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Police raid Islamist groups over teacher’s beheading

French police on Monday swooped on radical Islamist groups three days after the beheading of a teacher, who had shown his pupils satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The raids came a day after tens of thousands of people took part in rallies countrywide to honour teacher Samuel Paty and defend freedom of expression, including the right to show cartoons regarded by many Muslims as insulting.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the swoop on Islamist networks was designed to send a message that “enemies of the Republic” would not enjoy “a minute’s respite”.

Sources close to the operation said that individuals targeted in the operation were known to the police for radical preachings or hate speech.

Mr. Darmanin said the government would also tighten the noose on NGOs with links to Islamist networks, including the high-profile Anti-Islamophobia Collective.

“Fear is about to change sides,” President Emmanuel Macron told a meeting of key Ministers on Sunday to discuss a response to the attack. “Islamists should not be allowed sleep soundly in our country,” he said.

The attack has drawn parallels with the 2015 massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine, where 12 people were killed for publishing images of the Prophet.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 6:55:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/police-raid-islamist-groups-over-teachers-beheading/article32895665.ece

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