Teachers told to censor themselves in Germany

Teachers told to censor themselves in Germany

Because of the attacks on teachers who have showin Muhammad caricatures to their students, Hessen s Ministry of Education has advised professors to avoid discussing the topic in class, as it can have a radicalising effect on students.

WORLD APRIL 23. 2021 13:14

The cultural ministry of Hessen warns teachers that showing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad can be dangerous. The letter, sent to the directors of the approximately 1800 schools of the German state, contains suggestions based on the recommendations of the State Office of Criminal Investigations, Die Welt writes.

The warning was issued half a year after history teacher Samuel Paty was brutally murdered in France last October. Mr Paty held a discussion with his students about the Muhammad caricatures before he was killed.

The state ministry then called on schools to join the educational minister s initiative to commemorate the beheaded teacher with a one-minute silence and to stand up for tolerance and an open society.

Now, however, teachers are asked to exercise self-censorship. The warning letter says that „showing the Muhammad caricatures or any visual representation of the Prophet Muhammad could be perceived as an attitude critical of Islam that could induce different feelings in students and could even have a mobilising and radicalising effect on students in some groups, in certain circumstances”.

Teachers are indeed under a lot of pressure, said the head of the Bavarian teachers  association, adding that their concerns have multiplied since the murdering of Samuel Paty.

„Fear is there,” Simone Fleischmann said, explaining that there s a growing tend among teachers to simply ignore or avoid the topic, as well as any discussion about the Muhammad cartoons or other issues related to the prophet.   

The ministry s recommendations have received a number of criticism.

Migration researcher Ruud Koopmanns has described the ministry s recommendations as a mockery of the memory of Samuel Paty and other victims, as they appear to reward the perpetrators motives by promoting intolerance towards any criticism of faith. Susanne Schroter, an Islamic scholar based in Frankfurt, has described the ministry s letter as an unacceptable surrender to political Islam. 

In response to the criticism, the cultural ministry stressed that it is important to prevent problems, pointing out that even during the one-minute silence dedicated to the Samuel Paty s memory, there were some incidents in Berlin and Lower Saxony as certain students who agreed with the killing of Mr Paty expressed their incomprehension, and threatened with violence.



censure, germany, Islam, mohammed