A teacher was suspended from a municipal primary school in Molenbeek, Brussels, after showing a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed naked.
The teacher was teaching a class on civic spirit to sixth-grade pupils and passed around a tablet, reportedly asking pupils who took offence to look away.
The drawing in question was one by Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Coco, depicting the prophet on his knees and naked, with a yellow star on his buttocks and the words “A star is born” above it.
Parents of children in the class testified to school management about what had happened based on what their kids told them, according to Bruzz.
The municipality then suspended the teacher. Molenbeek mayor Catherine Moureaux underlined that “it is obviously not for having shown a caricature of Mohammed that he was, but for having shown obscenities to young pupils, some of whom are barely 10 years old,” Bx1 wrote.
The teacher’s suspension caught the attention of Georges-Louis Bouchez, president of the francophone liberal party MR.
“I hope this information is not accurate,” Bouchez tweeted. “If it is true, it would simply be unacceptable and intolerable. Freedom of expression is non-negotiable.”
Moureaux replied to his tweet, saying that under no circumstances should anyone show 10-year-olds anyone’s genitals, citing that as the only reason proceedings were started against the teacher.
Pour le collège, en aucun cas, personne n’a à montrer à des enfants de 10 ans les organes génitaux de qui que ce soit. C’est la seule raison pour laquelle une procédure est ouverte.
— Catherine Moureaux (@catmoureaux) October 30, 2020
The Brussels Times