Teacher Beheaded In Paris After Showing Cartoons Of Prophet Mohammed
A history teacher who showed his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class was beheaded near his school in a Paris suburb on Friday by a suspected Islamist terrorist who shouted “Allahu Akbar”, police said.
Alerted by local residents, police confronted and shot dead a man armed with a kitchen knife and an air gun who refused to drop his weapons and surrender, and threatened them.
Minutes later, officers found the body of the male teacher.
A bomb disposal unit was called in to check whether the presumed assailant was wearing a suicide vest or belt.
Witnesses told police they heard the assailant shouting “Allahu Akbar” [‘God is the greatest’ in Arabic], police sources said.
The teacher had received death threats after giving a class on freedom of expression, during which he showed pupils the controversial cartoons, a police source said. The presumed killer was reported to be an 18-year-old Chechen, the sources said.
President Emmanuel Macron and several government ministers visited the scene after a crisis meeting at the interior ministry.
Speaking from the scene on Friday night, President Macron said: “One of our fellow citizens was murdered because he taught, he taught his pupils freedom of expression, to believe or not to believe. Our compatriot was the victim of a blatant Islamist terrorist attack.”
He expressed his condolences to the family, friends and the secondary school where the victim taught.
Mr Macron added: “It was no coincidence that the terrorist killed a teacher because he wanted to kill the Republic and its values. The Enlightenment, (is) the possibility to make our children, wherever they come from, whatever they believe in, whether they believe or not, whatever their religion, to turn them into free citizens.
“This battle is ours and it is existential,” he said. “They will not pass,” said Mr Macron. “Obscurantism and the violence that goes with it will not win. They will not divide us. That’s what they seek and we must stand together.”