National tribute to Samuel Paty: in the fight for freedom

Professor of History Samuel Paty, 47, was beheaded on Friday, October 16, 2020 in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, Yvelines, at the end of the Bois-d’Aulne College. He was attacked following a class on freedom of speech with a debate about Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons. His alleged assailant was killed by police in the nearby town of Eragny (Val-d’Oise). The investigation was immediately referred to the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office.

On Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron paid a vibrant national tribute to the brutally murdered teacher, a “barbaric” crime, for which seven people, including two minors, were indicted later that evening.

The family of Samuel Paty and the Elysée, had come to the court of the Sorbonne, the symbol of lights, humanism and knowledge, the place of a shocking national tribute was paid on Wednesday evening to Samuel Paty, It is to the sound of the song U2 “One”, sumbole of unity, which the coffin was brought to the temple of the French knowledge.

Prior to the ceremony, Emmanuel Macron presented the Legion of Honor and academic flippers posthumously to the teacher in the great Sorbonne amphitheater. A closed ceremony in accordance with the wishes of the family. First to pay tribute to him in the gallery, a friend of Samuel Paty, also a teacher, read a text by Jean Jaurès entitled “To teachers”. Marie Cuirot, professor of history-geography and history of the arts at Jules Ferry High School, succeeded her with a poem by the singer Gauvain Sers. Finally, before Emmanuel Macron spoke, a second-grader read Albert Camus’s Letter to his teacher.

“Tonight I will not speak of the indispensable unity that all French women and all French people feel, it is precious (…) No tonight I want to speak of your son, your brother, your uncle, the one you loved, your father (…) murdered because he wanted to teach these students to become a citizen (…) Tonight I want to tell you about Samuel Patuel “y,” the head of state said in a preamble denouncing “the cowards” who delivered the beheaded teacher “to the barbarians.” “Samuel Paty loved teaching passionately, and he did it so well (… ) He was one of those teachers that we don’t forget”.

“We will not give up caricatures, drawings, even if others backfire,” the head of state insisted, welcoming “one of those teachers we do not forget”, in a speech in the Sorbonne, a symbolic place of the spirit of enlightenment and teaching.

The President of the Republic, after handing over the Legion of Honor posthumously to Samuel Paty, in an intimate circle, denounced the “conspiracy of death” and “the hatred of the other”, to which the professor of history-geography, who was killed at the age of 47 “because he embodied the Republic”.

Samuel Paty was beheaded by an Islamist assailant on October 16 near his college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines), ten days after showing his students 4th class cartoons of Muhammad in classes on freedom of expression.

“We will continue, professor. We will defend the freedom that you teach so well and we will carry secularism,” added Emmanuel Macron, in the presence of 400 guests, including a hundred students of schools in Ile-de-France and many politicians.

“Samuel Paty became the face of the republic, he was killed precisely because he embodied the freedom that is transmitted and perpetuates itself in school, We will continue, teacher, In France, the Enlightenment never goes extinct,” said Emmanuel Macron,

“Samuel Paty loved books, more than anything. He loved books to convey to his students and loved ones the passion for knowledge and the taste for freedom,” Macron also launched, adding that the victim “was those teachers we don’t forget.”

“Samuel Paty became the face of the Republic last Friday,” Macron said, promising that “in every school, every college, every high school, we will give teachers the power to make Republicans, as well as the place and authority that they deserve. We will train them, we will consider them as we should, we will support them, we will protect them as much as we need, both in school and out of school.”

“We will defend the freedom that you teach so well and we will wear secularism, we will not give up caricatures, drawings, even if others recoil,” the head of state insisted.

At the Sorbonne, Emmanuel Macron denounced “the cowards” who delivered Samuel Paty “to the barbarians” and who “do not deserve” to be talked about.

Anzorov had told these young people “that he intends to film the teacher, to force him to ask forgiveness for the caricature of the prophet, to humiliate him, to beat him”, according to the anti-terrorist magistrate.

Then, the two students soon went “out” with the killer “in order, it seems, to conceal surveillance cameras and a police vehicle on patrol”. Shortly before 5:00 p.m., several teenagers, in connection with the two, “appointed assailant Samuel Paty as he was leaving school.”

After posting the photo of the beheaded teacher, ethnic Russian Chechen refugee Anzorov also posted an audio message on social media. In a hesitant Russian, the Moscow-born murderer claimed to have “avenged the prophet”, “insulting” by the teacher.

“Brothers, pray that Allah will accept me as a martyr”, in this message authenticated by a source close to the file and of which the AFP has become aware.

At the same time, the executive continues its all-out offensive against persons and structures suspected of ties with radical Islamism.

Drancy’s Imam, Hassen Chalghoumi, a moderate imam figure, went to Samuel Paty’s school and appealed to Muslims: “wake up”, France is the country of secularism, freedom of expression, democracy, freedom, equality and fraternity, for all of us who have found refuge in France, in order to be able to live a more decent life but also a freedom to express ourselves, we deserve to offer countries a deep respect.

The Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, has officially initiated a dissolution procedure for the humanitarian NGO BarakaCity.

And the closure of the mosque of Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis), pinned for relaying one of the videos denouncing the course of Samuel Paty, was due to take place on Wednesday evening despite the protests of the faithful and the appeal filed to prevent the closure.

The administrative court of Montreuil will rule on Monday, October 26. The closure was ordered by the government, following the attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

The appeal lodged by the Rector of the Pantin Mosque, Mr. Hammed Henniche, against the closure of the place of worship, will be examined by the Administrative Court of Montreuil on Monday, October 26, at 3 p.m.

The closure was ordered by the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, on Sunday, October 18, a few days after the attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

Gerald Darmanin blames the mosque for welcoming members of the Salafi movement and a controversial imam. Most importantly, the rector relayed on the institution’s Facebook beach, a video in which a relative implicated Samuel Paty, the teacher murdered in the Yvelines.

On October 21, the Prosecutor of the Anti-Terrorist Republic Jean-François Ricard delivered the latest details and elements of the investigation into the attack in Conflans.

The Prosecutor of the Anti-Terrorism Republic confirmed that seven persons, two of whom were minors, had been detained on the night of 20-21 October and announced that the investigation had been entrusted to an anti-terrorism judge for “complicity in terrorist murder” and “complicity in attempted murder against persons who had been the custodians of the public authority in relation to a terrorist enterprise”.

Jean-François Ricard also confirmed the press revelations that there was an exchange of money (between 300 and 350 euros) between the Islamist terrorist and miners on the spot, some of whom remained with him until the teacher was clearly identified. The two deputies are suspected of having appointed the teacher.

Following the national tribute to the teacher on Wednesday, where Emmanuel Macron reiterated that France would not give up freedom of expression or secularism, other reactions continued to take place internationally.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay wanted to “pay tribute” to Samuel Paty, who was “murdered because of his teaching”, with a minute of silence at a world education summit held in virtual form.

According to an Ifop poll published on Thursday, nearly eight out of ten French citizens find it “justified” for teachers to use cartoons mocking religions in their class on freedom of expression.

“The national surge must lead us to believe that the teacher is central to our society and that all of us in our lives as parents, as citizens, must respect teachers,” said Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer.

Targeting student unions and leftist parties, he also denounced “Islamo-leftism”, pointing to a form of “intellectual complicity” in crimes like that of Mr. Paty.

“Fifteen investigations” for “apology of terrorism”, “death threats” or “provocation” of crime have been opened since the teacher’s murder, according to the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office.

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