French prosecutor speaks to media about teacher's beheading near Paris

Elias Hubbard
October 18, 2020

Citing French media, the BBC reports that the teacher began receiving death threats following a lesson on freedom of expression in which the caricatures were said to be shown.

The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has condemned the decapitation attack in a Parisian suburb and extended his condolences to the family of the victim. Islam prohibits images of the Prophet, asserting that they lead to idolatry.

French anti-terror prosecutors said they were investigating the assault which happened on the outskirts of Paris at around 5pm near a school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a western suburb of the French capital.

Ricard did not say if the attacker had any links to the school, pupils or parents, or had acted independently in response to the online campaign.

"Deadly attacks by Islamist militants or their sympathisers has been devastating for France's Muslim community, ' Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said".

They discovered the dead teacher and soon spotted the suspect, armed with a blade, who threatened the officers as they tried to arrest him.

Ricard also said the headmaster of the school had received several threatening phone calls.

The issue of the cartoons was revived last month when Charlie Hebdo made a decision to republish them to coincide with the start of the trial of accomplices in the 2015 attack.

Late last month, a man, who emigrated to France from Pakistan, used a meat cleaver to attack and wound two people outside the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Police also arrested a friend of the schoolgirl's father who had gone with him to see the principal to demand Paty's dismissal. They said they were treating the incident as "a murder linked to a terrorist organisation" and related to a "criminal association with terrorists".

Officials and Muslim leaders throughout France expressed outrage at the slaying.

The previous day, speaking near the scene where the teacher was decapitated, a visibly moved Mr Macron said "the entire nation" stands ready to defend teachers and that "obscurantism will not win".

His office said a national tribute would be held in Paty's honor.

On Sunday, ministers who form France's defense council will meet to discuss the killing, while a public mourning event is planned.

On Saturday, hundreds of pupils, teachers and parents flooded to Paty's school to weep and lay white roses.

In an outpouring of grief, the hashtag #JeSuisSamuel (I am Samuel) trended on social media, like the #JeSuisCharlie call for solidarity after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

According to the source, the two detained parents had signalled their disagreement with the teacher's decision to show the cartoons. The parents had complained about Paty's use of caricatures of the Prophet, which were shown in class as part of a discussion about freedom of expression.

Before that attack, Charlie Hebdo had published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, unleashing divisions that still plague French society.

"It is a teacher that this terrorist killed because he wanted to destroy the Republic.destroy the possibility of making our children free citizens", he added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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