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Teenager asked pupils to identify French teacher before beheading him

25 Comments
By Sybille de La Hamaide and Thierry Chiarello

The teenager who beheaded a teacher outside the school in a Paris suburb where he taught had approached pupils in the street and asked them to point out his victim, anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said on Saturday.

Police shot dead the 18-year-old attacker, who was born in Russia, minutes after he murdered 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty in broad daylight in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday.

A photograph of the teacher's body, accompanied by a message claiming responsibility posted on Twitter, was discovered on the assailant's phone, found near his body. Ricard said the Twitter account belonged to the attacker.

The post was removed swiftly by Twitter, which said it had suspended the account because it violated the company's policy.

Ricard quoted the message as saying: "In the name of Allah the most gracious, the most merciful, ... to (President Emmanuel) Macron, leader of the infidels, I have executed one of your hell-hounds who dared to belittle (Prophet) Mohammad."

Earlier this month Paty had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

The attacker, of Chechen origin, had been living in the town of Evreux northwest of Paris, and was not previously known to the intelligence services, Ricard told a news conference.

The killing shocked the country and carried echoes of an attack five years ago on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Prime Minister Jean Castex said it bore the hallmarks of Islamist terrorism.

"I want to share with you my total indignation. Secularism, the backbone of the French Republic, was targeted in this vile act," Castex said.

Unions, anti-racism groups and Charlie Hebdo are organising a gathering in central Paris on Sunday to commemorate the murdered teacher.

A national tribute will be organized for Wednesday, Macron's office said.

Four close relatives of the attacker were detained soon after the attack. Five more were detained overnight, including the father of a pupil at Paty's school, College du Bois d'Aulne, and an acquaintance of the pupil's father known to the intelligence services, the anti-terrorism prosecutor said.

A tenth person was placed in custody in connection with the attack later on Saturday, BFM TV said, citing judicial sources.

In the days after the lesson on freedom of expression, the pupil's father recorded several videos in which he branded the teacher a thug and called for him to be fired. In one, he urged others to "join forces and say 'stop, don't touch our kids'".

The videos where shared on social media.

The half-sister of the pupil's father had joined Islamic State in Syria in 2014, the prosecutor said. It was not immediately clear if the teenage attacker knew either the pupil's father or the father's acquaintance.

Parents of pupils laid flowers at the school gate. Some said their children were distraught.

"(My daughter) is in pieces, terrorised by the violence of such an act. How will I explain to her the unthinkable?" one father wrote on Twitter.

In an outpouring of grief, the hashtag #JeSuisSamuel (I am Samuel) trended on social media, like the #JeSuisCharlie call for solidarity after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

Before that attack, Charlie Hebdo had published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, unleashing divisions that still cast a pall over French society.

Muslim leaders condemned Friday's killing, which many public figures perceived as an attack on the essence of French statehood and its values of secularism, freedom of worship and freedom of expression.

Deadly attacks by Islamist militants or their sympathisers was devastating for France's Muslim community, Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said.

"We are between hammer and anvil," he told France Inter radio. "It attacks the Republic, society, peace and the very essence of religion, which is about togetherness."

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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Seems that family needs to be deported, but France won't do that.

The Islamic community in Paris needs to step up and stop all physical attacks. If they cannot self-police the radical parts of that community, then shut down all the mosques and let the deportations begin.

That same should apply to all violent religions.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Deportations should definitely be on the table as a possible counter-measure to mindless violence triggered by religious mania. On the other hand, the human brain is what it is: can you ever fix stupid?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

These religious nuts can’t even see the contradiction in their own statements: “In the name of Allah the most merciful, I have executed another human being” for some stupid offense a most merciful God would surely forgive?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Deadly attacks by Islamist militants or their sympathisers was devastating for France's Muslim community, Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said. "We are between hammer and anvil," he told France Inter radio. "It attacks the Republic, society, peace and the very essence of religion, which is about togetherness."

The above statements are considered to be an encouraging step in the right direction. Nonetheless, I do not agree with Tareq Oubrou that Muslim communities in France and around the world "are between hammer and anvil." I strongly believe that Muslim leaders and communities in France and around the world could do more to prevent this kind of barbaric act from happening again. The least they can do is - through orientation classes at mosques – to advocate Muslim followers to embrace and respect the ideals and values of the nations that give them the new lives.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Deportations should definitely be on the table as a possible counter-measure to mindless violence triggered by religious mania.

