Press TV, Wakefield
A scandal involving a Quran desecration at a school in northern England has continued to escalate despite the resolution of the affair by the local community.
With a local Mosque and its Imam facing a sustained onslaught by right-wingers in the press and government, too. Hafiz Muhammad Mateen Anwar played a prominent role in easing tensions after news spread across the community of a Quran desecration by students at Kettlethorpe High School in Wakefield. When the news went viral, talk of an alleged death threat and street protests erupted.
Mateen Anwar offered up his mosque to the school and police as a location for a community meeting. An opportunity to clear the air, lay out the facts, and end the matter once and for all.
So, behind me is the local mosque where the meeting took place. Now, as far as local Muslim communities are concerned, the situation was dealt with amicably and on good terms, with communication playing a big part in making the difference. However, it seems as if the government and also certain right-wing elements within mainstream media appeared being deeply unhappy with the way the story played out. The meeting successfully resolved the affair, with police, the school headteacher and one of the student's mothers all in attendance. But instead of celebrating the peaceful conclusion, the British press ran with inflammatory interpretations of the story.
The mosque is now under investigation by a charity watchdog. While Mateen Anwar has been accused of "stocking" the row, he is also being portrayed as an extremist over Islamic views he has expressed in the past.
Press TV spoke with the embattled Imam who blasted the media for peddling misinformation, such as forcing the mother of a student to attend and apologize.
The Imam added he's exploring legal options to challenge what he says is an Islamophobic smear campaign against him by right-wing elements who are deeply unhappy with British Muslims successfully standing up for their faith.
Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses: