Oct 17, 2020 - World

Macron calls for unity against extremism after beheading of teacher

French President Emmanuel Macron speaking in front of a school on Oct. 16.
French President Emmanuel Macron speaking in front of a school on Oct. 16. Photo: Abdulmonam Eassa/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned what he described as an “Islamist terrorist attack” after a teacher was decapitated in a Paris suburb on Friday, AP reports.

What they're saying: “One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught ... the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” Macron said, per AP. “We must stand all together as citizens."

  • Police fatally shot the suspected attacker after the beheading.

The big picture: French authorities said the teacher had discussed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed with students, leading to complaints from parents. France's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the murder.

  • Authorities have arrested at least nine people in connection with the beheading, including relatives of the alleged attacker, according to Le Monde, a French newspaper.
  • “Through one of its defenders, it is the Republic which has been struck in the heart by Islamist terrorism,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said Saturday, according to Reuters.
    • “In solidarity with its teachers, the State will react with the greatest firmness so that the Republic and its citizens live, free! We will never give up. Never.”
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