Denmark: how to teach about the cartoon controversy?

On 10 May the Danish parliament will vote on a bill regulating how the topic of the 2005/06 Muhammad cartoon controversy is dealt with in schools. The Muhammad cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten newspaper in which the Islamic prophet was among other things depicted as a terrorist sparked a wave of indignation among Muslims. A wave of diplomatic upheaval, extremist agitation, violent protests, republications and finallly terrorist attacks ensued.

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Berlingske (DK) /

No taboos in a healthy democracy

For Berlingske the regulation is indispensable:

“It is crucial for a healthy democracy that pressure [by Islamists] should be rejected. ... It is therefore urgent to note that we must of course be free to teach about Islam and about the 2005-2006 international crisis surrounding the Muhammad cartoons, at the centre of which was Denmark. ... These are sensible measures that ensure an academically relevant focus on a historically formative crisis - and also make it easier for schools and teachers to show the controversial drawings, because they can point to the fact that these lessons are a mandatory component of the curriculum.”

Weekendavisen (DK) /

Fearless against Islamist ideology

Weekendavisen also supports the proposed legislation:

“We are not obsessed with or at open war with our fellow Muslim citizens, but there are Islamists who have embarked on an ideological campaign of conquest in Denmark, intimidating democratically minded Muslims, good Danish teachers and other good people. ... If we don't want to lose ourselves, we must demonstrate democratic fearlessness - also in parliament - by teaching our own history and values, not least for the sake of democratically minded Muslims and our shared future.”