Endangered Rotterdam teacher is in hiding because of cartoon in classroom

Endangered Rotterdam teacher is in hiding because of cartoon in classroom
Endangered Rotterdam teacher is in hiding because of cartoon in classroom

The cartoon by Joep Bertrams that gave rise to threats.Image Dutch Height / ANP

This reports NRC Handelsblad Thursday. Sources in contact with the school confirm the news opposite de Volkskrant.

On Monday, Muslim girls demanded that the cartoon, which had been hanging in the teacher’s classroom for five years, be removed, according to NRC. It is a cartoon by illustrator Joep Bertrams, showing a decapitated man wearing a shirt from the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo sticking his tongue out at a bearded man with a bloody knife.

According to the newspaper, the girls accused the teacher of blasphemy. The teacher then explained that the man with the knife was not the prophet, but a jihadist.

Extremely serious

Later that day, photos of the bulletin board with the cartoon appeared on Instagram and . It was incorrectly stated that it was ‘a cartoon of the prophet’ that the teacher allegedly hung to provoke. The photo was widely shared, after which the teacher was threatened online.

The police reported on Tuesday that they are taking the threats ‘extremely seriously’. A spokesperson late Thursday to questions from de Volkskrant know not to be able to provide further information about the case.

‘It’s terrible that a teacher has to go into hiding after a lesson on freedom of expression’, Minister Arie Slob (Education) writes on Twitter on Thursday. ‘This is completely unacceptable, the police and the education inspectorate are on top of it. We stand firmly behind this teacher. ‘

Non-negotiable

Politicians in the House of Representatives also express their horror. “Terrible and unacceptable,” says PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher. ‘Freedom is non-negotiable. Hitzers must be dealt with. There is no room for Islamist extremists who indoctrinate young people with hatred. ‘

PVV leader Geert Wilders calls on people to follow the example of the teacher. ‘Support the teacher in hiding! Post a Mohammed cartoon! We will not be intimidated! ‘ he says on Twitter.

Member of parliament Rudmer Heerema of the VVD finds it ‘unacceptable’ that the teacher is in hiding ‘and that the students concerned can simply go to school’.

D66 MP Paul van Meenen writes on Twitter that in the years that he worked in education he was also threatened and had to go into hiding. Teachers are at the forefront of teaching us to deal with diversity and freedom of expression. Administration, school, parents and politics must act and stand around this teacher. ‘

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