‘Martyred’ Paris teacher Samuel Paty beheaded over Muhammad cartoon is to be awarded France's highest honour

A TEACHER who was beheaded after showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad is to be awarded France's highest honour.

Samuel Paty will receive the Legion d'Honneur posthumously in a national tribute ceremony at the Sorbonne in Paris tomorrow.

He will also be made Commander of Academic Palms, another prestigious honour.

Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer told BFMTV: "It is emblematic, it is the order that goes with the teachers, with the world of education.

"His martyrdom is well worth this recognition of the institution."

He added that the Sorbonne, one of the world's oldest universities, "is the embodiment of the importance of what is being played at the moment: the transmission of knowledge and values.

"The Sorbonne is emblematic of what Samuel Paty embodies today."

Friday's murder outside a school near Paris has shocked the nation and been branded an attack on French values.

Thousands marched in support of free speech on Sunday, carrying placards that declared #JeSuisSamuel and #JeSuisProf in an echo of the Charlie Hebdo terror attack of 2015.

"The enemy is here," Prime Minister Jean Castex told MPs after a minute's silence in the National Assembly.

"Radical Islam has infiltrated our society founded on tolerance."

The PM also said France needed a law against endangering the lives of others via social media networks. 

Mr Paty, 47, was targeted in an online hate campaign whipped up by angry parents on social media after he showed satirical cartoons in a lesson on free speech.

One pupil's father was accused of "launching a fatwa" after he posted Facebook videos and calling for him to be sacked for insulting the Prophet.

Police believe Chechen refugee Abdoullakh Anzorov, 18, travelled 50 miles from his home in Normandy to attack Mr Paty after seeing the online campaign.

Today police sources revealed the teenage killer had messaged the parent behind the campaign in the days before the murder.

The dad and a radical preacher were among 16 people arrested over the murder.

Five schoolchildren and three friends of the assassin were also taken into custody, BFM reports.

The most recent arrest was reportedly a man who surrendered to police after he had been in contact with the killer for the past few weeks.

Authorities today ordered the closure of a Paris suburb mosque that shared the Facebook video whipping up hatred against Mr Paty.

Emmanuel Macron's government is keen to show it is tough on extremism after what he condemned as an "Islamic terror attack".

Police began rounding up suspected Islamists after the Interior Minster ordered the expulsion of 231 foreigners on an extremism watchlist yesterday.

Mr Darmanin also said he was looking into whether certain Muslim groups should be dissolved following accusations of promoting violence.

Anzarov, a Russian national who was not known to intelligence agencies, was shot dead by police after killing Mr Paty.

Police seized his phone and began examining everyone he had been in contact with.

At least four members of Anzorov's family were also arrested. They were granted ten-year residency after claiming asylum in March.

The killer's uncle told French television: "He was a child. He was only 18.

"If he were still alive, I would have asked him: 'Why did you do that? What was going on your head?' He must have been influenced by someone."

Friday's attack was the fifth in France this year alone.

Just last month, seven people were detained after a meat cleaver attack outside Charlie Hebdo's former offices in Paris.

Twelve people were massacred at the site in 2015 after the magazine published satirical cartoons of Muhammad.


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