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Muslim teacher sacked for objecting to 9/11 video being shown to kids

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: A Muslim teaching assistant took her own school to court after she was dismissed – as she claims – when she complained about a 9/11 video being shown to a class of as young as 11-year-olds.

Suriyah Bi termed the video as X-rated and after a week had to leave her job at Birmingham’s Heartlands Academy.

She is now pursuing claims for her ‘unfair dismissal’ and ‘religious discrimination’.

The school, however, said it would defend Suriyah’s claims because the 24-year-old no longer wanted to work at the school herself.

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During a short initial hearing that dealt with technical and legal matters, the video was not mentioned in detail.

Although, outside the hearing, Suriyah said, “It (the video) was shown to some 30 children during class. I understand the video was shown without the permission of the authorities,” Suriyah outside the court.

“It raised questions about what safeguards there are in schools to protect children.”

She added that “These were children aged 11, of whom many knew little, or nothing, about the 9/11 horror.

“They were subjected to graphic scenes and some were shocked and upset. The video not only showed the plane crashing into the Twin Towers but also showed people committing suicide by jumping to their deaths from the tower blocks.”

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Suriyah raised the point that “Such young children should not been shown things like that because it is well-known that it can play on their minds and even induce them to kill themselves.”

“I was in the classroom when the video was shown and I quickly objected. Later, I was told to leave the school,” said the Muslim teaching assistant and added, “There was an investigation into the matter but I was dismissed for making a whistleblowing complaint.”

She said no action was taken against the teacher who screened the video, but some people termed the showing as ‘misguided’.

E-Act – a top independent academy sponsor that manages, maintains and develops academies in England – told the tribunal Judge, Ron Broughton that the teacher no longer wanted to work for them.

The judge maintained that Suriyah could go ahead with her legal claims later this year but not claim for costs could be considered at this stage.

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