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French imam says beheaded teacher is martyr for freedom of speech

6 Comments
By Antony Paone

A French imam said on Monday that the history teacher beheaded for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class was a martyr for freedom of speech, and he called on mosques in France to pray for the teacher on Friday.

Hassen Chalghoumi, imam of the Paris suburb of Drancy's mosque, warned against Islamist extremists and called on parents not to foster a hatred of France.

Laying flowers outside the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine suburb school where the teacher was killed by an 18-year-old suspected Islamist of Chechen origin, Chalghoumi, accompanied by other Muslim leaders, told reporters it was time for the Muslim community to wake up to the dangers of Islamist extremism.

"(The teacher) is a martyr for freedom of expression, and a wise man who has taught tolerance, civilization and respect for others," said Chalghoumi, who as president of the Imams of France Conference has regularly called for interfaith tolerance.

He said Muslim authorities should see the beheading as a call for action.

"Rectors of mosques, imams, parents, civil society groups, wake up, your future is at stake," he said.

He said Islamist extremists in France are well organized and know how to use the legal system and how far they can go.

"We need to end the victimization discourse. We all have rights in France, like everyone else. Parents should tell their children about the good that exists in this republic," he said.

A controversial figure in French Islam, Chalghoumi has had run-ins with Franco-Moroccan Islamist militant Abdelhakim Sefrioui, author of one of the videos in which the father of a girl in the school accused the teacher, Samuel Paty, of having insulted Islam.

In 2010, as France was debating legislation about banning veils for Muslim women, Sefrioui had tried to get Chalghoumi ousted from the Drancy mosque, and Chalghoumi said he was placed under police protection after receiving death threats.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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Why isn't anyone saying anything about this when they had lots to say about previous articles on this topic? Isn't this the kind of muslim they were wishing for? Surely some words of praise are due?

For the record, I agree fully with the Imam.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why isn't anyone saying anything about this when they had lots to say about previous articles on this topic?

We all know the answer to that.

For the record, I agree fully with the Imam.

Me too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Imam is worried about Islam’s image in mainstream French society and a possible backlash by rightists or racists.

He is a brave man for speaking up like this in order to keep the peace.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kikai

Why isn't anyone saying anything about this when they had lots to say about previous articles on this topic? Isn't this the kind of muslim they were wishing for? Surely some words of praise are due?

Sure, I praise him. But he is one of too few, and as the article himself notices, he got his own death threats already from the fundamentalists.

There are islamic reformer like this (note also Majid Navaz in the UK), but they too few and they are fighting an uphill battle.

So Chalghoumicalled on mosques in France to pray for the teacher. Do not hold your breath for that. One thing you can be certain is that we will not read any reports about thousands of mosques holding prayers for the murdered infidel who showed Mohammed cartoons in class.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sure, I praise him. But he is one of too few, and as the article himself notices, he got his own death threats already from the fundamentalists.

There are islamic reformer like this (note also Majid Navaz in the UK), but they too few and they are fighting an uphill battle.

So Chalghoumicalled on mosques in France to pray for the teacher. Do not hold your breath for that. One thing you can be certain is that we will not read any reports about thousands of mosques holding prayers for the murdered infidel who showed Mohammed cartoons in class.

The rightist mentally of “if we can’t fix something completely in one go, we shouldn’t even bother.” It’s the same with climate change and firearms control. It must be sad having a binary worldview.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zaphod

 Do not hold your breath for that. One thing you can be certain is that we will not read any reports about thousands of mosques holding prayers for the murdered infidel who showed Mohammed cartoons in clas

Just because they don't report it or show it on tv doesn't mean it's not being done. Or are you a muslim (no you're not, we know) speaking from experience? Even if you were, you wouldn't know what they say in other mosques around the world unless you can speak the local tongue (which probably isn't english), so...

Or maybe they really aren't. But there may be reasons for that. Myself, for example - I generally pray for my own safety, knowing that there are so many rabid islamophobes here in japan. And not among the japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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