“#Thousands march in France for teacher beheaded by Islamist extremist”
The massive crowd gathered at the Place de la Republique in the French capital changing “Je suis enseignant,” or “I am a teacher,” in response to the horrific attack on the 47-year-old educator, which President Emanuel Macron called an “Islamic terrorist attack,” the BBC reported.
The Paris protest was just one of several in France, including gatherings at Place Bellecour in Lyon and in Lille, where marchers carried signs reading, “I am Samuel,” the network said.
Paty was attacked Friday by Abdoulakh Anzorov, a Russian-born 18-year-old who was allegedly retaliating for the teacher’s use of an image of the Prophet Muhammad during a classroom discussion on freedom of expression.
Anzorov hung around the school’s entrance looking for Paty before the attack, and even asked students to point him out, according to anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard.
Anzorov allegedly traveled 50 miles from his home in Evreux to carry out the attack after reading an online rant from the father of one of Paty’s students, who called the teacher a “thug” and demanded that he be suspended over the slight of the founder of Islam.
The attacker, who witnesses said shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” after beheading Paty, was shot dead by responding police officers.
Paty had shown his class cartoons published by the magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked by Muslim extremists in 2015 over the caricatures — leaving 12 people dead and prompting massive demonstrations at the time.
Friday’s attack on Raty sparked a similar national backlash, with French officials announcing that 231 “radicalized” foreign nationals will be expelled from the country, Fox News said Sunday.
Meanwhile, authorities said 11 people have been arrested and held for questioning in Raty’s fatal attack, the BBC said.
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