08 February, 2006

Professor sacked for displaying blasphemous drawings in class

Khaleej Times Online

Quote:
The reason for the termination of Prof Claudia Keyboars was that she displayed the blasphemous cartoons before female students during a class lecture.

29 comments:

Keefieboy said...

Would it have been OK if the students had been male?

clayfuture said...

She would've been sacked even if the students were male. I wonder what was her reason to show those drawings. Maybe she was making a stand for freedom of expression - just plain stupid!

John B. Chilton said...

Perhaps the incentives were right. Will she get the same end of service payment as she would have if she completed the term of her contract?

Selective Freedom said...

Although i agreed with SD not to post this but since the issu has come again..here is FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,1703500,00.html?gusrc=ticker-103704
>

Danish paper rejected Jesus cartoons

Gwladys Fouché
Monday February 6, 2006


Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have caused a storm of protest throughout the Islamic world, refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ, it has emerged today.
The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.

In April 2003, Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted a series of unsolicited cartoons dealing with the resurrection of Christ to Jyllands-Posten.

Zieler received an email back from the paper's Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, which said: "I don't think Jyllands-Posten's readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them."

The illustrator said: "I see the cartoons as an innocent joke, of the type that my Christian grandfather would enjoy."

"I showed them to a few pastors and they thought they were funny."

But the Jyllands-Posten editor in question, Mr Kaiser, said that the case was "ridiculous to bring forward now. It has nothing to do with the Muhammad cartoons.

"In the Muhammad drawings case, we asked the illustrators to do it. I did not ask for these cartoons. That's the difference," he said.

"The illustrator thought his cartoons were funny. I did not think so. It would offend some readers, not much but some."

The decision smacks of "double-standards", said Ahmed Akkari, spokesman for the Danish-based European Committee for Prophet Honouring, the umbrella group that represents 27 Muslim organisations that are campaigning for a full apology from Jyllands-Posten.

"How can Jyllands-Posten distinguish the two cases? Surely they must understand," Mr Akkari added.

Meanwhile, the editor of a Malaysian newspaper resigned over the weekend after printing one of the Muhammad cartoons that have unleashed a storm of protest across the Islamic world.

Malaysia's Sunday Tribune, based in the remote state of Sarawak, on Borneo island, ran one of the Danish cartoons on Saturday. It is unclear which one of the 12 drawings was reprinted.

Printed on page 12 of the paper, the cartoon illustrated an article about the lack of impact of the controversy in Malaysia, a country with a majority Muslim population.

The newspaper apologised and expressed "profound regret over the unauthorised publication", in a front page statement on Sunday.

"Our internal inquiry revealed that the editor on duty, who was responsible for the same publication, had done it all alone by himself without authority in compliance with the prescribed procedures as required for such news," the statement said.

The editor, who has not been named, regretted his mistake, apologised and tendered his resignation, according to the statement.

· To contact the MediaGuardian newsdesk email editor@mediaguardian.co.uk or phone 020 7239 9857

secretdubai said...

Please can you not post entire articles? It is copyright infringement. Post a link, and a quote. If it's a really, really short article (like three paragraphs) then it can be appropriate to quote the whole thing, but not like the above, do it like this:

Danish paper rejected Jesus cartoons

Gwladys Fouché
Monday February 6, 2006

Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have caused a storm of protest throughout the Islamic world, refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ, it has emerged today.

The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.

Anonymous said...

well i did mention source and link!!!!

i am not well versed in HTML like u are..thanks anyways

CG said...

She is lucky it had not happened 20 years ago. I wouldn't worry if she is going to get her end of service payment. I would be more worried (If I were her) if I was going to get out at all. We have some nice resorts here in the UAE where she can take a well DESERVED rest for her total stupidity. How she became a professor absolutely amazes me. This is the kind of thing we shall expect to happen here in the 'new' UAE.

humblemuslimah said...

I m glad that she was sacked their is a limit to freedom of expression. Those cartonns were highly offensive and living in a muslim country she should abide by the laws of the land .

crackingboy said...

She was definitely a dumb head to do such a stupid thing at this time that everybody is crying out.

This is called freedom of Stupidity and she's definitely a master.

Anonymous said...

She's stupid... I'm a teacher at a university in the UAE and I wouldn't even dream about saying something even more benign than what she did. I'd love to be able to discuss this issue with my (female) students but I wouldn't even begin to think about doing that.

Tim Newman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tim Newman said...

Perhaps she was showing them to the class in order to make them come to their own conclusions about them. Maybe she was including them in a lecture about the incompatibility between Islamic laws and the secular laws in the West. She might have been trying to educate her pupils, to make them think for themselves, weigh up opposing arguments and draw their own conclusions.

John B. Chilton said...

