Samuel Paty did what all teachers should do in the face of extreme forces: Invite critical reflection.
This is a leader. The editorial expresses Bergens Tidende’s publicist idea: A party-politically independent, independent, liberal and bourgeois (non-socialist) newspaper.
Friday it was 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty beheaded in a suburb outside Paris. The background is that he showed controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the teaching, to teach the students about freedom of speech.
The assassination is a terrible reminder of the bestial methods extremists use to fight fundamental democratic values. May the answer be that we never allow ourselves to be gagged.
The killed teacher in France was threatened online
An 18-year-old Chechen eis suspected of the murder. He was found equipped with a knife and softgun, and was shot and killed by police on the spot.
In the leadership position, the newspaper Le Monde summarizes the case very precisely:
“A man is killed in a primitive and medieval way, because he incorporated the freedom to think, express, write and draw in teaching. This freedom must be learned. It is one of the fundamental values of our country, our history, identity and culture, and it is under attack.
Frankrikes president Emmanuel Macron has called the killing an Islamist terrorist attack.
However, a subsequent debate on political strategies and action plans to combat radical Islamism does not shake the fact that the execution is fundamentally an attack on freedom of expression.
Samuel Paty did exactly what teachers around the world should do in the face of extreme forces and divisive issues: open to critical conversation and reflection.
After the cartoons became a topic in the teaching, the teacher must have been exposed to a pure campaign.
Parents demanded that he be fired. The school received threats. Both the school’s address and a video claiming the prophet had been violated were posted on social media.
Minister of Education and Integration Guri Melby (V) calls the murder “an attack on all teachers and school staff who inform and challenge their students every day”.
But dealing with such pressure can never be up to the individual teacher alone.
The Minister of Education emphasizes that the very backbone of an enlightened society is our teachers, journalists, researchers, writers, artists and all who impart knowledge and who enable us to think for ourselves.
That is correct. All good forces must work together. But the ultimate responsibility rests with the state authorities.
The authorities must ensure that knowledge of the pillars of democracy becomes part of basic education and public discourse.
In Norway, the new school subject “life skills” is on the way. Freedom of expression and the ability to tolerate disagreement must be an important part of this.