why has this even ended up in a place of worship? Who is running our schools? Is it local religious leaders, or should it be teachers?"

"When I looked at the wider conference it actually became more sinister. This is deeply disturbing.

"Independent Councillor Akef Akbar spoke at the press conference about those death threats and said the mother 'to her credit' told police she does not want the children to be prosecuted.

"To her credit, he says. I think perhaps anyone issuing death threats to a child; I sense we might like that pursued at some level.

"The local Imam said that any Muslim, in Wakefield, Halifax, Bradford, Dewsbury, the UK or outside the UK will never tolerate disrespect of the Holy Quran. Never and they would sacrifice their lives for it, adding that the Quran is more important to than their lives.

"Wow. So an incident in a classroom and the Quran is more important than his life.

"Inspector Andy Thornton, a senior ranking police officer, gave the police response. He said it was a hate 'incident', not a hate crime. Did he mention death threats to a 14-year-old autistic child? I don't think he did.

"I don't think he ever referenced the death threats that a child had received, despite the mother being absolutely petrified of all of this.

"The fact that it culminated in a child being threatened with death for scratching a book tells you almost everything you need to know about this story."