A French teacher who had shown caricatures of Muhammad to his students was beheaded on Friday near Paris, and his assailant was killed by the police, a “characterized Islamist terrorist attack” according to President Emmanuel Macron, who visited square.
This attack of unprecedented violence comes three weeks after an attack near the former premises of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, targeted by jihadists since their publication of the cartoons of Muhammad.
The history teacher was killed on the public highway not far from his college in Bois d’Aulne, in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, in the Paris region. He had recently shown his students drawings satirising Muhammad during a course on freedom of expression, according to a police source.
Emmanuel Macron calls on the nation to unite
The national anti-terrorism prosecution announced to AFP that it immediately seized the investigation, opened for “assassination in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association”.
President Emmanuel Macron visited the scene of the attack in the evening. After meeting with college staff, He called on “the whole nation” to unite with teachers to “protect and defend them.” “All and all of us will unite. They will not pass. The obscurantism and the violence that accompanies it will not win,” he said, visibly moved.
The attacker shot dead by the police
Police officers from the Conflans-Saint-Honorine anti-crime brigade, about 50 km northwest of Paris, were called around 5 p.m. for a suspicious individual prowling around a school, according to police.
On the spot, the police discovered the victim, and 200 meters away, in the town of Eragny, they tried to stop a man who threatened them with a bladed weapon and fired, seriously injuring him, before quitting. ‘he did not succumb to his injuries.
The incomprehension prevailed Friday among residents in this suburban district, which they describe as calm and without history. “Nothing ever goes through here,” says, taken aback, Mohand Amara, a 45-year-old resident out, as usual, to walk his dog along the college grounds.
An angry father after the cartoon
Rodrigo Arenas, co-president of the FCPE, the first association of parents of pupils, said to have received a report a week ago which referred to “an extremely angry father” after the publication in class of a caricature of Muhammad.
Previously, the teacher allegedly, according to Rodrigo Arenas, “invited Muslim students out of the classroom” before showing a caricature of the prophet crouching with a star drawn on his buttocks and the inscription “a star is born”.
According to the father of a pupil who was in this 4th grade class and who understood the teacher’s desire not to shock certain children, the sequence sparked a lively controversy with other parents.
Wave of indignation in the political class
The attack sparked a wave of indignation among the political class. In the National Assembly, the deputies rose to “salute the memory” of the professor and denounce a “abominable attack”.
This attack came three weeks to the day after the chopper attack perpetrated by a 25-year-old Pakistani in front of the former Charlie Hebdo premises, which left two seriously injured.
The weekly expressed on Twitter “its feeling of horror and revolt after a teacher in the exercise of his profession was murdered by a religious fanatic”.
Since the wave of unprecedented jihadist attacks that began in 2015 in France and which left 258 dead, several have been perpetrated with knives, in particular at the Paris police headquarters in October 2019 or in Romans-sur-Isère ( center-east) in April.
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