If the person is a foreign national, they can, and do, deport them.

The flaw is that typically these people are French nationals. Legally there is very little that can be done.

The only thing that can be done is to battle religious fundamentalism - an uphill struggle when it is financed by huge amounts of Saudi money.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He got what he deserved. Take another person’s life and you’ll lose yours.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The only hope I can see for France and some other European countries is that Islam in Europe will eventually become like Christianity in these countries - more of a tradition than something to be taken too seriously and something to live your life by. Unfortunately, this isn’t something I can see happening in the near future.

When you have so many who cannot accept that freedom of speech is vastly more important and beneficial to society than their religious beliefs, there will be a clash and a certain number will be capable of attacks like this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The only hope I can see for France and some other European countries is that Islam in Europe will eventually become like Christianity in these countries - more of a tradition than something to be taken too seriously and something to live your life by. Unfortunately, this isn’t something I can see happening in the near future. 

The growing pains of a religion being inflicted on those of us who do not wish to participate. Almost as if it’s Islam’s revenge for the Crusades.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Bill Warner has written several books on Islam and has analyzed its three foundational texts in some detail.

Here are some examples of his findings:

Amount of text devoted to jihad:

Hadith: 21%

Sira: 67%

Koran: 9%

Complete Islamic Trilogy: 31%

Now let’s look at the Old Testament. When all of the political violence is counted, we find that 5.6% of the text is devoted to political violence as opposed to 31% of the Islamic Trilogy.

When we count the magnitude of words devoted to political violence, we have 327,547 words in the Trilogy and 34,039 words in the OT. In other words, the Islamic Trilogy has 9.6 times as much wordage devoted to political violence as the OT.

Then there is the qualitative measurement. The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible is for that particular historical time and place.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The growing pains of a religion being inflicted on those of us who do not wish to participate. Almost as if it’s Islam’s revenge for the Crusades.

It’s tragic. Europe has been disfigured by religious barbarism and strife for centuries but we have made some progress, and the remaining problems are tribally based rather than theologically based.

Beheadings for blasphemy in a 21st century secular republic? A very unwelcome blast from the past.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As an open society which accepts refugees who’ve been forced to flee for religious or political reasons, freedom of speech is why there is a door at all for these people to go through. Why (and how) should those doors remain open if the invited guest becomes a murderer?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ricard quoted the message as saying: "In the name of Allah the most gracious, the most merciful, ... to (President Emmanuel) Macron, leader of the infidels, I have executed one of your hell-hounds who dared to belittle (Prophet) Mohammad."

....*llah does not seem to be all that merciful now. He is right though on Macaron, who clearly wants to be leader of the EU empire.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

theFu

Seems that family needs to be deported, but France won't do that.

The Islamic community in Paris needs to step up and stop all physical attacks. If they cannot self-police the radical parts of that community, then shut down all the mosques and let the deportations begin.

Good luck with that. The islamic community in Paris (and elsewhere) stepped up and arranged giant demonstrations and riots against the Mohammed cartoons (both the Danish and the Hedbo ones). Against the Hedbo murderes? Total inactivity.

That same should apply to all violent religions.

Japan did it with Aum Shinrikyo. But Aum did not have the built-in reflex by the political establishment that it is just another religion like any others, only with a few misunderstanders.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

He is right though on Macaron, who clearly wants to be leader of the EU empire.

Can't stand him. However, I've not seen any evidence on this, at all.

The EU is not an empire. For all it's faults, it is in existence to prevent such things occurring.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He is right though on Macaron, who clearly wants to be leader of the EU empire.

Can't stand him. However, I've not seen any evidence on this, at all. 

The EU is not an empire. For all it's faults, it is in existence to prevent such things occurring.

I’d agree that the EU is not an empire, but Macron as with other French leaders, saw the EU as an opportunity for the renaissance of France as a thought leader of Europe, while Germany saw the EU as an opportunity for redemption as well as leadership with its economic power. I was a reluctant remainer, but I can understand the disaffection of some in smaller nations who see the EU as far too dominated by these powerhouses. Greece was a good example.

