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A teacher decapitated


NormanH
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"but which is never addressed for fear of reprisal." 

It is never addressed because politicians are afraid to tackle the subject except in an authoritarian way. In my opinion attacking people’s core beliefs will, in most cases, only reinforce them. This is why I think the teacher made a mistake in the way he tried to tackle the subject of the cartoons - he began by accepting that they were too offensive for some of his pupils to look at.

I can only say again, without condoning in any way what happened, that teacher should have considered more carefully what the point of his lesson was.
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Here is Agnès Poirier on this subject:

[url]https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/25/we-french-love-our-history-teachers-samuek-paty-made-us-remember-why[/url]

It gave me a deeper understanding of the national shock his murder has caused.

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[quote user="NormanH"] .............................................  A problem in France now is that a whole section of the population who are still smarting from having been expelled from Algeria in 1962 are seizing on this to justify their gut hatred for the winning side in that conflict. .......................................[/quote]

And another problem in France is that a whole section of Algerians can't forget the terrible atrocities by the French, in Algeria during the war there, and in France in 1961.

This is just a sequel to the first Charlie Hebdo attack.

EDIT: Speeches like that by your Mayor in Beziers don't really help much either.

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We underestimate the degree of fanaticism which is brainwashed into many Islamic kids from birth and the resulting absolutism which few manage to throw off in later life.

This is in absolute contrast to the questioning liberalism of l’état laïque which is anathema because it challenges the central power of the mosque which is all deciding and powerful. Democracy as we know it is alien to this culture.

Whilst I understand Hoddy’s careful gentler approach there seems little that can be done but to accept that there will always be nutters out there who are free with bomb and knife to impress their views. For their repression we must rely on the security services and accept that some degree of our freedom must be curtailed to enable them to do their work.

For an example of what theocracy means just look at Iran where opposition, even to wearing a veil too low can lead to serious consequences. Or Saudi where a group of school age girls trying to escape a burning dormitory building were forced back inside by the religious police because they had not had time to get into full letterbox mode.

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A problem, of course, is if you challenge one religion, you have to challenge them all. Which is why they all put up with the existence of each other.

Difficult to see how it will ever change, particularly with the churches so infiltrated within governments and international religious protection policy.
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I have kept off this thread until now because I jumped in too soon and a spat about it in a different place so I wanted to take a deep breath and let my thoughts fall into place before I approached it again.

Basically my view is:

I don't think the teacher should be criticised. He was giving a lesson about freedom of expression. He gave the students due warning of the topic. Freedom of expression is one of France's core values and it is important for young French people to understand it and come to terms with it in their own way. During their lives they will be exposed to all kinds of views, on social media or in publications and in other forms, and the teacher was trying to help them prepare for this. I think that it is good to get young people discussing, in a supervised classroom situation, issues such why freedom of expression is important and what the dangers are, where to draw the line between what's acceptable and what isn't, how people react when they feel the line has been overstepped. It is important for young people to learn about themselves and their own reactions. You also need to know when to walk away. Walking away would have been the correct thing for a Muslim to do if he or she felt they may be offended and I imagine the teacher put this to them. Unfortunately they didn't do that.

So I am solid with Macron on this, he has to defend freedom of expression because what good is a leader who does not defend his country's values.

As for what the answer is, I don't have a view. Of course it is easy to say, if a person does not like a country's values why did they choose to live there but that is not helpful at this stage. Macron seems to be hoping that education is the solution, hence curbing home schooling, but this incident doesn't bode well for that does it.

Some years ago I worked with an ex guardsman who hated all religion. Every time religion was mentioned he reacted really badly and at first I thought he was a nutter and I didn't have a lot of time for him. Gradually I found out where he had been sent on active service and that he had had a very bad experience and ended up with PTSD, he'd been invalided out of the army and spent a long time under counselling, learning anger management etc. After working with him for a season and having a few proper conversations with him I totally understood why he reacted as he did when religion was mentioned, he made me think about things in a way I hadn't before, you could say he opened my eyes, and I ended up with a lot of respect and sympathy for him. Sadly he committed suicide not long afterwards. In his early 30s. Because of what he'd been through, because the army sends kids out to do inhuman things, but basically, you could say, because of religion. RIP Shane, this rant was for you :-)
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Eurotrash - I’m sorry, but I just have to disagree with you. You write,

“He was giving a lesson about freedom of expression.”

I just can’t see how you can do this if you invite/allow some of them to leave before you start.

I have on occasion said something that a whole class would find really outrageous in order to make the point that as long as I was not advocating breaking the law, I was a free born English woman who could hold any opinion I wanted to.

I have no argument with defending our (UK and France) core values - they do seem to be under attack in the UK too though from a different quarter.

There would be little point in the UK in suggesting that people go back to their country of origin since many of them have been here for two or three generations.

In my opinion we ought to be teaching all our children to live as law abiding citizens and explain why they have to pay taxes, for example.

I would like our science teachers to tackle the problem of consanguineous marriages.

