'Teaching yes, bleeding no': France pays tribute to beheaded teacher

PARIS (Reuters) - Thousands of people gathered across France on Sunday to support teachers and defend freedom of expression after the killing of Samuel Paty, a history teacher beheaded by a suspected Islamist on Friday.

Reuters October 19, 2020 00:10:18 IST
'Teaching yes, bleeding no': France pays tribute to beheaded teacher

Teaching yes bleeding no France pays tribute to beheaded teacher

PARIS (Reuters) - Thousands of people gathered across France on Sunday to support teachers and defend freedom of expression after the killing of Samuel Paty, a history teacher beheaded by a suspected Islamist on Friday.

From Paris to Lyon, Marseille and Lille large crowds gathered quietly, pausing regularly to applaud, hold minutes of silence or sing the national anthem.

Prime Minister Jean Castex attended the gathering on Place de La Republique in Paris along with Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and politicians from across the spectrum, showing solidarity after a killing that has shocked the country.

"You don't scare us. We are not afraid. You will not divide us. We are France!" Castex tweeted later.

Paty, 47, was killed outside his school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year-old attacker. Earlier this month, the teacher had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

The assailant, who was born in Russia of Chechen origin, was shot dead by police soon after the attack. Police have detained 11 people in connection with the killing.

People at the events on Sunday wore masks against COVID-19 and carried signs such as "Teaching yes, bleeding no" or "I am Charlie" in a reference to satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were attacked in a mass killing five years ago.

"We're here to defend the Republic, the values of the Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity and secularism. We can feel that the nation is threatened," Pierre Fourniou, 83, said in Paris.

Paty had been the target of an angry campaign on social media before he was killed. Castex said in an interview in Journal du Dimanche newspaper that the government is working on a strategy to better protect teachers from threats.

President Emmanuel Macron was due to hold a security meeting with key ministers later on Sunday, his office said.

A national tribute will be organised for Wednesday.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau, Yonathan Van der Voort, Sybille de La Hamaide and Bertrand Boucey; Editing by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.