Pictured: Teacher who was beheaded by Islamist terrorist for showing his class Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of Mohammed – after one Muslim pupil complained to her parents and sparked community outrage
The French teacher who was beheaded by a suspected Islamist terrorist yesterday for showing his class cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed has today been identified as Samuel Paty.
The 47-year-old had received threats after opening a discussion ‘for a debate’ about the caricatures about 10 days ago before he was stabbed and decapitated by 18-year-old Chechen gunman Aboulakh A in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine 25 miles north-west of Paris.
Muslim parents had taken offence at Mr Paty’s decision to show his class caricatures of the Prophet and branded him a ‘thug’ in a video shared online by a mosque just days before he was murdered.
He had ‘invited Muslim students out of the classroom’ before showing a caricature of the Prophet published by Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine targeted by terrorists five years ago, in a lesson about free speech.
The cartoon reportedly showed the Prophet Mohammed crouching with a star drawn on his buttocks and the inscription ‘A star is born’.
A father of a 13-year-old pupil at the secondary school in middle-class Conflans-Sainte-Honorine told Reuters Mr Paty had told any Muslim students to leave because the cartoon would likely cause offence. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
One Muslim pupil stayed behind by mistake, and later told her parents. They filed a complaint against the teacher and held a meeting with Mr Paty, the school principal and an official from the education authority.
Brahim Chnina, who said his daughter was in the class branded Mr Paty a thug in a video posted on Twitter sometime in the last week, where he asked the community to complain about his behaviour.
Before showing the images, Mr Paty asked Muslim children to leave the room because he planned to show something shocking, Mr Chnina said. ‘What was the message he wanted to send these children? Why does a history teacher behave this way in front of 13-year-olds?’ he asked.
‘If you want to join forces and say ‘stop, don’t touch our children, then send me a message.’ This thug should not remain in the national education system, should no longer teach our children. He should go educate himself.’
The video sparked community outrage and was shared by a mosque in Pantin, a Parisian suburb. Days later, Mr Paty was then stabbed and decapitated by Russian national Aboulakh A, who shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ in the attack.
The suspected Islamist was yesterday shot dead by police about 600 yards from the killing when he refused to drop his weapons and threatened the officers. It is unclear whether the gunman had seen the video.
French anti-terror prosecutors said they were treating the assault as ‘a murder linked to a terrorist organisation’.
Nine people have been arrested, including the parents of a child at the school who had signalled their disagreement with Mr Paty’s decision to show the cartoon, a judicial source said.
Four people were initially detained by police over the murder, but five new people held for questioning are members of the suspected Islamist’s social circle, including his grandparents, parents and 17-year-old brother. #SchengenStoryNews