A new proposal in Denmark could result in the Charlie Hebdo shooting and cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad being taught in schools.
The country’s opposition leaders are in agreement that the controversial cartoons first printed in Jyllands-Posten newspaper should appear in school textbooks, The Washington Post reports. Both the Conservative People's Party and Danish People's Party, the latter commanding the third-largest level of support in Denmark, have voiced their support for the idea.
”It would be natural for the cartoons to become part of the material that the teachers can choose to use," Conservative People’s Party spokeswoman Mai Mercado told DR Nyheder.
Jyllands-Posten first sparked controversy in September 2005 after publishing a series of 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, including one particularly controversial image showing the prophet wearing a bomb in place of a turban. While the cartoons inspired many artists – including some working at Charlie Hebdo – to draw their own Muhammad cartoons, the newspaper encountered a backlash, as well. Since then, the newspaper has received a number of death threats.
While the two parties both agree that teaching about the attacks is important, their support comes in varying degrees.The Conservative People’s Party believes that teachers should be free to choose whether or not to reprint the cartoons in textbooks and that they should be taught in history class. The Danish People’s Party believes the teaching of the cartoons should be mandatory, and that the subject should be part of religious studies, according to The Post..
There are already reportedly many Danish schools that teach courses using the cartoons in the latter years of secondary schools, although it is not obligatory.
Dennis Hornhave Jacobsen, president of the Danish Association of History and Social Studies Teachers, believes teaching the cartoons in class is a bad idea because “it could end any real discussion about the nature of freedom of expression, because there are children in schools who believe the Muhammad cartoons are objectionable and the discussion will stop there.”
Additionally, Claus Hjortdal of Denmark's Headmaster Association told the BBC that he believes publishing the images will lead to bullying.
"One can easily talk about it without showing the images," he said.