Gulfnews: Professor and supervisor sacked
An official source at the university said Claudia Kiburz, a professor of English, distributed copies of the cartoons claiming that publishing the caricatures is within the rights of "freedom of opinion and expression".

The source said students refused to remain in class and were threatened by the professor they would be counted as absent if they leave. Students went to complain to the supervisor of the English Learning Centre. According to the source, the supervisor told the students that Kiburz was right.


Gulf Daily News
"She had distributed copies of the cartoons to her students so they could debate it, but that led to a complaint and she was fired," a colleague of Claudia Kiburz said. The colleague asked not to be named.

CG said...

Tim, now I can see the difference between mentalities. It does not matter what you say, I can never accept your way of thinking, and it seems you too cannot comprehend the true issue here. It is not about teaching them to draw their own conclusions. This is illegal. It is against Islam. It is not her 'right' to teach them whatever she chooses. This is a huge issue all around the world right now, and this Professor should know better than to even tread on such an subject. I cannot understand why you cannot see the real depth of the problem here, and also do you really believe that you are living in a 'relaxed' country that will allow this kind of thing, even your way of thinking is not acceptable here.

Tim Newman said...

I cannot understand why you cannot see the real depth of the problem here, and also do you really believe that you are living in a 'relaxed' country that will allow this kind of thing, even your way of thinking is not acceptable here.

I can see the depth of the problem, all right. It seems to be that critical enquriy, the very basis of the scientific method which has underpinned mankinds development and progress for the last 4 centuries, is outlawed as being incompatible with Islam.

sky said...

This is such a sad event. We've understood that the depiction of the prophet (PBUH) is not allowed and that the cartoons are offensive. However, the world is going into a downward spiral regarding this issue, and people are forming opinions without even having seen the cartoons to start with.

What this teacher was doing was educating her students, making them aware of the situation, and contributing to their being able to make an informed and sound judgment.

It's a sad sad time if we expect students to line up their opinions with those of the rest of the world. Debate should always be encouraged, objective thinking should always be pushed for, and open-mindedness should always be key.

John B. Chilton said...

Tim,

Is it not possible for a community to designate some things as not open to debate, and still allow everything else to be questioned and subjected to critical inquiry? To put it another way, has critical inquiry at Zayed University ended because of this one event?

If I was teaching English as a second language, I would want to pick topics for discussion that were engaging to the students, were topical, and stretched some of them out of their comfort zone. There are many topics that meet those criteria, not just taboo topics. Indeed, what can be gained - in a class in English - by picking an issue for debate where the students all agree and would be revolted by being made to take the other side?

Tim Newman said...

Is it not possible for a community to designate some things as not open to debate, and still allow everything else to be questioned and subjected to critical inquiry?

A community can do what it likes. But an educational establishment, if it chooses to make certain subjects off limits to debate which would otherwise be included in the curriculum, is risking producing an ill-educated alumnus and a poor reputation amongst those looking for an education.

To put it another way, has critical inquiry at Zayed University ended because of this one event?

No, but Zayed University was probably not regarded as a leading university where critical enquiry was encouraged in the first place, at least not from a global perspective.

Mohamed Elzubeir said...

I certainly would agree with Tim on this one. I believe the dismissal of the English professor was a mistake and should not have happened. Questioning taboos and debating endlessly and sometimes pointlessly is the very spirit of any higher educational institute. To kill such a spirit is, in my opinion, a grave mistake.

It is quite unfortunate to have it happen here. Had this been a high school teacher, I might have understood.. but a college professor.. how sad and short-sighted.

Then again, you can't help those who don't want to be helped. If the students are unwilling to open their minds, so be it.

John B. Chilton said...

John Dewey on Academic Freedom :: The Emirates Economist

The founder of academic freedom if America called for "reverence for the things that mean much to humanity."

Anonymous said...

i know ms claudia. she showd the cartoon and explain danish people felt that this was freedom of expression but that the cartoons were actually offensive. she wanted her students to make a essay using the style they were learning in class called cause and effect, the causes of the problem and effects of it. she never insulted Islam. never. she is married to a Muslim and her children is muslim. the students had misunderstood her because they have low level english and they were offended of seeing the cartoons in class even though most of everyone had seen them on the net anyway. cladias only stupidity was bringing up something so controversial in an enviroment rife with suspicion of outsiders and in such a controversial topic. she is innocent, as is the supervisor sacked with her according to todays gulf news. the students and people of UAE are now spreading lies about her that she insulted islam, and that her husband is divorce her over the issue but it is a lie. this is a huge misunderstanding and has caused people from all over the Arab world to want the non-Muslims to get out. I spoke to her and miskeena she said this has not shaken her love for Islam or for Arab people. But she was foolish to show the drawings in class here and she feel bad that the other man was fired do to her. this is dangerous topic, which is why I posted anonymous.

