UK student disqualified after 'over-righteous' examiner mistook vegetarianism for Islamophobia

A vegetarian student in the UK was disqualified from her GCSEs after an examiner misjudged her criticism of halal meat in a Religious Studies paper as Islamophobia.

Abigail Ward, 16, was accused of a "malpractice offence" for writing "obscene racial comments" during the June examination at Gildredge House school in Eastbourne, East Sussex. 

In her test, the vegetarian pupil expressed her belief that halal meat is "absolutely disgusting", reports the Telegraph.

The school appealed against the penalisation made by exam board OCR, claiming their student had not made Islamophobic or racist comments and merely conveyed her aversion to halal butchers.

Ward's disqualification has since been overturned after the board were informed of her strict vegetarian principles. 

Ward's mother told the Telegraph the misunderstanding was likely caused by an "overzealous, over-righteous" examiner. She reiterated her daughter is a very dedicated vegetarian and an animal lover.

"OCR takes all incidence of suspected offensive material against a religious group in exams very seriously and must apply rules which are set out for all exam boards in such cases," the exam board said in a statement.

"We accept that initially we did not reach the right conclusion and were too harsh."