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Thread: France teacher attack: Rallies held to support beheaded Samuel Paty

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    France teacher attack: Rallies held to support beheaded Samuel Paty

    Thousands have attended rallies across France in support of Samuel Paty, the teacher beheaded after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his pupils.

    People in the Place de la R?publique in Paris carried the slogan "Je suis enseignant" (I am a teacher), with PM Jean Castex saying: "We are France!"

    A man named as Abdoulakh A was shot dead by police on Friday after killing Mr Paty close to his school near Paris.

    An 11th person has now been arrested as part of the investigation.

    No details have been given about the arrest. Four close relatives of the suspect were detained shortly after the killing. Six more people were held on Saturday, including the father of a pupil at the school and a preacher described by French media as a radical Islamist.

    President Emmanuel Macron said the attack bore all the hallmarks of an "Islamist terrorist attack" and the teacher had been murdered because he "taught freedom of expression".

    The murder comes as a trial over the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo - a satirical magazine that has published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad - is under way.

    Where have the rallies been taking place?
    The Place de la R?publique in Paris filled with people rallying in support of Mr Paty, 47. Mr Castex and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo joined them.

    The square was the scene of a huge demonstration in which 1.5 million people showed solidarity with Charlie Hebdo following the deadly attack of January 2015.

    One protester on Sunday carried a sign reading "zero tolerance to all enemies of the Republic", another "I am a professor. I'm thinking of you, Samuel."

    Another told Le Figaro she was a French Muslim who was at the rally to express her disgust at the latest killing.

    A minute's silence was followed by the playing of the Marseillaise. All the protesters were wearing masks to protect from coronavirus.

    Mr Castex tweeted the rendition of the anthem, along with the words "you do not scare us... we are France!"


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    Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said France would succeed in defeating the enemies of democracy if it were united and that all teachers in France needed support.

    Nathalie, a teacher from Chelles who was at the Paris rally, told Le Monde she was there because she had "realised you can die of teaching".

    In Lille, people carried banners and placards with the simple words "I am Samuel".

    Thousands of people also gathered in Place Bellecour in Lyon to pay their respects, with another large turnout in Nantes.

    Demonstrations are also being held in Toulouse, Strasbourg, Marseille, Bordeaux and elsewhere.

    In addition to Sunday's demonstrations, there will be a national tribute paid to Mr Paty on Wednesday.

    On Saturday, Tareq Oubrou, imam of a mosque in Bordeaux, told France Inter: "A civilisation does not kill an innocent person, barbarism does."

    What happened on Friday?
    Anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Fran?ois Ricard said that the suspect, who lived in the Normandy town of ?vreux, about 100km (60 miles) from the murder scene, went to Mr Paty's school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday afternoon and asked students to point out the teacher.

    Abdoulakh A, an 18-year-old born in Moscow of Chechen origin, had no apparent connection with the teacher or the school.

    He followed Mr Paty as he walked home from work. The suspect used a knife to attack the teacher in the head, and then beheaded him.


    media captionJean-Michel Blanquer: "What happened is beyond words"
    Witnesses are said to have heard the attacker shout "Allahu Akbar", or "God is Greatest".

    As police approached him, he fired at them with an airgun. Officers returned fire, hitting him nine times. A 30cm-long (12in) blade was found close by.

    Authorities said the man had been before courts but only on minor misdemeanour charges.

    What's the latest in the investigation?
    Mr Ricard said Mr Paty had been the target of threats since he showed the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class about freedom of speech.

    As he had done in similar lessons in recent years, Mr Paty, a history and geography teacher, advised Muslim students to look away if they thought they might be offended.

    A parent of one of the pupils reacted angrily, and went to the school to complain.

    He and another man who accompanied him - Abdelhakim Sefrioui, a preacher and activist - made videos calling Mr Paty a "voyou" (thug) and demanding his suspension.

    Mr Sefrioui has reportedly been known to French intelligence services for years. Both he and the father are now in custody.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54589241

    A Teacher has been beheaded.

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    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54581827

    The man who beheaded a teacher in a street in France waited outside the school and asked pupils to identify his target, anti-terrorism officials say.

    The man then posted images on social media of dead victim Samuel Paty, 47, who had shown controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his students.

    The attacker later fired at police with an airgun before being shot dead.

    The number arrested rose to 10 on Saturday, with police investigating possible links to Islamic extremism.

    The attack took place at about 17:00 (15:00 GMT) on Friday near the College du Bois d'Aulne, where Mr Paty taught, in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, some 30km (20 miles) north-west of central Paris.

    President Emmanuel Macron said the attack bore all the hallmarks of an "Islamist terrorist attack" and the teacher had been murdered because he "taught freedom of expression".