John B. Chilton said...

World | Reuters.co.in
The colleague, who declined to be named, said Briton Andrew Hearst was fired at the same time as U.S. professor Claudia Kiburz, who had tried to start a debate on the inflammatory cartoons with her students.
. . .
The newspapers said on Thursday the ministry was now considering holding "sensitivity" training for educators to avoid similar problems with the largely Muslim student body.

Anonymous said...

I used to teach in the UAE but thank goodness I got out when I did... I think there's two things debated on this page so far: what most people think a university should be like, and what a university is in the UAE. It seems to be an agreement on what a university should be like, and some seem to think that's what is should be like in the UAE as well. Perhaps it should but it isn't, and to think otherwise is stupid.

I'm sorry to say, but it doesn't matter what "Ms Claudia's" intentions were with the cartoons, it really doesn't. I can perfectly well understand if the students misunderstood her, but with all the best intentions in the world on her part, it still doesn't matter one little bit. All that matters is that she showed the cartoons and she should have known better. As a teacher in the UAE you're not here to teach what you think is right, and to open up students' mind, you're here to teach them what you're being told to teach them. Academic freedom as it exists in the "west" does not exist here, and if you're going to teach there you need to know that.

John B. Chilton said...

7DAYS - Varsity Uproar
And yesterday it also emerged that her supervisor, Briton Andrew Hirst, had also been fired. Last night a clearly shocked Mr Hirst declined to comment to 7DAYS. He had been a member of the college of arts and science, in the English department, since Zayed University opened eight years ago.
. . .
Mr Hirst’s name was also in the text messages, although it is further understood that he knew nothing about Kiburz’s plans to distribute the cartoons.
. . .
One staff member, told 7DAYS last night. “We were told that this was a white-hot issue and that we should leave it alone.”

Emirati said...

If the news report is true, then good riddance to her and to everyone trying to shove unwanted material down our throats.

mohamed Elzubeir said...

Well, there is a lesson to be learned from all this, isn't there?

1. People of the UAE (and most of the Arab world) are a bunch of ostridges, sticking their heads in the ground whenever they see what they don't want to see.

2. People of the UAE (and again, most of the Arab and Muslim world) think that they are untouchable while others are not.

3. Muslims can freely insult hindu's and budhists, etc. in their school textbooks, but will cry foul when others insult their own religion. If the IOC and the Arab League actually succeed in passing such a ridiculous law as they are trying to (wrt: religion vs. freedom of expression), then I would guess the biggest offenders would certainly be Islamic countries.

I feel sorry for teachers and professors who are in this country trying to give unwilling people an education. It really is saddening.

John B. Chilton said...

Arab Times

Quote:
A text message spread the news of her act. “She accused Muslims of being narrow-minded and intolerant of others’ opinions,” it said. “Could you believe this to be happening in the United Arab Emirates?” “How long are we going to continue to glorify expatriates?” the message asked, referring to the hundreds of thousands of foreign workers who have provided the backbone for economic development in the Gulf state. One student’s mother expressed satisfaction over the sacking. “I was about to go to the university myself to punish her... It is halal (permitted in Islam) to kill her,” she told AFP, requesting anonymity.

el condo said...

"I feel sorry for teachers and professors who are in this country trying to give unwilling people an education. It really is saddening."

Hear, hear.

Actually, it's them that are getting an "education". (As are the rest of us.)

Anonymous said...

Hallo to all
I am a young practising Muslim and a teacher in Canada, and I couldn't help but contribute my two cents to this debate. What Muslims in general across the globe detest and can't tolerate is the new concept of degrading and bashing Prophets and religion in the name of freedom of expression. Our identity, life, and purpose is tied to our fundamental belief that God is one and His Messengers (Mohamed, Jesus, Moses, Ibraham, etc) are the greatest of men cause they received God's revelation and communicated this messenge to mankind. The greatest and honour of these Prophets takes precedence over freedom of speech. Manmade ideologies come and go. Who's to say that what we deem as a fundamental right as freedom of speech today will not be abandoned tomorrow when something new pops up. Don't get me wrong, we have freedom of speech in Islam, but insulting God, Prophets, and Islam is not freedom of speech, but hate. Furthermore, Islam and modernity go hand in hand. Just read the Quran for yourselves that see the numerous sceintific information evident in there (expansion of the universe, ambrology, geology,astrology, and numerous other sciences) which doesn't contradict the most current and up to date scientific findings. This is why we make an uproar when anybody critizes not my religion, but my purpose, being, self. Not to point fingers, but the western concept of elavating the individual's rights above society where his/her freedom of expression is deemed superior to the mass is flawed.

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