Amid growing hostility toward Islam, a school in the Netherlands suspended a teacher for insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the Dutch minister of education deemed it a reasonable decision.
Rabat – An engineering teacher at the Hoofdvaart College vocational school in Amsterdam has received a temporary suspension for calling the Prophet Muhammad a “pedophile.”
According to Dutch education minister Arie Slob, the 49-year-old teacher had discussed Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), telling his students that the prophet is seen as a “pedophile” in the Netherlands.
The teacher’s comments, made in January, had offended students, and they reported him to the school board for “insulting religion.”
The school suspended the teacher and the story reached the lower house of the Dutch Parliament.
Slob said in a written parliamentary statement—after his ministry sent a commission to inspect the college and speak to the board, students, and teachers—that the teacher’s suspension was justified. He also informed the lower house that it is temporary.
The teacher’s lawyer, Wilco Brusse, criticized Slob’s statement as “extremely careless,” reported Dutch news outlet De Volkskrant.
The lawyer explained that the ministry’s commission was biased because it did not question the teacher during its investigation and never considered his version of the story.
“As a result, my client’s reputation is now tarnished,” Brusse said.
In an interview with the Volkskrant, the teacher denied having made the statement and insisted that he respects other believers.
Muslims in the Netherlands are witnesses to several forms of Islamophobia, experiencing both verbal harassment and physical violence.
One of the recent instances of Islamophobia was against a mosque earlier in March.
The German Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida) group attacked a mosque in the Netherlands by hanging a banner with an obscene message insulting the prophet next to a mannequin dressed in traditional Arab male dress with a bearded face covered in dark paint.
Provocations at mosques are not uncommon in the country.
Last summer in Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, Pegida led a series of offensive acts on mosques by roasting pork, considered impure in Islam, in front of mosques to provoke Muslims.
The world is still mourning the March 15 terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, which killed 50 Muslims.