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Beheaded French teacher was target of angry social media campaign: Report


The French teacher beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee outside a school in Paris was a victim of an angry campaign on social media.

People bring flowers to the Bois d’Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine, France, October 17, 2020. REUTERS

The French teacher beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee outside a school in Paris was a victim of an angry campaign on social media, according to a report by Reuters.

Samuel Paty, 47, was killed by the 18-year old on Friday. The report said the teen wanted to punish the teacher for showing his students cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in a civics class on freedom of expression.

The teen was shot dead by police and other nine suspects in the case have been arrested, said France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office.

This was the first time Paty had shown images of the Prophet. The slain teacher had shown his students the cartoons last year as well, as part of the civics curriculum.

The start of the hate campaign against Paty over civics lessons in the school began on October 7, when the parent of a girl who was in the class posted an angry video on Facebook.

The man wanted the school authorities to remove Paty, as reported by Reuters.

A week later another video emerged on YouTube, featuring the father of the student. The voice off-camera said French President Emmanuel Macron was inciting hatred of Muslims. In the video, the man threatened to stage a protest if the teacher was not removed.

According to the latest reports, both of them are now in police custody.

The school had been receiving threats right after videos of social media started doing rounds, police said.

On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron visited the school to denounce what he called an “Islamist terrorist attack.” Macron urged the nation to stand united against extremism.

“One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught … the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” AP Quoted Macron.

(With inputs from Reuters, AP)



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