France honours ‘hero’ teacher killed for Mohammed cartoon – Times of India

PARIS: A yr after the brutal homicide of a French instructor, beheaded for exhibiting his college students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, faculties are scuffling with the right way to educate core French values with out inflaming tensions with younger Muslims.
Samuel Paty, who was 47, was killed after leaving the center faculty the place he taught historical past and geography within the tranquil Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on the night of October 16, 2020.
His killer, 18-year-old Chechen refugee Abdullakh Anzorov, who had been dwelling in France for years, claimed the assault as revenge for Paty exhibiting his class the Mohammed cartoons in a lesson on free speech.
On Saturday, a number of ceremonies shall be held in reminiscence of the favored instructor hailed by President Emmanuel Macron as a “quiet hero” of the French republic.
In Conflans, the ceremonies will embrace the revealing of a monument of an open guide, whereas in Paris a sq. reverse the celebrated Sorbonne college shall be renamed in his honour.
Paty’s violent loss of life despatched shockwaves via France, the place it was seen as an assault on the core values drilled by academics into generations of schoolchildren, together with the separation of church and state and the suitable to blaspheme.
For sociologist Michel Wieviorka, it was an assault on the concept, lengthy cherished by the French, “that youngsters depart their variations on the door after they enter faculty”.
College students are anticipated to embark on the trail to “modernity, progress, civilisation and data” within the classroom, he added.
In scenes harking back to the rallies held after the 2015 killing of a bunch of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists — whose drawings Paty confirmed his class — hundreds of individuals marched throughout France in defence of free speech after the instructor was killed.
At the least three cities went on to call faculties after Paty, together with the multi-ethnic jap Paris suburb of Valenton.
Regardless of the present of defiance, some academics say Paty’s homicide has induced them to train a type of self-censorship.
A instructor in a city close to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, who didn’t wish to be named, informed AFP she “holds again extra” now when discussing faith along with her class.
In an interview with Liberation newspaper, one in all Paty’s colleagues mentioned she too had grown extra guarded.
“I weigh each phrase I say now,” the girl, who was additionally not named for safety causes, informed the paper.
She mentioned she feared that her remarks could possibly be “misinterpreted by the scholars and extensively shared (outdoors the college), as occurred with Samuel”.
Paty’s determination to indicate college students aged 14-15 two cartoons of Mohammed, one that includes the prophet bare on all fours, unleashed a vicious on-line smear marketing campaign began by the daddy of a pupil who falsely claimed that Paty had requested Muslims to go away the classroom.
The marketing campaign caught the eye of Normandy-based extremist Anzorov, who traced Paty to his faculty and paid a few of his college students to level him out as he was strolling house from work.
Anzarov was himself shot useless later that day by police.
The assault got here within the midst of a heated debate over Macron’s marketing campaign towards what he referred to as “Islamist separatism” in immigrant communities, the place conservative Muslims are accused of rejecting secularism, free speech and different values taught at school.
Macron was accused by leftist critics on the time of stigmatising Europe’s greatest Muslim neighborhood and pandering to the far-right forward of 2022 elections.
However on the suitable, voters and politicians have lengthy been urging harder motion to revive the state’s authority in what a bunch of academics described in a 2015 guide because the “misplaced territories of the Republic”.
They embrace controversial media pundit Eric Zemmour, a attainable candidate for the presidency in subsequent yr’s vote, who has declared Paty’s homicide proof that France is in a “civil conflict” with radical Islamists.
The anti-Islam commentator, whom polls present closing in on Marine Le Pen for the management of the far-right, stresses the necessity for immigrants to assimilate into French society.
For Wieviorka, nevertheless, the notion that newcomers ought to surrender the customs and tradition of their international locations of origin is just not tenable.
“That is the outdated French mannequin which not actually works,” he mentioned.
He contrasted the powerful rhetoric from ministers on secularism with the truth in faculties, the place academics are being challenged each day by college students about legal guidelines defending the suitable to mock individuals’s religion, which many Muslims see as mainly concentrating on Islam.
“They (the academics) usually are not ready for that,” he mentioned.
To assist them present solutions, the training ministry has developed a sequence of academic instruments, together with a “republican information” despatched to every faculty and a sequence of posters explaining secularism.

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