Denmark: Self-censorship in educational system

Denmark: Self-censorship in educational system

(Google Books)

Danish students are taught about Islam from a book edited out of fear of threats and attacks, Allan Poulsen, religion teacher at Kolding Gymnasium and author of the book, wrote in the latest editor of Religion, the journal for gymnasiums (upper secondary schools) religion teachers.

The book "Islam debate - on terrorism, blasphemy and freedom of speech" has been used nationally since 2008, and deals with the 9/11 terror attack, the Islam-critical movie 'Submission' and the Muhammad cartoons of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten.

But the final version of the book does not have illustrations of either the movie or the cartoons.

Allan Poulsen removed a picture from the film from the book, the Systime publishing company asked him to change the book's original title and neither he nor the publisher wanted to show illustrations of the Muhammed cartoons.

The author says this led to a 'radical change' in the values that religious teachers work by.

"We've got a situation where you can be forced to consider if there's something you should be afraid of doing. It's something completely new, which arose since the Muhammed-crisis," he says.

Flemming Rose, culture editor for Jyllands-Posten and author of a book which will be published later this month and which includes the controversial Muhammed-cartoons, says this trend developed throughout society.

"His situation is one of an enormous amount of examples of self-censorship. We know that there are people are who ready to employ violence because of images or books they see as insulting. It's painful and distasteful to admit that you're giving in to violence and threats. But it's a problem which should be made public," says Flemming Rose.

Source: Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish)