London: An eight-year-old boy in the UK was questioned by authorities after teachers at his school became suspicious of his t-shirt slogan, mistaking a revered Islamic figure for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The boy has been left traumatised by his run-in with social services after he wore a t-shirt which read “I want to be like Abu Bakr al-Siddique” a major Islamic figure comparable to St Peter in the Christian faith – to his East London school, and is reluctant to go back.
The teachers confused the name with the leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Daily Express reported.
It is also claimed the boy told his friends his father had a “secret job”, which was later discovered to be selling nail polish and he branded it “secret” because he sold the products on eBay and did not publicise it.
He was referred to social services under the government’s anti-terror prevent strategy, where teachers report suspicious activity suggesting radicalisation.
The mother of the eight-year-old said social services had marked down the incident as a “caution” against her son despite there being no evidence he had been radicalised.
“It is time for the government to acknowledge that the Prevent strategy is infringing the human rights of children across the UK, said Yasmine Ahmed, director of Rights Watch UK.
“Children should be encouraged to learn and grow, to express their views and have them challenged, and to value the fundamental rights that allow them to do so,” she said.
“A strategy that undermines these rights and alienates vulnerable children is counter-productive and inconsistent with the very ‘British values’ that the Government is supposedly promoting.
“It is time for the Prevent strategy to be abolished,” Ahmed added. The gaffe is not the first time Prevent has targeted children. In March a four-year-old was quizzed under the strategy after he mispronounced the word “cucumber” as “cooker bomb”.