A teacher in France was decapitated after showing cartoon pictures of The Prophet Muhammed to his classes, in an attempt to help the kids learn about freedom of speech. According to NBC News, the pictures of Muhammed were caricatures, which means that there were “ludicrously exaggerating his peculiarities or defects” according to Dictionary.com.
The 47-year-old French instructor who was so brutally murdered in this way was named Samuel Paty. BBC reports that it happened on Friday, October 16th, 2020 at about 17:00 (15:00 GMT), which is 11 a.m. in the United States. The man who beheaded him was so young, only 18-years-old. His name was Abdoukalah Anzorov, and according to reports he was of Chechen origin and was born in Moscow.
Surprisingly, the killer actually only had small misdemeanor charges on his criminal record up until the murder, lived about 60 miles from the murder scene in the town of Evreux (located in Normandy), and actually shot an air gun at authorities before the police shot and killed him not long after the beheading of Mr. Paty. Anzorov had been living as a refugee in France, but was unknown to intelligence officials.
The Motivation of the Killer Who Beheaded the French Teacher
If by chance you are not familiar with who The Prophet Muhammed was, he was born in 570 AD in Mecca, according to Biography, and is the man who at 40-years-old began to have revelations of Allah (God), which in turn became what is now the foundation of the Muslim’s Holy Koran as well as the religion of Islam as whole.
Flowers left for beheaded teacher Samuel Paty. Image from NBC News 7 San Diego.
Mr. Paty had been warned about the insulting pictures of Muhammed that he was showing the students, because many of those who attended classes were of Islamic faith. In fact, according to France 24 News, the now deceased teacher (who was a Professor of History at the College du Bois d’Aulne) had recently been the target of many threats.
For example, a short while before the gruesome murder (one that the killer actually posted on social media after he’d done it, a horrific post that was removed from Twitter and is no longer available online), Professor Paty had been giving a lesson on free speech and was showing his students cartoons from Charli Hebdo, according to The Wall Street Journal.
This is the satirical magazine that back in 2015 had a staff that suffered multiple losses of life from what is now known as the Charli Hebdo shooting, which is when seventeen people (including journalists and security guards) were murdered at the publication’s offices. The magazine has long been well-known for publishing offensive cartoons and literature targeted at government and religion.
Reactions to the Beheading of the French Professor
There have been nine people arrested in connection with the beheading murder of 47-year-old French History Professor Samuel Paty. Many who knew him have shown up to his school to leave flowers, photos and other items as a sign of respect for the teacher. Many of the students told reporters that he was a very kind and peaceful man.