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Teacher at Mosque arrested following Channel 4 documentary

Documentary criticised as being "fodder" for EDL.

Police have arrested a man for alleged assaults on children at a mosque, following behaviour seen in a Channel 4 documentary shown on Monday.

Dispatches, Lessons on Hate and Violence showed footage of a man who appeared to be kicking and hitting children during lessons at a school in the Markazi Jamia mosque in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire Police have issued the following statement:

"We have recently become aware of a number of incidents of alleged assault at a mosque and just before the weekend were able to view edited footage of the alleged incident. One man has been arrested and released on police bail pending further inquiries. West Yorkshire police are receiving full co-operation from the Keighley Muslim Association who are working with us in support of the inquiry."

The documentary also showed a preacher at an Islamic school in Birmingham making offensive comments about non-Muslims.

The school has said it plans to close early for half-term, to prevent children being targetted by far right groups.

"What people will see in that clip is completely contrary to what we teach at the school about harmony and awareness of different faiths," said  headteacher Mujahid Aziz .

"Our concern now is for the safety of children and people coming to the mosque, because we are worried that some people will get completely the wrong impression once they have watched this programme."

The documentary has been criticised by John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley:

"If Channel 4 thinks this is a school where racism and intolerance is accepted in any way, they have got their facts seriously wrong. [The school] have already had hate mail, and now they are having to close for the safety of their pupils. This kind of documentary is ideal fodder for the [far-right] English Defence League. Channel 4 is putting the safety of children at risk by criticising a school which is doing its job properly."

However, Channel 4 have stood by the programme:

"This investigation, which is clearly in the public interest, shows secret footage of numerous adults on different occasions teaching pupils as young as 11 years of age contempt for other religions and wider society. We stand by our investigation and think the programme speaks for itself", said a spokesperson for the channel.

Tazeen Ahmad, a Dispatches reporter believes the footage is evidence of a "hardline, intolerant and highly antisocial version of Islam" taught in independent Islamic schools.

Channel 4 is aware of the arrest but does not plan to change the documentary.

This is not the first time that Dispatches has reported on alleged preaching of hate in mosques and Islamic centres.

A previous documentary reported on extremism in Birmingham mosques.

West Midlands police followed up what they saw in the documentary but found insufficient evidence to bring charges and complained to OfCom, who rejected their complaint.

The documentary makers subsequently won a libel case against the West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution service, who apologised for accusing them of distortion and paid them £100,000 in compensation.

The Department for Education have said that they cannot comment on individual cases but take any allegation of physical punishment or extremism very seriously.