I would want the equality of women taught in all lessons.

Like your ex-guardsman friend I have little time for religion because I am heavily influenced by personal experience. I had to identify the body of a former pupil who was the victim of an ‘honour’ killing because no-one from her community would do it.
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Hoddy wrote: " I’m sorry, but I just have to disagree with you. You write,

“He was giving a lesson about freedom of expression.”

I just can’t see how you can do this if you invite/allow some of them to leave before you start."

Well I suppose my response to this is in my comment that part of the lesson for young people to learn is, to know their limitations and their flashpoints and to know when to walk away.

To use a trivial example, quite often on forums I read threads and think, OK it's better that I don't get involved. In this particular case I have seen the title and for several days I have avoided reading it.

I think we can take it that this was not their first or only lesson on freedom of expression and the teacher perversely decided to go in cold and show them this cartoon. The class would have already been exploring the topic in previous lessons. This would have been an opportunity for some to explore further.

I believe it's not unusual for students to be warned in advance when the teacher is planning to use challenging content, such as showing a film that contains violence or deals with a sensitive topic like sexual abuse, so that they can decide for themselves or discuss with their parents whether they should give it a miss. Some class members will benefit from being exposed to the material and reflecting on it afterwards, some will find it too distressing or too close to home to be objective about it.

I am sorry I can't do links but this page explains why it is important to include liberty of expression in the French curriculum, and outlines various ways in which kids are encouraged to reflect on it. I found it interesting and I think it helps put this horrible incident into perspective. The teacher was not going outside the curriculum, he was doing his job..

https://eduscol.education.fr/cid154212/la-liberte-d-expression.html#:~:text=La%20libert%C3%A9%20d'expression%20est%20consacr%C3%A9e%20parmi%20les%20%22droits%20naturels,opinions%20est%20un%20des%20droits
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Hoddy wrote: " I’m sorry, but I just have to disagree with you. You write,

“He was giving a lesson about freedom of expression.”

I just can’t see how you can do this if you invite/allow some of them to leave before you start."

Well I suppose my response to this is in my comment that part of the lesson for young people to learn is, to know their limitations and their flashpoints and to know when to walk away.

To use a trivial example, quite often on forums I read threads and think, OK it's better that I don't get involved. In this particular case I have seen the title and for several days I have avoided reading it.

I think we can take it that this was not their first or only lesson on freedom of expression and the teacher perversely decided to go in cold and show them this cartoon. The class would have already been exploring the topic in previous lessons. This would have been an opportunity for some to explore further.

I believe it's not unusual for students to be warned in advance when the teacher is planning to use challenging content, such as showing a film that contains violence or deals with a sensitive topic like sexual abuse, so that they can decide for themselves or discuss with their parents whether they should give it a miss. Some class members will benefit from being exposed to the material and reflecting on it afterwards, some will find it too distressing or too close to home to be objective about it.

I am sorry I can't do links but this page explains why it is important to include liberty of expression in the French curriculum, and outlines various ways in which kids are encouraged to reflect on it. I found it interesting and I think it helps put this horrible incident into perspective. The teacher was not going outside the curriculum, he was doing his job..

@Nomoss yes I know what you are saying but in a sense that would have negated the entire lessons wouldn't it. The whole point of freedom is expression is that you should not feel you cannot express a certain view for fear that you might offend somebody
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[quote user="EuroTrash"]  ................  Nomoss yes I know what you are saying but in a sense that would have negated the entire lessons wouldn't it. The whole point of freedom is expression is that you should not feel you cannot express a certain view for fear that you might offend somebody[/quote]

That doesn't apply to most forums.

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Two articles that I find interesting

1)

which mentions

"le délit de blasphème n’existe pas."

"tout citoyen peut donc parler, écrire, imprimer librement, sauf à répondre de l'abus de cette liberté dans les cas déterminés par la loi."

 When the offence of 'blasphmous libel'  was held  still  stand, although it  was later abolished in 2008

What these suggest to me is that there is no absolute right to freedom of expression, since it can be forbidden by the law of the time in a particular country.

This has been exploited by some powerful pressure groups who have managed  to make certain opinions illegal:
racist , sexist anti-homosexual  comments can be punished by the law, and  one can say that 'so they should be', but this underlines the fact that there  are constraints on the  freedom of expression and  that those limits change according to fashion.
In France at the moment blasphemy is ok

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Thank you for the links Norman, interesting reading.

My understanding was that the line is drawn between criticising a concept and criticising an individual. So you have the right say that Catholcism is a hypocritical religion but you do not have the right to tell a person he is a hypocrite because he is a Catholic. You can say you think transgenderism is a perversion but you cannot call a person a perv because they are trans. You say Conservativism is *** (insert your own) but you cannot say a person is *** because he is a Tory. How you criticise a race without criticising people of that race I cannot think but maybe you can. But basically, hate the sin but love the sinner.

I guess if you follow these lines it should be possible to criticise slavery without vilifying those who were involved in it and pulling down their statues?

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