The 47-year-old teacher of history and geography showed some satirical cartoons about Muhammad during a lecture on freedom of expression. The young murderer, of Chechen origin, shouted "Allah Akhbar" before beheading the teacher. He was killed by the police a few hours later.
Paris (AsiaNews/Agencies) – An “Islamist terrorist attack" took place yesterday around 5 pm, near the school of Bois d'Aulne, at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 36 km northwest from Paris, said French President Emmanuel Macron.
An 18-year-old Moscow-born ethnic Chechen man beheaded his history and geography teacher a few hundred metres from his school.
According to early reports, the teacher was attacked because, during a lesson on freedom of expression, he showed satirical cartoons about Muhammad in the classroom that were published in 2015 by the weekly Charlie Hebdo.
The same drawings were republished recently in connection with the trial of the attackers of the newspaper's office in which 12 people were killed, including journalists and cartoonists.
Some eyewitnesses say that the young killer shouted "Allah Akhbar", God is greatest, while attacking the teacher with a knife.
Hours later, he apparently repeated the battle cry when police shouted at him to give himself up. The officers then shot him and he died soon after.
Students remember the teacher, a 47-year-old man, as a respectful and lovable person.
Some of the students explained that, before showing the cartoons on Muhammad, he told Muslim students they could leave the classroom for a while if they felt offended. However, some Muslim parents took offence at this and accused the teacher of marginalising their children.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said the killing of a teacher was an attack on the French Republic.
Since 2015, when the famous cartoons were published, France has been rocked by several terrorist attacks.
Recently, after the trial of the Charlie Hebdo killers began, a man attacked and injured two people in front of the building where the weekly was headquartered.
In Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, people say that there are no confessional or ethnic tensions among the town’s residents.