Published 5:12 pm ET 16 October 2020 |
A teacher who opened a discussion with students about the cartoons of the Prophet of Islam Mohammed was cut off.
PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron has denounced what he called an “Islamic terrorist attack” against a history teacher who was cut off in a Paris suburb on Friday, urging the country to stand united in the fight against extremism.
The teacher discussed the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad of Islam in his class, authorities said. The suspected assailant was shot by police until he died after being beheaded on Friday.
The French anti-terrorist prosecutor has opened an investigation into the murder of 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 the staff after the murder. An Associated Press reporter saw three ambulances arrive at the scene, and armed police officers surrounding the area and police vans lined the nearby streets.
“One of our countrymen was killed today because he taught … freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or disbelieve,” Macron said.
He said the attack should not divide France because that is what extremists want. “We should all be together as citizens,” he said.
The gruesome killing of a teacher took place in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine while the suspect was killed by police in the adjoining Eragny.
A police officer said the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun – which fired plastic pellets – was shot nearly 600 meters (yards) from killing the male teacher after he failed to respond to orders. to drop his arms, and act in a threatening manner.
The teacher received threats after opening a discussion “for a debate” about cartoons about 10 days ago, a police official told The Associated Press. A student’s parent has filed a complaint against the teacher, another police officer said, adding that the suspected killer had no children at the school. The identity of the suspect was not made public.
The identity of the suspect was not made public. French media reported that the suspect was an 18-year-old Chechen, born in Moscow. That information was not immediately confirmed.
The two officers could not be named because they were not allowed to discuss the ongoing investigation.
“We did not see this coming,” Conflans resident Remi Tell told CNews TV station. He described the town as peaceful.
This is the second incident related to terrorism since the opening of an ongoing mass murder trial in the newsroom in January 2015 in the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the cartoons of the Islamic prophet were published.
As the trial began, the paper republished cartoons of the prophet to emphasize the right to freedom of expression. Exactly three weeks ago, a young man from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing, outside the former newspaper office, two people who suffered without life threatening. The 18-year-old told police he was upset with the publication of the caricatures.
The incident came as the Macron government was making a bill to address Islamist radicals claimed by the authorities creating a parallel society outside the values of the French Republic.
In the United States, according to a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, right-wing extremists are responsible for more than 76% of the 2019 terrorist and plotsin attacks ; 90% in the first half of 2020.
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