Angry Father May Have Texted Teacher's Killer

Police in France say the pair exchanged messages before teacher was beheaded
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2020 1:09 PM CDT
Angry Father May Have Texted Teacher's Killer
A demonstrator displays on his back a portrait of slain teacher Samuel Paty during a demonstration Sunday in Paris.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

France has ordered a mosque outside Paris to close for six months after it appeared to support action against a teacher who was later slain outside his school. The mosque shared videos on Facebook last week that included the address of the school where Samuel Paty taught, the BBC reports. The mosque has since deleted the videos, said it regrets posting them, and condemned the slaying. The government planned a meeting Tuesday with the heads of social media networks about what an official called "cyber-Islamism." Dozens of French Muslim organizations are under review by the government, to be shut if they're promoting hate. Paty was killed after displaying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in class. "The enemy is here," Prime Minister Jean Castex told Parliament. "Radical Islam has infiltrated our society founded on tolerance."

Sources in the French police said a man whose daughter was in Paty's class texted the young man they've identified as the killer, per France 24. The two traded messages on WhatsApp days before Paty was slain, police said. The father also had started an online campaign, posting Facebook videos calling for the teacher's removal, and listing the school's address and Paty's name. He's in custody. President Emmanuel Macron was to attend a ceremony with Paty's family Wednesday. Members of Parliament honored the teacher on Tuesday, and a memorial march was planned afterward. Thousands of people demonstrated over the weekend, celebrating Paty and defending free speech. The teacher was named a posthumous recipient of the Legion d'Honneur, the nation's highest award. (Raids and arrests followed the slaying.)

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