France closes Paris mosque in clampdown over teacher's beheading

Date: 
October, 2020
Country: 
France

French authorities said Tuesday they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

The mosque in a densely-populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday's gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty's choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, said a source close to the investigation.

The interior ministry said the mosque in Pantin, which has some 1,500 worshippers, would be shut on Wednesday night for six months.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who vowed Monday there would be "not a minute's respite for enemies of the Republic", had asked regional authorities to carry out the mosque closure.

And on Monday, police launched a series of raids targeting Islamist networks.

Paty, 47, was attacked on his way home from the junior high school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40 kilometres northwest of Paris.

A photo of the teacher and a message confessing to his murder was found on the mobile phone of his killer, 18-year-old Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov, who also posted images of the decapitated body on Twitter.

Source: BP