France will hold a national honor ceremony today, Wednesday, for history teacher Samuel Patti, who was beheaded Friday in a shocking attack in the country, amid a wave of prosecution measures targeting what Paris describes as “radical Islam.”
Pati will be honored in the courtyard of the ancient Sorbonne University in the presence of President Emmanuel Macron, days after he was beheaded by a Chechen refugee named Abdullah Anzurov (18 years) – according to the authorities’ allegations – and his killers were arrested by the police immediately.
Patty will be awarded a Medal of Honor in honor after his murder, and the authorities will allocate his 5-year-old son a special distinction granted by the state to orphans who lost their families in war or “assault.”
Investigators say that the killer was seeking revenge after the victim used caricatures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, in a lesson on freedom of expression.
7 before the courts
Today, 7 people will appear before the judiciary, including the Islamist activist Abdul Hakim al-Safriwi and two underage students, whom the authorities suspect of receiving sums of money from the killer to obtain information about Bati.
Among the seven who appeared before the judge was the father of a student, who had posted a video clip talking about the teacher’s use of cartoons in the classroom.
The seven will appear before an investigative judge specializing in “terrorism” cases in preparation for opening a case, and the possibility of charges being brought against them for “the crime that was extremely brutal.”
The judge will also hear the statements of 3 friends of the killer, suspected of having transported him and the other who accompanied him when buying weapons.
Prosecutors say the attacker asked pupils outside the school to signal Patty as he was leaving for the house.
16 people, including 5 students, were placed in custody pending investigation between Friday and the end of the week, to reveal how the killer managed to find the targeted person before he was beheaded near his school in Conflans-Saint-Honorine in the Paris region.
Mosques are under threat
In another development, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanan said today that he had asked local authorities to place mosques in the cities of Bordeaux and Beziers (southwest) under police protection after receiving threats or acts of violence.
And the minister wrote on Twitter today, “Such actions are unacceptable on the land of the Republic.”
“France Blue” radio reported – on its website late yesterday evening – that officials of the Al-Rahma Mosque in Beziers had filed a complaint with the police after receiving hate messages on Facebook, including a call to burn the mosque.
The radio station displayed a message on Facebook, later deleted, calling for the teacher to be honored by the burning of the Bezier mosque.
President Emmanuel Macron had vowed to tighten the campaign against what he described as Islamic extremism in his country, and announced yesterday the dissolution of the “Sheikh Ahmed Yassin Gathering” known for its activities for the Palestinian cause, which he said was directly involved in the killing of the teacher last Friday.
He also announced the closure of a mosque in the suburb of Bantan (northeast of Paris) on charges of incitement against the murdered teacher.
According to a notification suspended by the authorities, the mosque will be closed from today for a period of 6 months, and anyone who violates the closure decision faces a prison sentence.
In response to the French steps, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) asserted that the “Sheikh Yassin Gathering” does not have any organizational relationship with it or its president, Safari.
In a statement yesterday, Hamas denounced the media attempts that seek to throw its name into an internal battle in which it is not a party, stressing that its battle is only against the Israeli occupation for freedom and independence.
In addition to the two decisions to dissolve the association and close the mosque, Macron announced similar decisions that will be issued in the coming days and weeks against Islamic associations and individuals accused of extremism.
Attitudes and reactions
In reactions to these events, the Association Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) resorted to the United Nations Human Rights Council, due to the Macron administration’s stance towards Muslims in the country.
The association – which is concerned with advocating for Muslims who are subjected to discrimination and attacks in France – said that it had resorted to the UN Human Rights Council against the calendar of crucial decisions recently taken by the French authorities, which include closing Islamic associations and civil society organizations.
She also mentioned that the process of slaughtering a teacher by a Chechen youth for displaying cartoons offensive to the Messenger constituted a new breath for all initiatives aimed at restricting Muslim communities in France.
On the political level, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considered yesterday that his French counterpart seeks to hold Islam and Muslims accountable, condemning those he called disturbed by the rise of Islam.
During a meeting organized by the Presidency of Turkish Religious Affairs for ministers and religious officials in the member and observer countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Erdogan said, “We as Muslims should listen to each other more, and exchange ideas during this painful and challenging period.”