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Teacher found decapitated in the suburbs of Paris

Samuel Paty (47) showed caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in class. The murder was described by Emmanuel Macron as a “terrorist attack”

by: Marta Rodriguez


Illustration of a protest in Paris. Photo courtesy of Pierre Herman via Unsplash.

Last Friday a high school history and geography teacher was found beheaded in a suburb of Paris, France. After posting the video of the assault on social media, Abdullakh Anzorov – the 18-year-old attacker – was shot to death after a brutal encounter with the police. The Chechenian refugee was reported to be carrying a 30 cm butcher’s knife and a gun.

The attack came after Samuel Paty showed his class some of the Islamic caricatures of Prophet Muhammad from Charlie Hebdo that preceded the terrorist attack of 2015. Even though he allowed students to leave if they felt they needed to, pupils that stayed and felt offended reported to their parents.

This was followed by some parents attempting to get the teacher fired. He was even accused of spreading pornography when a girl of his class told her parents that Paty had shown very inappropriate caricatures of the Prophet.

As a response, her father called for a ‘mobilisation on social media’ with Paty’s name and address. Though the attacker is now dead, 11 people have been taken into custody including, the father of said girl, an Islamist militant, and several members of the attacker’s family.

On Sunday thousands of people went to the streets of the major cities in France as a sign of solidarity.

Signs of ‘Je Suis Samuel’ could be seen among the masses in imitation of the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ slogan that followed the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

Among the people in the masses, many teachers could be found. One of them told Le Monde ‘We are being killed for doing our jobs’ with another saying that she just ‘realized that you could be killed for teaching‘. Others worry that it is the actual students ‘How are we going to educate the next generation?’ another high school teacher notes. A history teacher said that he also teaches about Islam and freedom of speech and that he is completely shocked and quite scared. Others are at a loss of words as to how to explain this act of barbarity to their children.

“It is absolutely important to show our mobilisation and our solidarity, our national cohesion.” – Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer told France 2.

This murder has come in a time where, in France, people are being very critical of teachers and parents are very eager to intervene, inasmuch as this is the second attack of this style since the trials for the Charlie Hebdo massacre started last month.


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