EOHR Condemns the Beheading of French Professor

October 18th, 2020 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights strongly condemns the brutal murder of the French teacher Samuel Paty, 47, as a heinous terrorist attack. Samuel Paty, who taught history and geography at a school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, was attacked on Friday evening by Abdullakh Anzorov, an 18-year old refugee from Chechnya who had been given a residency card in March 2020. Anzorov was later shot by the French police after he attacked the police with an air rifle and a knife.

Earlier this month, Paty had shown a class of teenage pupils a caricature of the prophet Mohammed from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. This was part of a discussion on freedom of speech in his moral and civic education class, which is a required class in France. This incident sparked a furious response from a number of parents, one of whom filed a formal complaint in the police station and uploaded a photo of the professor claiming he had shown a naked picture of the prophet. Paty had reportedly insisted that he had asked Muslim students to identify themselves and leave the classroom if the content would offend them.

The anti-terror prosecutor has opened an investigation into whether Anzorov had any accomplices stating that they will investigate “assassination linked to a terrorist organization and association with terrorist criminals”.

In a statement by Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, Al-Zahar denounced the crime stating “This crime is rejected by Islam and this act cannot be justified, because Islam has called for the protection of human life.” Al Azahar also called for the necessity to respect religious symbols, and to refrain from stirring up hatred by insulting religions and the need to adopt global legislation that criminalizes insulting religions and their sacred symbols, and also called on everyone to display morals and religious teachings.

While the EOHR reaffirms the need to reject hate speech, the EOHR firmly denounces this incident of terrorisms and rejects violence in all its forms. This reaffirms the need to promote further cooperation between states to confront the threat of religious extremism and violent terrorism. Indeed, the threat of terrorism knows no boundaries and affects us all equally. The EOHR stresses that such acts of terrorism threaten the values of human rights, as they represent an attack on the rights and liberties enshrined in international conventions and covenants, the most important of which are the right to life, freedom, personal security and the right to movement.

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