'We will not give up cartoons': President Macron blasts radical Islamists for murder of French teacher, vows to defend secular values of his country

President Macron addressed a group of protesters over the killing of a French teacher who showed Prophet Muhammed caricatures, several charged along with two minors who helped in identifying the teacher to the killer.

Terming the murderers of  French teacher Samuel Paty as "cowards", President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said that Paty was killed because " Islamists want our future". "They will never have it,” Macron asserted and vowed to defend the secular and democratic values of French Republic.  President Macron made these remarks while addressing a huge protesting crowd at the Sorbonne University in Paris in the presence of victim Samuel Paty’s family. 

“We will not give up cartoons,” said The President as he promised to crack down on radical Islamism. Samuel Paty, who was a high school teacher, showed Prophet Muhammed's cartoons published in "Charlie Hebdo" during his lecture on free speech. Shortly after, the parent of one of Paty’s students shared his act on a Facebook page and started a social media campaign against the teacher. This resulted in a “fatwa” against Paty by an Islamist group and later, decapitation of the teacher.


Abdullakh Anzorov, the 18-year-old accused from Chechnya, was found to have been working with the parent who started the social campaign. Also charged were two boys, aged 14 and 15, who helped identify Paty to Anzorov. They both stayed along with Anzorov for more than 2 hours even though he told them he wanted to “humiliate and strike” Paty over the Muhammed caricatures.

Anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francios Ricard said that this move was planned and everyone, from the parents to the criminal were working in tandem. The father who started the social media campaign was found to be in contact with other Islamist radicals. The pair are among seven people authorities have charged over the killing.


France teacher beheaded over Prophet Muhammed’s caricatures: Key Points

  • Paty, 47, became the target of an online hate campaign over his choice of lesson material -- the same images which unleashed a bloody assault by Islamist gunmen on the offices of a satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.
  • Earlier Wednesday anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said the two teenagers -- aged 14 and 15 -- had been in a group of pupils who shared 300-350 euros ($356-$414) offered by the killer to help find Paty.
  • The pair are among seven people authorities have charged over the killing. The other three facing prosecutions are friends of Anzorov, one of whom allegedly drove him to the scene of the crime while another accompanied him to purchase a weapon. Two of them also face complicity in terrorist murder charge while the third was charged with a lesser offence, the anti-terrorist prosecutor's office said.
  • Police have carried out dozens of raids since the crime, while the government has ordered the six-month closure of a mosque outside Paris and dissolved the Sheikh Yassin Collective, a group they said supported Hamas.
  • Paty's beheading was the second knife attack in the name of avenging the Prophet Mohammed since the Charlie Hebdo trial started last month. The killing has prompted an outpouring of emotion and solidarity in France, with tens of thousands taking part in rallies countrywide over the weekend.