French teacher Didier Lemaire was placed under police protection because he wrote a letter defending the Samuel Paty, a fellow teacher who was beheaded for showing pictures of Mohamed in class.
Lemaire has taught philosophy in the commune of Trappes, in the Paris suburb of Yvelines, for 20 years but now requires an armed police escort simply to enter the high school where he teaches.
“Today, I am accompanied to the high school by armed policemen who follow my vehicle,” Lemaire told BFMTV, adding: “I know that the school is also protected, sometimes visibly or invisibly.”
Mr Lemaire said he received several threats after publishing an open letter shortly after the murder of Mr Paty who was killed in October for showing cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed to his class during a lesson on freedom of expression at another school in Yvelines.
French Academic Under Police Protection After Criticising Islam https://t.co/JIxU2gkU5o
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 19, 2020
Mr Lemaire spoke out about the situation in Trappes in the aftermath of the publication of his letter in which he condemned the murderer of Paty along with “ideologues” he compared to the Nazis, saying that such fanatics want to bring down the French Republic.
“In class, some of my students — an entire class — asked me at the beginning of the school year why I had written a letter ‘against them’. I explained to them that it was for them and not against them,” Lemaire said.
“In Trappes, there is no longer a mixed hairdresser. Maghreb women can no longer enter cafes. There is a lot of pressure on women to wear the veil,” he said and added: “The synagogue burned down, the Jews left. Then there was the exodus of other populations. And now it is the moderate Muslims and atheists who are leaving.”
French Teachers Receive Death Threats Explicitly Referencing Beheading of Samuel Paty https://t.co/N9GjlIhcQT
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 24, 2020
Following Mr Paty’s death, many teachers spoke out about the growing problem of Islamic radicalism in their classrooms. One teacher in Paris suburb stated that up to a third of her class openly questioned freedom of expression and stated it was “not normal” to criticise Islam.
In December, the French Ministry of National Education reported that there had been nearly 400 incidents of praising terrorism or provocations relating to terror in French schools in the aftermath of Paty’s murder.
Mr Lemaire is not the only teacher to require police protection after speaking out about the influence of Islam and the murder of Mr Paty. In December, a French law professor in Marseille was placed under police protection after claiming that religions like Islam were “sexually transmitted”.
Dutch Teacher Who Posted Jihadi-Mocking Cartoon Forced Into Hiding by Threats https://t.co/xfOUJhKT2a
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 8, 2020