En 13 år gammel skoleelev, Darius Gill, skrev en hyllest til falne britiske soldater på Våpenhviledagen. Det likte en gruppe muslimske medelever dårlig og de organiserte en hatkampanje mot ham på internett, og planla et skikkelig oppgjør med ham på skolen påfølgende mandag. Kniver og slåsshansker ble nevnt.
Bare tilfeldigheter gjorde at guttens mor kom til å se Facebook-postene, og fikk holdt ham tilbake. Skolens rektor sier Facebook volder dem stadig mer bry.
Saken har flere betenkelige sider: en av guttens forfedre falt i slaget ved Somme under første verdenskrig. I Storbritannia er våpenhviledagen en stor ting. Svært mange går med symbolet – en valmueblomst – på jakkeslaget. Men gjengen bak Muslim Defence League mente at det var rasistisk; han måtte også minnes dagens muslimske falne.
Skolen hvor Darius Gill går er 65 prosent muslimsk. Hvor lett blir det å markere ikke-muslimske dager og høytider i fremtiden? Hvor mange tør ta sjansen på det? Selv om guttene i dette tilfellet ble tatt.
En annen side er hvordan sider som Facebook lar hatet fra muslimer flyte fritt, mens hat den andre veien ofte rapporteres og vedkommende får kontoen slettet. Det er samme problematikk som med Anwar al-Awlakis hatprekener på youtube. Vesten lar deres egne kommunikasjoner blir brukt til å ødelegge vestlige samfunn. Det er et langsomt selvmord. Mens det er stor ståhei om misbruk av ytringsfriheten hvis en dansk tegner lager en uskyldig karikatur, eller noen tegner profeten som en bjørn.
Five Muslim boys and white girl, all 12, excluded over Facebook death threats to classmate who supported British troops
By CLAIRE ELLICOTT
A 13-year-old boy who penned an online Remembrance Day tribute to Britain’s fallen soldiers was subjected to a vicious hate campaign by fellow pupils.
A gang of 12-year-old pupils made up of five Muslim boys and one non-Muslim girl made death threats to Darius Gill involving knives and knuckle-dusters because of his support for British troops.
One member of the gang also posted a picture of himself holding a rifle and threatened to hijack a plane.
The campaign was backed by more pupils belonging to a self-styled ‘Muslim Defence League’ celebrating British deaths in Afghanistan.
The abuse was so serious that police are now investigating.
On November 11, Darius – whose father is Asian – wrote on Facebook: ‘RIP to all the lads who never made it home.’
He also posted two pictures showing British troops on Armistice Day.
He was then branded ‘racist’ and two of the accused pupils began a flurry of online messages to each other setting out what they were going to do to him.
One wrote to Darius on Facebook criticising him for failing to acknowledge the dead Muslim soldiers in the Middle East.
Darius explained that Remembrance Day honoured British troops and pointed out that he was paying tribute to his great-great uncle, who died aged only 17 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
The students attend the 1,250-pupil Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry. Muslim pupils make up 65 per cent of the school, which caters for children aged 11-18.
The main six pupils, none of whom can be named for legal reasons, have now been suspended and may be expelled over their chilling threats.
One of the online messages – which were littered with spelling mistakes – read: ‘Fight on Monday gonna be heavy knuckle dusters and knifes hopefully I don’t die.’
Another pupil added: ‘ill bang [attack] him ma slef [myself] am a terrorist.’
The children were excluded from the Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry following the Facebook bullying campaign
One pupil’s Facebook profile is full of chilling references to Islamic fundamentalism and shows a picture of him posing with an AK47 rifle.
He also penned a terrifying poem about hijacking a plane.
On November 12, he wrote: ‘You better watch what the **** flies outta ya mouth. Or I’ma hijack a plane and fly it into your house.
‘Burn your apartment with your family tied to the couch. And slit your throat, so when you scream, only blood comes out.’
Other pupils from the Muslim Defence League added comments condemning Darius.
Fortunately, Darius’s mother Clare Allington read the comments on her son’s Facebook page on Monday morning – the day of the promised attack – and immediately pulled her son out of school.
Yesterday, Mrs Allington, 42, a mature student from Coventry, said: ‘I logged on and it broke my heart. I was reading all sorts about knuckle-dusters, knives and death.
‘They were planning to attack him at school that day so I rang the school straight away.’
She added that she usually keeps an eye on her son’s posts on Facebook every day but had not done so last weekend. She only read them on Monday.
She added: ‘If I hadn’t read the threats and pulled my son out of school he could be dead.
‘They might just be schoolchildren but they are fanatical and dangerous. The threats have to be taken seriously.’
Even yesterday, one of the yobs bragged about being quizzed by police and continued his online threats to attack Darius. He wrote: ‘Im in trouble wiv de police cuz of susspician of threat to Darius … Im banggin Darius Thursday.’
He goes on to say he wants a one-on-one fight and demands that no one defends Darius.
Yesterday Darius said he was now too frightened to wear a poppy and claims he has been picked on at school because he is not Muslim.
Mrs Allington added: ‘My son wrote supporting the British troops in Afghanistan and also said he was sad so many soldiers had died.
‘The so-called Muslim Defence League, which has been set up in the school by a number of pupils, believe that Darius should join them in hating British soldiers. It’s appalling and extremely upsetting for Darius.’
Sidney Stringer Academy’s principal, Wendy Thomas, said Facebook was an increasing concern for schools. She said the children have been told to remove the comments from the site.
She said: ‘Darius is the victim of bullying. All the students involved have told me they did not mean what they said but they will learn a hard lesson from this.
‘Facebook is a big concern for schools and we urge all parents to monitor what their children say on the site. As soon as the school was notified about the comments on Monday we interviewed the pupils.
‘No weapons were found on any of the pupils. We notified the police and they are investigating.’