SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

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

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.

'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

“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.”

Member comments

  1. Islamist bastards come here to France and want to change our way of life. It’s sickening.
    If they don’t like us, or like our ways, then why don’t they leave? We don’t want them here!

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLITICS

French minister apologises for Champions League chaos

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday made a partial apology for chaos at last month's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris, while insisting fake tickets and "delinquency" were mostly to blame.

French minister apologises for Champions League chaos

“Should things have been managed better at the Stade de France (stadium)? The answer is yes. Am I partly responsible? The answer is yes,” Darmanin told RTL radio.

“Of course, I readily apologise towards everyone who suffered from this bad management of the event,” he added.

After scenes of fans crowded into tight spaces and being tear-gassed by police caused outrage around Europe, Darmanin poured fuel on the fire by blaming supporters with fake tickets for the disruption.

UEFA events director Martin Kallen last week told French senators investigating the fiasco that the football body’s count of fake tickets was far short of the tens of thousands claimed by French authorities.

“We don’t believe it’s the number mentioned in France,” he said, adding that 2,600 fake tickets were identified at turnstiles — compared with the number of 30,000 to 40,000 people with fake tickets and without tickets suggested by Darmanin.

“It was a question of fake tickets… that created the difficulties we all know about” of large crowds of fans packed into underpasses or outside locked gates, Darmanin insisted Tuesday.

He added that “if there was something that went wrong at the Stade de France, it was the fight against delinquency”, saying he had already ordered a reorganisation of policing around the venue and that three major matches since had passed without incident.

While some supporters did report being victims of crime by gangs of youths before and after the match, there were also many complaints about police treatment of fans.

Disabled Liverpool fans last week told the Senate how officers sprayed tear gas at people in wheelchairs.

The English supporters have reacted with particular fury to Darmanin’s defence of the French police’s actions.

“People’s memories will forever be tarred by the lack of organisation and heavy-handed policing, and then of course the way authorities tried to deflect blame and scapegoat Liverpool fans for their incompetence,” Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram told AFP earlier this month.

CCTV footage from around the stadium has also been deleted despite the Senate probe.

A government report published earlier this month said a “chain of failures” by French authorities has inflicted “severe damage” on the image of the country as it prepares to host the Olympic Games in 2024.

SHOW COMMENTS