France: A teacher decapitated after showing cartoon of Prophet Muhammad
A French teacher, who had recently shown students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed was beheaded on the street of a Paris suburb on Friday.
The suspected attacker _ who was shot dead by police_ was an 18-year-old, born in Moscow and originating from Russia’s southern region of Chechnya, a judicial source said on Saturday.
Five more people have been detained over the murder on Friday outside Paris, including the parents of a child at the school where the teacher was working, bringing to nine the total number currently under arrest, said the source, who asked not to be named.
According to the source, the two detained parents had signaled their disagreement with the teacher’s decision to show the cartoons.
The horrific crime which rocked Paris was called by French President Emmanuel Macron an “Islamist terrorist attack”.
“One of our citizens was assassinated today because he was teaching because he was teaching pupils freedom of expression,” Macron said.
“They won’t win… We will act,” the president added from the scene.
More details about the crime
Nordine Chaouadi, a father of a 13-year-old pupil who attended the civics class given by the teacher, told Reuters that the teacher had asked pupils who were Muslim to raise their hands and invited them to leave, advising them he would be showing a caricature of Mohammed that might cause offense.
For Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
Chaouadi said his son, a Muslim, interpreted the teacher’s actions as done out of kindness and respect for their faith.
“He did it to protect the children, not to shock them,” said Chaouadi.
Some parents took offense, however. Two or three days later, they held a meeting at the school with the teacher, school principal, and an official from the education authority.
“It went well. There was no shouting or talking over each other. My wife took part in it. She said it was a man who made a mistake, it happens to everyone,” Chaouadi added.
“freedom of expression” attacks
France was a targeted point for terrorist attacks since 2015 when Charlie Hebdo published a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.
Late last month, a man who emigrated to France from Pakistan used a meat cleaver to attack and wound two people outside the former offices of the magazine after re-publishing a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
However, the magazine said last month it published to assert its right to freedom of expression and to show it would not be cowed into silence by violent attacks. That stance was backed by many prominent French politicians and public figures.