Apol­ogy de­mand af­ter re­ac­tion to boy’s ‘ter­ror­ist’ slip

The National - News - - The World -

LON­DON // The fam­ily of a 10-year-old Mus­lim boy has de­manded an apol­ogy af­ter he was ques­tioned by Bri­tish po­lice for mis­tak­enly writ­ing that he lived in a “ter­ror­ist” house in­stead of a “ter­raced” house dur­ing an English class.

Po­lice in­ter­viewed the boy at his home in Lan­cashire, northwest Eng­land, on De­cem­ber 7 and ex­am­ined the fam­ily com­puter fol­low­ing his er­ror, ac­cord­ing to the BBC.

Since July, teach­ers have been legally obliged to re­port sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour by pupils.

“You can imag­ine it hap­pen­ing to a 30-year-old man, but not to a young child,” the boy’s cousin said.

“If the teacher had any con- cerns, it should have been about his spell­ing. He’s now scared of writ­ing, us­ing his imag­i­na­tion.”

“Ter­race” is a Bri­tish term for a house that shares its side walls with oth­ers.

Miq­daad Versi, as­sis­tant sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Mus­lim Coun­cil of Bri­tain, Bri­tain’s largest um­brella group for Is­lamic as­so­ci­a­tions, blamed the govern­ment’s Pre­vent pro­gramme, aimed at coun­ter­ing rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion. “There are huge con­cerns that in­di­vid­u­als go­ing about their daily life are be­ing seen through the lens of se­cu­rity and are be­ing seen as po­ten­tial ter­ror­ists rather than stu­dents,” he said.

“This is a nat­u­ral con­se­quence of the ex­ten­sion of the Pre­vent Duty to schools.”

Lan­cashire po­lice said the is­sue was dealt with “by a joint visit by a po­lice con­sta­ble from the divi­sion and so­cial ser­vices” and that no one from the Pre­vent counter-ex­trem­ism scheme was in­volved.

“There were not thought to be any ar­eas for con­cern and no fur­ther ac­tion was re­quired by any agency,” they said.

Po­lice in­ter­viewed the boy at his home in Lan­cashire

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