Within the Netherlands, a Cartoon in College Results in On-line Threats and an Arrest


A month after a instructor in France was beheaded for displaying caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his class, fears are rising within the Netherlands that the ripple results of the assault are spreading in that nation.

On Friday, an 18-year-old lady within the Dutch metropolis of Rotterdam was arrested on suspicion of creating on-line threats towards a highschool instructor who had displayed in his classroom a cartoon supporting Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper that had initially printed the Muhammad caricatures.

Native media on Thursday reported that one other instructor was threatened after he confirmed a cartoon depicting Muhammad throughout a category about free speech at a highschool within the metropolis of Den Bosch.

“Actions in relation to freedom of speech in faculties in Rotterdam and Den Bosch have led to unrest and even threats,” two Dutch training ministers wrote in a letter to Parliament to register their dismay. “To intimidate and threaten academics can’t be tolerated in any means,” the ministers, Arie Slob and Ingrid van Engelshoven, wrote.

On the heart of the incident on the Emmauscollege highschool in Rotterdam was an image of a cartoon posted on a classroom wall by a instructor a number of years in the past that was shared on social media. The cartoon depicted a decapitated particular person sporting a shirt labeled “Charlie Hebdo” protruding his tongue at a bearded man holding a sword, with the phrase “immortal” under it, in keeping with the Dutch newspaper NRC.

Joep Bertrams, a Dutch political cartoonist, drew the cartoon in January 2015, when Charlie Hebdo was focused by assailants angered by its caricatures of Muhammad in a terrorist assault in Paris that killed 12 individuals.

Photos of the cartoon within the Rotterdam classroom had been posted on Instagram and Snapchat, and circulated amongst college students, attracting some indignant consideration. “If this isn’t eliminated shortly then we’re going to cope with this otherwise,” learn a caption underneath one image that confirmed the cartoon within the classroom on Instagram.

It was not clear if this remark concerned the 18-year-old lady who was arrested, however not named, because the authorities didn’t specify the character of the risk she is accused of creating. The publish has been deleted, however was pictured as a screengrab within the Dutch media.

The lady was arrested on suspicion of getting posted a message on social media that “incited others to commit prison offenses towards the college and instructor,” the police stated.

The incident got here after Dutch faculties held memorials on Monday for Samuel Paty, the instructor who was killed in France final month.

The incidents in France and the Netherlands underline the rising tensions between governments within the area which are taking a tough line on points similar to free speech, and their many voters of Muslim religion who’ve discovered materials just like the caricatures produced by Charlie Hebdo and the language used to defend them deeply offensive.

After Mr. Paty’s killing, French authorities waged a crackdown towards Muslim people and teams that has unsettled many in the neighborhood. President Emmanuel Macron’s inside minister, a hard-line right-wing politician who as soon as instructed that Islam wanted to be “completely assimilated to the Republic,” has been the main determine in that effort.

In a letter to folks on Tuesday, Emmauscollege highschool stated “the context across the cartoon utterly disappeared” because it was circulated on social media. NRC reported that some college students on the college, which incorporates numerous Muslims, mistakenly believed that the cartoon depicted Muhammad.

“The consequence is that threats had been made,” the letter stated. “We discover these threats unacceptable.”

In an interview, Mr. Bertrams, the Dutch cartoonist, stated his drawings depicted a terrorist, not Muhammad.

“I act towards fanatics inside a faith that do issues that I don’t agree with,” Mr. Bertrams stated about his cartoons. “I by no means drew cartoons of the prophet, and I suppose I’ll by no means do, even when I may, as a result of I respect faith.”

In Rotterdam, the police elevated surveillance round Emmauscollege, and Dutch officers urged academics to report any threats or intimidation.

The threats have alarmed officers within the Netherlands for his or her similarities with the occasions that took a lethal flip in France final month.

Mr. Paty, a 47-year-old history teacher, confronted a backlash from offended college students after he confirmed the Charlie Hebdo caricatures in a category on freedom of expression. Mr. Paty later apologized, however an indignant father complained about him in movies he uploaded on social media. An 18-year-old teenager who noticed the movies went on Oct. 16 to the middle school the place Mr. Paty taught, and killed him on the street after he left college.

“What occurred in France has gathered quite a lot of consideration, we’re taking these threats very critically,” stated Lillian van Duijvenbode, a spokeswoman for the Rotterdam police.

Dutch media and Mr. Slob, one of many training ministers who wrote a letter to Parliament, stated the instructor in Rotterdam, who has not been named, had gone into hiding. Emmauscollege refused to touch upon the instructor, and the police declined to touch upon his whereabouts.

Officers in France stated a core pillar of the nation, its public training system, had been focused by the assault on Mr. Paty. And authorities there in addition to within the Netherlands and different international locations have vowed to defend freedom of expression, encouraging academics to debate the killing of Mr. Paty with their college students.

For the reason that assault, French authorities have reported a number of different associated incidents. Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French training minister, stated a minute of silence held in reminiscence of Mr. Paty in French faculties on Monday had been disturbed on quite a few events. And earlier this week, a instructor in a Paris suburb filed a grievance after she stated she heard a person threatening to “avenge the Prophet” and goal academics close to a main college.

Rens Goedknegt, a historical past instructor at a highschool within the Dutch metropolis of Haarlem, stated Mr. Paty’s killing and the incident in Rotterdam had been mentioned broadly at his college.

He stated that he had talked about Mr. Paty’s homicide together with his college students and that quite a lot of them discovered “it exhausting to know why such a cartoon can be hurtful.” However, he added, “it was a superb view into how different children would have discovered it offensive.”

Mr. Bertram, the cartoonist, stated caricatures wanted to be contextualized when confirmed to college students. The attacker he represented in 2015, he stated, was lined in black, a clothes harking back to these worn by Islamic State fighters who had been making headlines on the time.

“A cartoon could be very helpful to clarify issues in societies, as a result of its simplicity makes it very straightforward to know it,” Mr. Bertrams stated. “The hazard is, due to the simplicity, misunderstanding may also occur very simply.”

Fixed Méheut contributed reporting from Paris.