PARIS, October 16 (Reuters) – French Prime Minister Jean Castex paid tribute on Saturday to history professor Samuel Paty a year after his assassination by a radical Islamist, saying France would defend its values of secularism and freedom.
The attacker of Paty, a teenager of Chechen origin, had wanted revenge for the use by the teacher of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a course on freedom of expression for 13 years. Muslims regard any portrayal of the Prophet as blasphemous.
“Here is a man who wanted to do his job, a demanding and sometimes thankless job, a man who only aspired to transmit the values of freedom, secularism, tolerance, free will (…)”, declared Castex after the unveiling. a commemorative plaque at the Ministry of National Education.
“For these reasons, a servant of the Republic was assassinated,” he added.
A series of Paty’s memorial ceremonies were held on Friday and Saturday, with schoolchildren singing songs and observing minutes of silence in classrooms. Read more
France, home to the largest Muslim minority in Europe, has seen a wave of attacks by Islamist activists or their supporters in recent years
Reporting by Sybille from La Hamaide Editing by Frances Kerry
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