'France will not give up religious cartoons' declared Macron in homage to murdered teacher

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'France will not give up religious cartoons' declared Macron in homage to murdered teacher
French President Emmanuel Macron, centre, paid his respects in front of the coffin of Samuel Paty inside the Sorbonne University's courtyard in Paris on October 21st. Photo: AFP

France will not give up cartoons, President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday evening in a ceremony dedicated to the memory of teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded for showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils in a lesson on free speech.


"We will not give up cartoons," Macron told a solemn ceremony at the Sorbonne university attended by the family of the murdered teacher.

The president said Paty was slain by "cowards" for representing the secular, democratic values of the French Republic.

Paty's coffin stood in the centre of the university courtyard, adorned with French flags, as pupils, a friend, and a fellow history teacher paid moving tributes to the 47-year-old father of one.

The ceremony started with the song "One" by Irish rock band U2 played over loudspeakers at the Paty family's request, and ended with applause.

Macon honoured Paty for his devotion to education, a pillar in French society, the President said. Photo: AFP

Paty was killed on his way home from work after school last Friday by 18-year-old Chechnya-born Abdullakh Anzorov, who published an image of the teacher's severed head on Twitter before he was himself shot dead by police.

Paty became the subject of an online hate campaign after he showed cartoons of the Prophet to pupils in a civics class to elicit debate on freedom of expression.


The same images had unleashed a bloody assault by Islamist gunmen on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo five years ago in which 12 people, including cartoonists, were killed.

To honour Paty's memory, local authorities in Toulouse and Montpellier hung huge covers of the magazine from several hotels in their cities. 


Macron said Paty was killed "because he incarnated the Republic."

Added the president: "He was killed because Islamists want our future," while vowing "they will never have it."


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Anonymous 2020/10/26 19:07
Islamist bastards come here to France and want to change our way of life. It's sickening.<br />If they don't like us, or like our ways, then why don't they leave? We don't want them here!

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