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20 Oct, 2020 15:58

Mosque outside Paris ordered to close amid investigation into French teacher’s beheading

Mosque outside Paris ordered to close amid investigation into French teacher’s beheading

Authorities in France have ordered the Grand Mosque of Pantin near Paris to close temporarily, after it shared a video railing against teacher Samuel Paty, killed in a brutal attack outside the school where he worked on Friday.

The mosque in a low-income suburb had shared a video on its Facebook page just days before the attack on Paty, in which it criticized the teacher’s choice of material during a class discussion on freedom of expression, according to French investigators.

The mosque, which has around 1,500 worshippers, will be shut on Wednesday night for six months, the Interior Ministry said.

The video shared by the mosque was posted by the father of a schoolgirl who attended the lesson in which the cartoon was shown. The father was among 15 people arrested after the killing, along with a known Islamist radical and four members of the family of the attacker, an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin who was shot dead by police near the scene.

According to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, the father and the radical had issued a fatwa against the teacher.

Also on rt.com Macron calls killing of ‘beheaded’ French teacher an ‘Islamist terrorist attack’

A police source told Reuters on Tuesday that the man accused of beheading Paty had sent a text message to the father of a girl in the teacher’s class “who had complained about the images.”

The head of the Pantin mosque, M’hammed Henniche, said on Tuesday that he had shared the video out of concern for Muslim pupils being singled out in class. The school said Paty had given Muslim pupils the choice to leave the classroom during the lesson.

The mosque condemned Paty’s killing as “savagery” in a statement published on Facebook on Sunday, saying that “there’s no room for violence in our religion.” It also joined Muslim leaders, who gathered outside the school on Monday, in offering their condolences to Paty’s family.

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