    A national tribute will be paid to Mr Paty on Wednesday.

    What is the latest on the attack?
    Details of the attack and investigation were given by the anti-terrorism state prosecutor, Jean-Fran?ois Ricard.

    He named the suspect as Abdoulakh A. - an 18-year-old man, born in Moscow of Chechen origin. He came to France with refugee status as a boy and was unknown to anti-terrorism police.

    He lived in the Normandy town of ?vreux, about 100km (62 miles) from the murder scene and had no apparent connection with the teacher or the school.

    The man had been before courts but only on minor misdemeanour charges.


    media captionJean-Michel Blanquer: "What happened is beyond words"
    He went to the college on Friday afternoon and asked students to point out the teacher, Mr Ricard said.

    The attacker followed Mr Paty, who was heading home on foot after school, inflicted multiple wounds to the head with a knife and then beheaded the victim.

    Witnesses are said to have heard the attacker shout "Allahu Akbar", or "God is Greatest".

    The man then posted photos of the victim to a Twitter account, along with insults to Mr Macron and French "infidels" and "dogs".

    Police at the scene of the teacher's murder in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on 16 October 2020
    IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
    image captionThe scene of the killing has been sealed off and investigation is under way
    As police approached him, he fired rounds from an airgun at police, Mr Ricard said.

    They returned fire. The suspect tried to get up and was shot again, being hit nine times in all.

    A 30cm-long (12in) blade was found close by.

    What about the investigation?
    Mr Ricard said Mr Paty had been the target of threats since he showed the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class about freedom of speech, in relation to the Charlie Hebdo case.

    Undated photo of Samuel Paty
    IMAGE COPYRIGHTAFP
    image captionSamuel Paty, a well-liked teacher, had been threatened over showing the cartoons
    The French satirical magazine was the subject of a deadly attack in 2015 after publishing the cartoons. A trial over that attack is currently under way.

    Mr Paty, a history and geography teacher, advised Muslim students to look away if they thought they might be offended.

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    A parent of one of the pupils reacted angrily to the incident, accusing Mr Paty of showing naked pictures of the Prophet Muhammad. The father lodged a formal complaint and produced videos demonstrating the anger at Mr Paty's actions, and calling on people to go to the school to protest.

    The father is one of the people in custody, Mr Ricard said, adding that this man's half-sister had joined the Islamic State organisation in Syria in 2014.

    At least one of the other people arrested was known to anti-terrorism police, he said, with other links being investigated.

    And at least four of the 10 now arrested are relatives of the attacker.

    Mr Ricard said this was the second attack since the Charlie Hebdo trial got under way. A man attacked and wounded two people outside the magazine's former offices.

    Mr Ricard said there was an "ongoing extremely high level of terrorism threat on French soil".

    Teachers across France told journalists of their fear, stunned by the targeting of a colleague murdered in broad daylight in a quiet suburban street.

    Aside from the horror of this killing, there's powerful symbolism too. The education minister said the root of what happened was "hatred of the Republic".

    The passing on of French national values - liberty, equality, fraternity - is seen as a core task of the education system here.

    Three weeks after an attack on the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, this latest killing is yet more proof of the fault-lines over secularism and tolerance, which have left blood before in the country's streets.

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    How is France reacting?
    Students were said to be distraught at the brutal killing of a well-liked teacher. One father wrote on Twitter that his daughter "is in pieces, terrorised by the violence of such an act. How will I explain to her the unthinkable?"

    One of Mr Paty's former students, Martial, 16, said he had loved his job: "He really wanted to teach us things - sometimes we had debates".

    The French presidency said a national tribute would be held for Mr Paty, and the hashtag #JeSuisSamuel (I am Samuel) began trending on social media, echoing the #JeSuisCharlie call for solidarity after the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

    President Macron speaking from the scene
    IMAGE COPYRIGHTEPA
    image captionPresident Macron said he was murdered because he "taught freedom of expression"
    Speaking at the scene hours after the incident, President Macron stressed national unity. "They will not prevail, they will not divide us," he said.

    Charlie Hebdo on Friday tweeted: "Intolerance just reached a new threshold and seems to stop at nothing to impose terror in our country."

    Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, who met leaders from teaching unions on Saturday, said in a recorded statement that Mr Paty had been killed by the "enemies of freedom" and France would "never back down when confronted by terror, intimidation".

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    Muslim leaders in France also condemned the attack. "A civilisation does not kill an innocent person, barbarism does," Tareq Oubrou, imam of a mosque in Bordeaux, told France Inter.

    The Strasbourg-based Assembly of Chechens in Europe said in a statement: "Like all French people, our community is horrified by this incident."

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