As for France itself, Macron’s approach to dealing with the Islamist threat is problematic but I can’t see an easy way out of this.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good luck with that. The islamic community in Paris (and elsewhere) stepped up and arranged giant demonstrations and riots against the Mohammed cartoons (both the Danish and the Hedbo ones). Against the Hedbo murderes? Total inactivity.

Hebdo. Charlie Hebdo.

And the attacks were roundly condemned by Muslims around the world.

Hassen Chalghoumi, imam of the Drancy mosque in Paris

"I am extremely angry. These are criminals, barbarians. They have sold their soul to hell.”

“This is not freedom. This is not Islam and I hope the French will come out united at the end of this.”

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/muslims-condemn-charlie-hebdo-attack

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Deadly attacks by Islamist militants or their sympathisers was devastating for France's Muslim community, Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said. "We are between hammer and anvil," he told France Inter radio. "It attacks the Republic, society, peace and the very essence of religion, which is about togetherness."

Alas, this is the typical reaction from islamic clerics, every time something like this happens. Instead of addressing the problems of jihadist doctrine, they immediately swivel to playing the victim card. Don´t look at the real life victim of of the jihadist... instead worry about theoretical crimes against us. So disheartening.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Jimizo

I’d agree that the EU is not an empire

You do? An empire is a multi-ethnic ethnic constructs without a national identity or defined borders, ruled by an elite without direct democratic responsibility to the electorate, and open to unlimited expansion.

How does the EU not fit that description?

We all agree that the Sovjet Union empire broke up, how do some of us justify resurrecting something similar in Western Europe?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

An empire is a multi-ethnic ethnic constructs without a national identity or defined borders, ruled by an elite without direct democratic responsibility to the electorate, and open to unlimited expansion. How does the EU not fit that description?

Europe has a multitude of different identities - each country that is part of the EU, has their own elected governments. EU elections take place every 5 years, with the member states voting and returning a fixed number of MEPs.

Last years elections had the highest turnout in 25 years. 400 million people in the EU are eligible to vote.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There would have been no Chechen refugees needing haven in the West if it wasn't for Mr. Putin and his repeated wars in Chechnya. The Boston Marathon bombers were also Chechens. Mr. Putin must be laughing each time the refugees he drove out of the Caucasus commit some violent attack in the countries which took them in. The imams who lead in the refugee communities should be steering the anger back towards the genesis of their current situation, and not towards the hosts who welcomed them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The imams who lead in the refugee communities should be steering the anger back towards the genesis of their current situation, and not towards the hosts who welcomed them.

The anger here was about blasphemy, not politics. The problem is intolerance of freedom of expression. The treatment of ‘blasphemers’ ( although I prefer the expression ‘free speech advocates’ ), in the Muslim world is generally shocking. In modern Europe, blasphemy against Islam is actually life-threatening.

This case is pretty straightforward - this is an issue about free speech and blasphemy.

The jihadis have made their case on many occasions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Toasted Heretic

Europe has a multitude of different identities - each country that is part of the EU, has their own elected governments. EU elections take place every 5 years, with the member states voting and returning a fixed number of MEPs.

Elections for what? The EU parliament has no authority to pass laws, it is only there to rubberstamp what the unelected EU commission decides. There is no direct line of accountability from the EU leadership, decided in smoky backrooms, to any electorate.

The EU has nation it represents. And no common political system, no common public communication, no limits to expansion.

I am not against the original European Economic Community. That was a trade arrangement. But EU project now, which Macaron wants to lead and centralize according to the Napoleonic model, has gone too far.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Toasted Heretics

Hebdo. Charlie Hebdo.

And the attacks were roundly condemned by Muslims around the world.

Yes. Some nice, and often weasel-worded, statements by some clerics. But NOTHING, absolutely nothing to the mass demonstrations and riots, including torched embassies, following both the Danish and the Hedbo cartoons. You are trying to compare apples and oranges.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A young teenager of 16 years old said "Islam is %%" on the social network. She had to change of school because she was threatened of death and be under 24h/24h protection.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

but I can understand the disaffection of some in smaller nations who see the EU as far too dominated by these powerhouses. Greece was a good example.

The EU requires a degree of budgetary discipline and social that is alien to many southern European nations. I honestly don't have a lot of sympathy for nations like Greece and Italy. Instead of whining they should learn from the Germans. Be punctual, work hard, save money and don't spend more than you have.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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