France mourns a beheaded middle school teacher on Friday in a Paris suburb, after showing students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Authorities said French police shot the knife-wielding teenager and arrested several people.
They mourn the loss of Samuel Paty, 47, the highly regarded history and geography teacher who was beheaded nearby. Police shot dead the suspect, identified as an 18-year-old of Chechen descent.
The attacker was reportedly furious that Professor Paty had shown his students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that Muslims consider blasphemous.
The teacher used the cartoons as part of a lesson on free speech. They were first published five years ago by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, inciting Islamic terrorists to attack its offices.
After the beheading of the teacher on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron rushed to the scene to express his indignation at what he considers Islamist terrorism. “One of our citizens was assassinated today for teaching students about freedom of expression. The freedom to believe and not to believe, ”Macron said.
“Our compatriot has been blatantly attacked. He was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack. ”
The teacher allegedly upset the Muslims at the school. Authorities said they detained some nine people, including parents of one child, suspected of being involved in Friday’s attack.
The violence has added to tensions in France, where people have faced several terrorist attacks in recent years, killing hundreds. The French also face new restrictions to stem the coronavirus pandemic.