Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoons projected onto government buildings in defiance of Islamist terrorists

Projection of controversial cartoons took place during national day of mourning for murdered teacher Samuel Paty

Anthony Cuthbertson
in Paris
Friday 23 October 2020 00:20 BST
Protests across France after teacher killing

Cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad were projected onto government buildings in France as part of a tribute to history teacher Samuel Paty, who was murdered by an Islamist terrorist last week.

The controversial depictions from the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were displayed onto town halls in Montpellier and Toulouse for several hours on Wednesday evening, following an official memorial attended by Paty’s family and President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

Paty was beheaded while walking home on Friday evening, just days after he showed Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of Mohammad to pupils in a class about freedom of expression.

In a tribute to the slain teacher, Macron described him as a “quiet hero” who “embodied” the values of the French Republic. The president posthumously awarded Paty the Légion d'Honneur, France’s highest civilian honour.

“He was killed precisely because he incarnated the Republic. He was killed because the Islamists want our future,” Macron said.

“Samuel Paty on Friday became the face of the Republic, of our desire to break the will of the terrorists… and to live as a community of free citizens in our country.”

The attack on Paty is the second terror incident in the capital since a trial began last month against the alleged accomplices of the 2015 killings that took place at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices.

The trial sees 14 people accused of providing weapons and logistical support to the gunmen, who were killed by police after three days of attacks that left 17 people dead and dozens injured.

The perpetrator of last Friday’s attack was also shot dead by police, and more than a dozen individuals have since been arrested as part of the investigation.

The front page of latest issue of Charlie Hebdo did not feature an image of the Prophet Mohammad - as it did following the 2015 attack - instead displaying decapitated cartoons of various professions with the headline: “Who’s turn next?”

An editorial stated: “These murderers want to decapitate democracy itself.”

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