A MAN involved in the protests at a Birmingham primary school has been criticised for his language during one of the rallies.
The man, referred to as the “imam from Batley” is said to have shouted “there are paedophiles in there” outside Anderton Park school during a protest, a High Court hearing was told on Wednesday (16).
Lead protester Shakeel Afsar said he had not met the Imam before he turned up for the protest, nor had he personally invited him.
Afsar, 32, a property developer, told the court it “took me a couple of seconds to realise what he was saying.
“What he is saying is diabolically wrong. I did not invite him or endorse him. I do not endorse what he is saying. I was doing as much as I could to get him off the microphone.”
Afsar was questioned on the third day of a high school hearing to decide whether an exclusion zone banning protests outside Anderton Park Primary school should be made permanent.
Video footage of one of the largest protests outside the school showed the Imam holding up an image of a gingerbread man with genitals.
He is heard shouting that the school had an anal sex and paedophilia “agenda” and called for mass protests, saying there was a need to show “Muslims are not asleep” on this issue.
Highlighting some of the other comments made by the Imam, Jonathan Manning QC, representing Birmingham city council, said he had described the school’s headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson as “shatani” (devilish).
During the hearing, Afsar was also accused of inflaming tensions between parents and the school.
Manning said Afsar and a small number of parents “decided to adopt a wholly confrontational approach that was not conciliatory in the slightest”.
The hearing continues.