Monday, October 19 2020

Dive In

I really rebel against this idea that politics has to be a place full of ego and where you're constantly focused on scoring hits against each one another. Yes, we need a robust democracy, but you can be strong, and you can be kind.

That’s New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who won a landslide victory in the national election over the weekend. For the first time since 1993, NZ will not be ruled by a coalition government but a single party.

Big Story

A gruesome death in Paris

The TLDR: A 47-year-old school teacher was decapitated by a young Chechen man. The reason: He showed students disrespectful images of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a discussion about freedom of expression. The killing has sparked protests—and jolted a nation already divided over its Muslim minority.

Tell me about the killing

The Charlie Hebdo connection: 


  • Samuel Paty—a teacher at Collège du Bois-d’Aulne—showed his 13-year-old students two caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a debate over freedom of expression. 
  • These images were published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2006—and sparked great outrage. 
  • The magazine’s offices were firebombed in 2011, and in 2015, three men gunned down 12 members of the staff.
  • Last month, the trial of the killers’ accomplices began—which in turn reopened the controversy. 
  • The magazine republished the same images in an act of defiance.
  • A Pakistani immigrant recently stabbed two people with a knife, angered after watching videos showing protests in Pakistan against the cartoons.


The trigger: When Paty shared the images with his students, he first asked the Muslim kids to look away or leave the room. One Muslim parent said:


"My son understood right away—the evening he came home, he understood right away that it was not to discriminate. He told me, no it was not to offend us, it was images that he didn't want us to see. My son understood that at no moment he (teacher) had lacked respect.”


The controversy 


In today’s edition

Headlines that Matter

  • A Climate change solution?
  • A quick IPL update
  • A panel of experts says India crossed its peak in Sept
  • Disney steps back in India


A list of good reads

  • Why reading a book is a necessary survival strategy during a pandemic
  • Why social media makes even young people feel old
  • Tanishq controversy is also a blow to women’s rights

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