Thousands of French people gathered throughout the country this Sunday under the cry “Je suis prof” to reject the Islamic terrorism following the beheading of a high school teacher who had shown Muhammad cartoons in a free speech class.
Almost six years after “Je suis Charlie” With which the whole country condemned Islamic terrorism and defended freedom of expression, France repeated the cry of solidarity with the victims and of vindication of democratic values.
The rallies were called by anti-racist and pacifist organizations, and supported by Charlie Hebdo, to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the 47-year-old geography and history teacher who was beheaded last Friday by an 18-year-old student.
A Strong applause The event opened at 3:00 p.m. in the Place de la République in Paris, the place where the 2015 attack against the satirical weekly was rejected, but also many demonstrations of protests of all kinds.
I’m a teacher
“I’m a teacher” written on cardboard was the almost unanimous slogan of many attendees, among whom teachers and professors to vindicate the importance of their profession and defend the figure of the victim and the need for teaching work in the training of young people in the democratic values.
“I have come to pay homage to a colleague,” one of the assistant professors simply told the press among the thousands of people gathered in Paris. “I will continue teaching my program. I’m not afraid“declared another teacher.
Quite a few people were holding one of the Muhammad cartoons who posted Charlie Hebdo. “It is a very firm act. We have to show that we are not afraid,” stressed a woman who was wearing one of them.
Equipped with the mask that was an essential condition for the event to be authorized, the thousands of attendees at the Paris event kept a minute of silence as a sign of mourning for the victim and they sang La Marsellesa.
Political leaders of all stripes, including the prime minister, Jean Castex, participated privately in the concentration in Paris, which was also attended by Muslims who denounced what one of them defined as “Islamist barbarism.” The rallies were also held in many other cities in the country, such as Marsella, Lyon or Lille.
The French President, Emmanuel Macron, will lead a Defense Council meeting late this afternoon at which some new measures against Islamic terrorism could be taken.
For now, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced that he has instructed the prefects (police chiefs) to expel 231 foreigners who reside illegally in the country and are registered for their Islamist radicalization. Of these, 180 are currently incarcerated.
The number of detainees today increased to 11, following the arrest of a friend of the author, a Russian refugee of Chechen origin, only 18 years old, who was shot and killed by the police shortly after the murder.
The Government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, denounced in a television interview “the public lynching” that Paty suffered before her murder and asked “an absolutely exemplary response” against their authors.
Among the 11 detainees are the father of a student of Paty, who had published two videos on social networks criticizing the teacher, offering personal data of the victims. He also denounced him for spreading pornography in class.
In addition, the role played by Abdelhakim Sefraoui, a well-known Islamist propagandist, who went with the student’s father to the director of the institute where the murdered teacher worked to demand that the director of the center dismiss the teacher.
Sefraoui is known by the security services and the French media for campaigns that, in defense of Palestinian rights, they have acquired anti-semitic overtones and they have also attacked Muslim imams for their restraint.
This attack is the second of Islamist character committed in France in just three weeks, after a Pakistani man seriously injured two workers at a news agency located in the same building as the former headquarters of Charlie Hebdo.