France honors the memory of respected teacher Samuel Patty

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday led a national tribute to schoolboy Samuel Patty, who was beheaded after showing the caricature of Prophet Muhammad as part of a text on free speech.

In front of the enlightened 17th century at the Sorbonne University in Paris, Mr. Macron cast Mr. Patty as a symbol of France’s Enlightenment values ​​and the fight against Islam extremists, who killed more than 200 people in France. Last five years.

“Samuel Patty became the face of our republic on Friday, our determination to break down terrorists, to reduce Islamists, to live in our country as a community of free citizens,” Mr. Macron said. “We will not leave caricatures, drawings, even if others retreat,” he said.

People arrived in Paris on Wednesday to honor the late teacher Samuel Patty.


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In a private ceremony before the speech, the French leader posthumously presented the highest honor to Mr. of France in front of his family at the monumental Grand Amphitheater at the Sorbonne. Mr. Patty’s parents, his brother and sister, and his 5-year-old son were in attendance.

The soldiers then carried Mr. Patty’s coffin through the square in front of the Sorbonne for the song “One” by U2, selected by Mr. Patty’s family.

A teacher read a poem by French singer Goven Seres written in tribute to the 47-year-old history professor. A student of Mr. Pati read a letter written by Albert Camus to his school teacher in 1957, days after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Mr Pati died on Friday evening in a terrible attack in the Parisian suburb of Conflance-Sainte-Honoraine, which shook the country. The suspect, an 18-year-old Russian citizen of Chechen origin, identified by authorities as Abdullakh Abuyezidiewicz Angorov, was shot dead in police minutes after the attack.

The attack has prompted an attack on Islamic associations, schools and mosques by French authorities who say they are promoting an extreme version of Muslim religion and challenging the country’s secular political values.

The government said that 51 groups will be visited by the authorities this week and some will be dissolved. Prior to the attack, Mr Macron’s government was preparing a new law, in which he sought to fight a battle called “Islamic separatism”.

Imams around the country condemned the attack. “The Muslims in France are afraid of this hate crime,” Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Muslim Council, wrote in a column published in a local newspaper on Sunday.

Officials said Mr Patty’s attacker acted by watching a video made by the parents of a student at the school, who demanded the teacher be sacked and called him a thug. A few days ago, Mr. Patty led a debate in his class on the limits of free speech and showed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo targeted in a terrorist attack in 2015.

The teacher – according to officials who interviewed him about the lesson before his death – said he warned the students that they might be offended by closing their eyes before displaying cartoons.

A memorial to Mr. Pati in Nice, France on Wednesday.


eric gillard / reuters

Mr. Macron described Mr. Pati as a dutiful teacher who took pains to learn about the Muslim faith of some of his students.

“He had read the Quran, he respected his students, no matter his beliefs, he was interested in Muslim civilization,” Mr. Macron said.

The parents who posted the video condemning Mr Pati said that their daughter was in Mr Pati’s class. Antitroyer prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said Wednesday that the man’s daughter did not go to class the day Mr. Patty showed cartoons.

Prosecutors on Wednesday made preliminary terror charges against seven people, including the father, whose name has not been released, and two schoolchildren.

Mr Rickard said that children between the ages of 14 and 15 allegedly received € 300 and € 350 (the equivalent of between $ 356 and $ 416) from an assailant who was out of school to identify Mr. Patty. .

He was killed by Azorov shortly after classes ended, officials said. Mr Ricard said the Chechen teenager then claimed responsibility for the attack in a Twitter post stating that Mr Patty had overthrew Prophet Mohammed.

Three friends of the attacker are also being apprehended by police, Mr. Rickard said. Police suspect that the two of them helped buy the knife beating the professor, and took him to school. He said the three men told the police that they knew nothing about the suspect’s plans.

Write Matthew Dalton at noemie Bisserbe and Matthew Dalton at [email protected]

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