A teacher in the suburbs of Paris has been beheaded after allegedly showing his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
The teacher was attacked by the assailant close to the school where he taught. Police had been called to the scene as residents complained about a ‘suspicious man’. When police arrived they found the decapitated corpse and the swordsman. The assailant threatened the policemen, leading to shots being fired which killed the man. Before being shot dead by the police he shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Arabic for ‘God is most great’: a phrase often used in Islamic terror attacks).
The French security services are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, also described the incident as an ‘Islamic terrorist attack’.
The police did not release the assailant’s name, but said he was an 18-year-old who had been born in Russia’s Chechnya region.
According to reports, four other people were arrested in connection with the incident.
The teacher had allegedly discussed the issue of cartoons of Mohammad with his class as part of a discussion about freedom of expression, but had encouraged Muslim pupils to leave before he showed cartoons of the Prophet lest they be offended. Under Islamic law it is forbidden to depict the Prophet in any way.
Interviews with pupils who attended the school indicated that the teacher was well-liked and respected.
In 2015 the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was attacked by Islamic terrorists after it had published cartoons of Mohammad. Twelve people were killed.