Survey: Norwegian teachers are afraid of showing Muhammad caricatures to students

Teacher - classPhoto: Taylor Wilcox / Unsplash

Almost half of all surveyed teachers in Norway find it demanding to teach students about topics that may be offensive. One in three is afraid to show caricatures of Muhammad.

“Several teachers at my school have previously shown caricatures during classes. None of us want to show them now,” professor Kjersti Marie Heldaas at Nøtterøy upper secondary school told the trade magazine Utdanningsnytt.

In mid-October, the French teacher Samuel Paty was killed after showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a teaching program on freedom of expression. 

The incident shook teachers all over Europe, including Norway.

Afraid of the consequences

More than 230 Norwegian teachers participated in a new survey.

One in three answered that they are quite or very much afraid of the consequences of showing Muhammad caricatures during classes.

“It’s serious that it’s like that. At the same time, it is not surprising,” leader of the Education Association Steffen Handal said.

At the same time, one in four says that they have avoided raising issues during classes because they were worried about offending some of the students. 

Topics that they find offensive may include religion, sexuality, suicide, and Islam. 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

1 Comment on "Survey: Norwegian teachers are afraid of showing Muhammad caricatures to students"

  1. I personally consider Islam to be a deadly ideological threat to Western liberal values and society, but I teach my children to be *kind*, courteous, and considerate to *everyone* – to be “Christian” in the existential sense – regardless of their race, religion, politics, or other preferences.

    If Norwegian teachers haven’t been showing caricatures of Jesus Christ as part of approved curriculum, they shouldn’t be showing such of Muhammad either. That’s just throwing bensin on a fire.

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