At the weekend Lale Akgün was gripped by fear. She had just learned of the murder of the French teacher Samuel Paty by Islamists. His crime: He had dared to show cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed in a classroom.
The federal spokeswoman of the network of Secular Social Democrats wanted to know whether teachers in Germany were also threatened or intimidated by Islamists. And asked this question via Facebook. Yes, they are – answered about 50 teachers within hours. They talked about pupils who “want to suppress diversity of opinion in the classroom with verbal violence” and “threaten teachers openly or covertly”, reports the Cologne Social Democrat. These pupils were “thoroughly shaped by a patriarchal world view, which they want to underpin with Islamic arguments”. Akgün was shocked.In a conversation with the newspaper WELT, Akgün quoted several letters addressed to her. In one of them, the teacher of a comprehensive school in North Rhine-Westphalia reported that there was “daily terror” there. This was caused by Muslim pupils who used their religion as justification for violence. A fortnight ago, a colleague had been slapped by one of these boys, beating of Muslim pupils with alleged infidels had become “standard practice” and insults of teachers “below the belt everyday”. But the school management fears that such descriptions could “bring the school into disrepute”. Akgün asked several of these teachers whether they were prepared and willing to report to the public. But they refused. Out of fear.The national chairman of the German Teachers’ Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, warned that there are attempts to “hinder teachers in their task of imparting values and democracy”. Intimidated teachers felt pressure from Muslim pupils and parents.According to Klaus Spenlen, the associations of the Coordinating Council of Muslims (KRM) even incite pupils to conflicts which have one main goal: they should “create a common identity for all Muslim pupils by separating them from the non-Muslim environment”. In addition, they cooperated “in case of doubt rather with fundamentalist groups like neo-Salafism than with liberal political movements”.