Anorak News | Lars Vilks, Mohammed cartoons and Batley is missing a teacher

Lars Vilks, Mohammed cartoons and Batley is missing a teacher

by | 6th, October 2021

Je suis charlie

Swedish artist Lars Vilks has died in a car crash. Vilks achieved an unenviable sort of fame – having sketched the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body in 2007, he was subjected to death threats. Al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 (£73,692) reward for his murder. The BBC responds to his death by asking: “Why does depicting the Prophet Muhammad cause offence?” It’s an interesting reads, and includes a few words about the British teacher who as far we know remains in hiding and in fear of his life for showing a class in Batley, West Yorkshire, an image depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad:

In Kirklees borough, where Batley Grammar School is located, the syllabus says children should be “give[n] reasons why visual representation of God and the prophets is forbidden (haram) in Islam,” by the end of Key Stage 2.

Pupils should also understand “key religious values including democracy, human rights, rule of law, secularism, freedom of expression and tolerance” – this is taught in Key Stage 3.

If they teach that, why then was the teacher suspended?

Is it everyone’s duty in a country that values free speech to cause offence – not to be rude for the sake of it, but to try to expand the human experience and challenge convention through a free and fair exchange of views?

Image: Pallbearers carry the casket of Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous, decorated by friends and colleagues of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, at the city hall of Montreuil, on the outskirts of Paris, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015

Posted: 6th, October 2021 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink