Cohesion, we must have cohesion. All that means is that everybody has to agree about everything. Simple!

On Thursday, protests erupted over claims a teacher had shown a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad to pupils at Batley grammar school and now there are fears the row could be hijacked by extremists on both sides.

Outside the gates of the school, Hassan Mahmood said the protest was about educating people and raising awareness with the hope of increased community cohesion. “This is about generating that positive awareness so that there’s no sort of untoward reaction and there’s no disruption or disharmony in the community,” he said.

Mahmood explained that the issue centred on the potential impact on children, especially non-Muslims, and their knowledge of what is deemed offensive.

“The kind of message that’s going out from this school is quite dangerous for all children. You’re giving out the wrong information, you’re setting a wrong mindset, which doesn’t help community cohesion,” he said.

Shehram Farrukh, a fellow protester, said the demonstration had been about opening up a conversation. “So the thing is, if something happens, anywhere in any part of the world about the prophet Muhammad, we Muslims are very sensitive. We are not maligning anybody else, we just want to say, don’t make fun of our prophet. That’s all we want,” he said.

That’s all! It’s so simple! All they want is for everyone in the world to obey the “rule” that nobody can tease “their prophet.”

Rukhsana Khaliq and her daughter Maariha, 16, agreed the protest was warranted. Maariha went to the school but is now in sixth form elsewhere.

She said: “There’s nothing bad about the school. It’s just what he did was offensive and he didn’t know that. I feel like now that this has happened he understands.”

“There’s no way of accommodating that,” added her mother.

She feels like now the teacher has had to go into hiding with police protection, he understands. Her mother adds that there’s no way of accommodating “that.”

All everyone has to do is what believers in this one religion say is mandatory – that’s literally all. Cohere or elese.

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