an hour ago
Several thousand people on Sunday took part in demonstrations in France in memory of teacher Samuel Pati, who was beheaded by ethnic Chechen Abdulak A. after Pati showed his students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
People gathered in the Place de la République with posters “Je suis enseignant” (“I am a teacher”). Also visible are posters with the slogans “Zero Tolerance for the Enemies of the Republic” and “I am a professor, I think of you, Samuel.”
One participant, who identified herself as a French Muslim, said she came to the rally because she loathed the murder she had committed.
A video released by Prime Minister Jean Castex shows the crowd singing the Marseillaise after a minute of silence in memory of the murdered man. The protesters were wearing masks.
“You cannot scare us, we are France, “Casteks wrote.
It was at the Place de la Republic in 2015 that the 1.5 million demonstration took place after the terrorist attack in the editorial office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
In addition to Prime Minister Kasteks, the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo took part in the action on Sunday.
Demonstrations took place not only in the capital – people took to the streets in Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse and other cities.
New commemoration actions will take place in the country on Wednesday. Counterterrorism chief Laurent Nunez said in an interview Sunday that the attack on the teacher “crossed an important milestone.”
“Civilization does not kill innocent people, barbarism kills,” Tarek Ubru, imam of a mosque in Bordeaux, said in an interview.
What happened on Friday
School teacher Samuel Pati was beheaded on Friday evening in a suburb of Paris. He was attacked, according to prosecutors, by an 18-year-old man named Abdulak A., an ethnic Chechen born in Moscow and granted refugee status in France.
The attacker, armed with a large knife, attacked the teacher near the secondary school in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, located 25 kilometers from the center of Paris. After inflicting a series of cut wounds in the neck, the offender cut off the head of his victim.
Police caught up with the attacker in the nearby town of Eranyi. On the demand to surrender, he began to threaten them with a weapon, after which he was shot.
The party began to receive threats after he showed his students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class, the French media reported earlier.
The police are investigating the attack as a terrorist attack. At the moment, 11 people have been detained as part of the investigation. The name of the last detainee was not disclosed, four close relatives of Abdulak A. were previously detained. Six more people, including the father of one of the students of Pati and an Islamic preacher, whom the media calls radical, were detained on Sunday.
President Emmanuel Macron said the teacher died for teaching people freedom of expression.
What Kadyrov said
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, condemned the incident, expressing condolences to the relatives of the deceased. At the same time, he urged not to provoke believers and not offend their religious feelings.
“This is not the first time that people in France are trying to blame all their problems on the Chechens. I dare to assure everyone that the Chechens have nothing to do with it,” Kadyrov wrote in his Telegram channel.
According to him, the suspect lived almost his entire life in France, having moved there as a child with his parents, grew up next to the French, communicated, spoke and wrote in French and probably gave an account of his actions, “realizing that the state does not hear believers at close range.” …
“This tragedy makes one think that the French society, speaking of democracy, often confuses it with permissiveness, a demonstration of an impermissible attitude towards Islamic values. Such actions cannot be called anything but provocative,” the Chechen leader said.
The Russian embassy in Paris said on Saturday that the attacker “has nothing to do with Russia.”
What else is known
According to the head of the anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office Jean-François Ricard, on Friday Abdullak A. came to the school where Paty worked and asked the students to point to the teacher. Before the attack, he followed the victim for a while.
Ricard emphasized that Pati showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his disciples, talking about the terrorist attack in the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo magazine and about freedom of speech. Pati taught history and geography.
He did this regularly and usually advised Muslim students to turn their backs if they thought the cartoons might offend their feelings.
This angered the father of one of the students, who filed a complaint against the teacher. He and another man named Abdelhakim Sefriui, an activist and cleric, recorded several video messages criticizing Pati. Both of them are detained.
In the past month, this is the second Islamist attack involving Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. In late September, Parisian police detained a Pakistani man who stabbed two people with a knife near the magazine’s former office.