Limerick school apologises for Charlie Hebdo in classroom

Muslim pupil ‘subjected’ to the magazine being passed around during class

The “survivors’ edition” of  Charlie Hebdo magazine on sale at a news stand on O’Connell Street, Dublin in January. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The “survivors’ edition” of Charlie Hebdo magazine on sale at a news stand on O’Connell Street, Dublin in January. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

The management of a Limerick school has apologised to a Muslim pupil, who took offence when a copy of the controversial French magazine Charlie Hebdo was produced in his classroom.

The mother of the 11-year-old boy, who is in fifth class, has spoken out about the incident to highlight her “concerns and outrage”, as she claims her son was “subjected” to a copy of this magazine being passed around the classroom, as were other Muslim children in the class.

“Each child was told to read it and look at a picture that depicted the prophet Muhammad. This picture has caused great insult within the Islam community in Ireland and the world,” the mother who does not wish to be identified told the Limerick Leader.

“We as parents teach our children every day to be respectful of other people and their cultures as well as their religion. How are we supposed to achieve this respect within our country if our educators are not mindful of the different cultures and religion in our classrooms,” she said.

Unfortunate incident

However chairman of the multi-denominational Limerick School Project Richard Allen, said it was an “unfortunate incident” and said apologies for any offence caused were made to the boy and his mother.

 

He said it was another pupil in the class who brought the copy of Charlie Hebdo in while they were having a discussion about the French Revolution and freedom of speech.

Mr Allen said they “respect all religions and none” in the school would ever “set out to cause offence to anybody”.

Nonetheless, he said the school believes in the right to freedom of speech, though at the same time it recognises that responsibilities come with this freedom.