By Oisin Sweeney •
Published: 11 Feb 2021 • 20:27
France is grappling with its radical Islam crisis - Image Source: Gendarmeries Nacional
A FRENCH secondary school teacher has been offered the country’s highest level of police protection after his warning against radical Islam provoked death threats.
Didier Lemaire, who teaches philosophy in a state school near Paris, has already been living under protection since writing an open letter claiming the state provides inefficient security to teachers from the threat of radical Islam.
His letter was inspired by the shocking beheading of fellow teacher Samuel Paty at the hands of a teenage jihadist in October, and he has since been subjected to a wave of serious death threats himself. Lemaire claims that teachers across France are terrified of brutal retaliation from fundamentalists if their classes stray into areas that challenge Islam.
On Thursday (February 11th), France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced that Lemaire has been offered the country’s highest level of police protection usually only offered to high-profile politicians. This includes elite bodyguards and a private driver, though it is unclear whether the teacher has availed of the offer.
France is currently grappling with a crisis against the surge of radical Islam, highlighted by the Paty case and that of a teenage girl living under protection since posting Instagram videos criticising the religion. She has received over 50,000 abuse messages, and several men have been arrested for threatening her life.
President Macron has held firm that France will uphold its values of free speech – using the Spanish anti-fascist slogan “No Pasanan” (They Shall Not Pass) in one memorable speech. With the threat of violent repercussions awaiting those who critique Islam, the country is now gripped with a major and complex societal problem to which no end is yet in sight.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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