The satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo expressed Friday evening its “feeling of horror and revolt” after the assassination of a decapitated college professor in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, in the Paris region, after showing caricatures published by the newspaper.
“Charlie Hebdo expresses its feeling of horror and revolt after a teacher in the exercise of his profession was murdered by a religious fanatic. We express our deepest support to his family, loved ones and all the teachers, ”the weekly wrote on Twitter.
Charlie Hebdo was targeted in an attack in January 2015 by Islamists who accused him of publishing caricatures of Mohammed. However, the killed teacher had shown cartoons in class in a course on freedom of expression.
“Intolerance has just crossed a new threshold and does not seem to stop at nothing to impose its terror on our country. Only the determination of political power and the solidarity of all will defeat this fascist ideology, ”the magazine added. “This filthy act mourns our democracy but must make us more combative than ever to defend our freedom”, he concluded.
“Charlie Hebdo”, the trial of a “war” that devours us
The trial of the January 2015 attacks, which killed 17 people including 12 in the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo, has been held at the Paris Special Assize Court since early September, with 14 defendants in the box.
A decapitated teacher in the Paris region, the anti-terrorist prosecution seized
According to a police source, the victim, a history teacher at the Bois-d’Aulne college in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, had recently shown his students caricatures of Mohammed in progress. The national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office announced to AFP that it immediately seized the investigation, opened for “assassination in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association”. The investigations were entrusted to the Antiterrorist Sub-Directorate (Sdat) of the police and to the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI).
Again under attack, France still comes up against the complexity of Islamist terrorism
A new stabbing attack
The facts took place around 5:00 p.m., near a school, according to a police source. Police officers from the Conflans Sainte-Honorine anti-crime squad were called in for a suspicious individual prowling around a school, according to this source. On the spot, the police discovered the victim and, 200 meters further in Eragny, they tried to stop a man armed with a knife which threatened them and fired on him. The alleged assailant, whose identity was not immediately established, is deceased, a judicial source said.
A security perimeter was installed and the demining service called, due to a suspicion of an explosive vest. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, traveling to Morocco, immediately returned to Paris and opened a crisis unit “in connection with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister”, he tweeted. The head of state was going to the Beauvau cell to join him there, announced the Elysee.
Attacks and cartoons
This attack comes three weeks to the day after the chopper attack perpetrated by a 25-year-old Pakistani in front of the former Charlie Hebdo premises, which left two seriously injured. The author of this Islamist attack had told investigators to have acted in reaction to the publication and republication by Charlie Hebdo in early September of cartoons of Mohammed, which had made the satirical weekly a target of the jihadists.
“Charlie Hebdo”, still target of fanaticism
This republication took place at the opening last month of the trial of the January 2015 attacks, which is due to run until November 10. In reaction, thousands of demonstrators had protested in several cities of Pakistan against Charlie Hebdo and France. Al Qaeda had also threatened to attack the editorial staff of the satirical weekly again.
“It is the republication of the cartoons rather than the trial that played in the aggravation of the threats”, recently explained to AFP a security source. “The will to strike the West is intact”, but “between those who are deceased, those who are imprisoned”, the capacity of action of terrorist groups is “very reduced”, she added.
Since the wave of unprecedented jihadist attacks started in 2015 in France, which left 258 dead, several stabbing attacks have been carried out, in particular at the Paris police headquarters in October 2019 or in Romans-sur-Isère last April.
Emmanuel Macron arrived on Friday shortly after 9 p.m. at the Bois d’Aulne college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines), where the beheaded history teacher was teaching in the afternoon, noted an AFP journalist.
The Head of State must discuss it with the teachers of the establishment. The victim had shown his students caricatures of Muhammad. His alleged attacker was killed by police in the nearby town of Eragny (Val-d’Oise).
“I’m confused …”: in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, parents and residents in shock
“It’s horrible”, “it’s crazy”, “we are afraid” … Misunderstanding reigned Friday evening near the college in the “calm” suburban district of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in the Paris region, where a professor story was beheaded by a man shot by police. “Nothing ever happens here,” launches, taken aback, Mohand Amara, a 45-year-old resident out, as usual, to walk his dog, along the college in Bois d’Aulne.
At the end of the afternoon on Friday, horror invaded the usually quiet streets surrounding the establishment. On the eve of the All Saints’ school holidays, this professor who taught there was beheaded and his alleged attacker killed shortly after by the police a few hundred meters further on, in the town of Eragny (Val-d’Oise). The anti-terrorism prosecution was immediately seized and President Emmanuel Macron went there in the evening.
This drama comes three weeks after a chopper attack perpetrated by a young Pakistani near the former premises of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Access to the street where the events took place is blocked by a security cordon, defended by many police officers.
“It pains me, more beheaded, it’s shocking,” breathes Virginie, 15, who knew this teacher whom she keeps “good memories” when she was in 4th grade. At his side, Julia, a former student of the college now a high school student, came on site to “realize”. Other young people roam the scene, laptops in hand, looking at an unbearable photo of the victim posted on social networks.
Families, parents, some with their children in their arms, congregate on a sidewalk, dazed. “I saw him (the teacher) today, he came to my class to go see our teacher, it shocks me, I know that I will not see him again”, confides Tiago, in 6th grade (11 at 12 years old), who observed the media effervescence alongside his parents, neighbors of the school.
A respectful teacher
“We have the impression that it only happens to others, but no, it’s at our doors, it’s at home,” slips his father, Alfredo. “I do not know how we are going to do for the little one, we are 200 m from the college, we do not even know if we will let him go there alone” after the school holidays, he adds, specifying that several of his relatives had “seen the body on the ground”.
Nordine Chaouadi also came to the scene. “It’s the countryside here, nothing happens” usually, he says. His 13-year-old son, in 4th grade, is “too scared, he’s not well,” he repeats. He had lessons with this “history-geo” teacher who, he says, “used to tell them about Islam, caricatures and all that”.
“At no time did he want to disrespect, that’s what my son told me,” says Mr. Chaouadi. He explains that the professor had asked, last week, Muslim children to come out of his class so as not to be shocked by a cartoon of the naked prophet. “There is only one little girl who stayed, who did not want to go out, it is this little girl who said that he had shown the photo of a naked man”, he continued.
“Apparently, he did not do that badly, my son told me that he did this to preserve the children, not to be upset, not to be shocked,” added this parent. . The sequence sparked a lively controversy with some parents, said Mr. Chaouadi.
“I feel really bad, it’s crazy, it’s incredible (…) all the prophets, even Jesus, they have all been insulted for 2,000 years, all that is not new”, launches this father of four children of Muslim faith. “I’m confused, I can’t believe it”.
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