France / Palestine / Syria / Pakistan – Macron decries Islamist terror attack on teacher / Tributes



(29 Oct 2020) STORYLINE

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an “Islamist terrorist attack” against a history teacher decapitated in a Paris suburb on October 16th, urging the nation to stand united against extremism.
The teacher had discussed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class, authorities said.
The suspected attacker was shot to death by police after Friday’s beheading.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation concerning murder with a suspected terrorist motive, the prosecutor’s office said.
Macron visited the school where the teacher worked in the town of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met with staff after the slaying.
He said the attack shouldn’t divide France because that’s what the extremists want.
A police official said the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun – which fires plastic pellets – was shot dead about 600 metres (yards) from where the male teacher was killed after he failed to respond to orders to put down his arms, and acted in a threatening manner.
The teacher had received threats after opening a discussion “for a debate” about the caricatures about 10 days ago, the police official told The Associated Press.
The parent of a student had filed a complaint against the teacher, another police official said, adding that the suspected killer did not have a child at the school.
The suspect’s identity was not made public.

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Mourners laid flowers on October 17th at College du Bois d’Aulne, the French school where a history teacher who was decapitated a day earlier, worked.
Police officers could be seen guarding the entrance to the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a Paris suburb.
The suspect who shot dead by police after the gruesome beheading, was an 18-year-old Chechen, police said on October 17th.
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said that authorities investigating the horrific killing of the man have also arrested nine suspects, including the grandparents, parents and 17-year-old brother of the attacker.
The teacher had discussed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class, authorities said.

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Several thousand people attended a memorial march on October 20th near Paris in homage to the history teacher beheaded last week by a teenage extremist.
Local elected officials, teachers and parent’s associations called on people join the march at 6:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris, near the high school where Samuel Paty taught.
Paty was beheaded on October 16th by an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee, who was later shot dead by police.
Police officials said Paty had discussed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class, leading to threats.
A national memorial event will be held Wednesday evening to pay tribute to Paty in the courtyard of La Sorbonne university in Paris.
The centuries-old site is a symbol of knowledge and education and of the “spirit of Enlightenment” since it has always been “a forum to express ideas and freedoms,” the French presidency said.

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French President Emmanuel Macron on October 20th said French Muslims needed to be protected from the “evil which is radical Islam” and he said the country was stepping up the fight against radicalism after last week’s beheading of a high school teacher by an extremist teenager.
Macron was speaking to journalists following a visit to a local prefecture in the northeastern Parisian suburb of Bobigny.

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