Samuel Paty beheading: Teacher’s slaying spurs protests across France


Every human life is precious and sacred and killing one is like triggering a genocide. (Al Quran 5:32/33)

The Muslim Times has the best collection for free speech, about hate speech and to promote secularism in every country of the world. Suggested reading: Islamophobia and Antisemitism: Facebook will ban Holocaust denial posts under hate speech policy

Samuel Paty beheading: Teacher’s slaying spurs protests across France

By Pierre Buet and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

Paris (CNN) Demonstrators took to the streets of French locales Sunday lauding free speech and decrying violence against educators after the slaying of a teacher who used caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad during a lesson.

A protester holds a sign that says “I’m a teacher,” in solidarity with educator Samuel Paty.

Thousands gathered in and around Paris’ Place de la République, some holding signs showing the front page of Charlie Hebdo — a satirical magazine targeted by extremists after showing cartoons of the prophet — while others lofted placards, saying, “No to Islamisation” and “Nazislamisation is cutting our throats.”

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Prime Minister Jean Castex and other politicians were on hand at the protests.A special needs teacher who works in the Paris area told CNN she joined the demonstration because she was shocked by the killing.

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France teacher had received ‘days of threats’ before his brutal killing

Source: BBC

The teacher who was beheaded in a street in France had received threats after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his pupils, French media report.

He has been named as 47-year-old Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher.

Samuel Paty, a well-liked teacher, had been threatened over showing the cartoons

Nine people have been arrested, including the parents of a child at Mr Paty’s school, judicial sources are quoted as saying.

Police say the attacker was an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin.

The killing took place while a trial is under way in Paris over a 2015 Islamist assault on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was targeted for publishing the cartoons.

President Emmanuel Macron said the attack bore all the hallmarks of an “Islamist terrorist attack” and the teacher had been murdered because he “taught freedom of expression”.

Speaking at the scene hours after the incident, he stressed national unity. “They will not prevail, they will not divide us,” he said.

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Categories: Free Speech, hate speech

10 replies

  1. The freedom to offend is a priceless commodity

    By Kenan Malik

    The details are still emerging, but the horror is clear – the beheading of a teacher, Samuel Paty, in Paris, apparently in response to his using Charlie Hebdo cartoons in a classroom discussion on free speech.

    After such attacks there are always claims that “free speech isn’t worth it”. Hardly had news begun filtering out about the 2015 Charlie Hebdo murders than there were suggestions that the cartoonists had brought it on themselves. The same will no doubt happen again.

    But in such moments, we need to do the opposite: to reaffirm commitments to free speech and the freedom to offend.

    What is called “offence to a community” is usually a struggle within communities. There are hundreds of thousands, within Muslim communities in the west and in Muslim-majority countries across the world, challenging religious-based reactionary ideas and institutions – writers, cartoonists, political activists, daily risking their lives in facing down blasphemy laws, standing up for equal rights and fighting for democratic freedoms.

  2. The above are not my views. I just posted an article from the Guardian to share.

    First things first. Every human life is precious and sacred and there is never a justification for murder.

    Humanity needs rules for free speech and against hate speech and just application across religious and ethnic divides according to the Golden Rule.

    European Convention on Human Rights best describes free speech and its exceptions.

    Article 10 provides the right to freedom of expression, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas, but allows restrictions for:

    interests of national security
    territorial integrity or public safety
    prevention of disorder or crime
    protection of health or morals
    protection of the reputation or the rights of others
    preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence
    maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary

  3. I have been having arguments about ‘Freedom of Speech’. In my opinion it is not a licence to insult and offend, which is what many seem to suggest. Rather it means that people should not be restricted, but should be free to express themselves, although the actual actions should be considered so that they do not cause needless harm or provoke. It is human nature to respond to extreme and even not so extreme offence, insulting someone could result in a black eye or a broken nose, or even worse. Why do it? But I suppose that I have different values to some others. I don’t believe that Freedom of Speech is a free-for-all to offend and make others suffer, which is what I’ve seen all too often, i.e. people with handicaps (Trump was a recent example, which didn’t go down well), ridiculing people of colour or other races, and other differences. But I consider it’s a certainly mentality that does such things.

    • @ Renate – “In my opinion it is not a licence to insult and offend, which is what many seem to suggest.”

      But who decides what is insulting or offensive? There is no universal view – it is different for everyone. By your logic, if someone finds religion offensive or insulting (and many do), it should be banned.

  4. If a teacher in the USA or France were to take a picture of a White man and an African American and talk about how “freedom of speech” allows a White man to claim that Whites are superior to black people in intelligence and therefore blacks should be relegated to the status of slaves or servants, would he be punished and prohibited from saying such things . I do not know if there are rules about it there. Further, American History has “outed” Racial prejudice and now it is intellectually stylish not to be racist . Being racist is a feature of “rednecks’.
    If Jesus was reviled in film or cartoons as homosexual philanderer or child molester , the American Christian can handle that because Christians are a sizable proportion of the population and they have enough eloquent people to speak up for them. In France the average Muslim is powerless in the public sphere and a minority of the population. As happened over the cartoons related to the Prophet people sometimes take the law into their hands when they feel imprisoned in powerlessness. So Macron the French President should have talked about how France should bring in rules about deriding the religion of minorities after talking about the criminal act.
    So acts like this are often the result of a lack of political muscle and maturity requires understanding besides condemnation.

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