Statement on the murder of Samuel Paty

Press or other inquiries

Download our statement as a PDF.

For contact with EuroClio Secretariat and Executive Director Steven Stegers, please call Communications Officer Andreas Holtberget +31 6 30911384.

For contact with the Association des Professeurs d’Histoire et de Géographie in France, please contact EuroClio Board Member Ann-Laure Lieval +33 6 86 40 13 05.

For contact with the Network of Concerned Historians, please contact Prof. Antoon de Baets in writing at a.h.m.de.baets@rug.nl


Background

Summary produced by Prof Antoon de Baets of the Network of Concerned Historians:

On 16 October 2020, Samuel Paty ([1973]–2020), a history and geography teacher, was attacked with a knife and beheaded near his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, near Paris. Witnesses heard attacker Abdoulakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin, shout “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Greatest.” Anzorov then posted a picture of the beheaded Paty to a Twitter account, along with insults to President Emmanuel Macron and French “infidels” and “dogs.” He later fired at police with an airgun before being shot dead in Eragny-sur-Oise, being hit nine times in all. On 6 October 2020, Paty had taught a class of Enseignement morale et civique (EMS; moral and civic education) about freedom of expression to the fourth year (13- and 14-year-olds) and shown the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad while talking about Charlie Hebdo (the satirical magazine that had republished the cartoons in 2015 and suffered a deadly attack for it). He had advised Muslim students to look away or leave the room if they thought they might be offended. The class caused an uproar among some Muslim parents with a few posting videos asking for Paty’s resignation and one lodging a formal complaint. Paty had also received a number of unspecified threats in the days following the class. At least fifteen people were detained for interrogation, including four school students (who may have helped identify Paty to Anzorov in exchange for payment), relatives of the attacker, parents of a child at Paty’s school and radical Islamist preacher Abdelhakim Sefrioui (who was accused of having issued a “fatwa” against Paty). President Macron called the beheading an “Islamist terrorist attack.” In the National Assembly, deputies stood up to honor the teacher and condemn the “atrocious terror attack.” On 18 October 2020, rallies with tens of thousands of people were held in Paris and several other cities in support of Paty. In the wake of the murder, police raided the homes of dozens of suspected Islamic radicals and Muslim associations, including the Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF; Collective Against Islamophobia) and BarakaCity. Some of those questioned had reportedly posted messages of support for Anzorov.

Notes:

Jean-Michel Décugis, Jérémie Pham-Lê & Ronan Folgoas, “Yvelines-Val-d’Oise: un professeur retrouvé décapité, un suspect abattu,” LeParisien (16 October 2020); Elise Vincent & Nicolas Chapuis, “Attentat de Conflans: neuf personnes en garde à vue, dont des parents d’élèves et des proches du meurtrier,” Le Monde (17 October 2020); “Macron Calls Paris Beheading ‘Islamist Terrorist Attack’,” BBC News (17 October 2020); “France Teacher Attack: Suspect ‘Asked Pupils to Point Samuel Paty Out’,” BBC News (17 October 2020); Kim Willsher, “Macron Speaks of ‘Existential’ Fight against Terrorism after Teacher Killed in France,” Guardian (17 October 2020); Kim Willsher, “Teacher decapitated in Paris named as Samuel Paty, 47,” Guardian (17 October 2020); Gert van Langendonck, “‘Er is een Frankrijk voor en een na de onthoofding’,” NRC Handelsblad (18 October 2020); “France Teacher Attack: Police Raid Homes of Suspected Islamic Radicals,” BBC News (19 October 2020); “France Teacher Attack: Four Pupils Held over Beheading,” BBC News (20 October 2020); Lucy Williamson, Samuel Paty: Beheading of Teacher Deepens Divisions over France’s Secular Identity,” BBC News (20 October 2020).

‘New approaches to wars, transformation of agricultures and rural territories’ 2016 Conference

EuroClio Uncategorized

The Association of History and Geography Teachers of France will held a series of  workshops and conferences refering to the National History and Geography Days: ‘New Approaches to Wars, Transformation of Agricultures and Rural Territories’  in Amiens from Wednesday 19 to Saturday, October 22, 2016.

In History:

The centenarian commemoration of World War II and the Battle of the Somme is addressed at the National Days, larger and more original themes that should also  be also explored are:

  • Conflicts previous to 14-18 which impacted the region.
  • Conflicts after 14-18 (on any scale), including those of the 20th
  • New problems with the research on 14-18 (crime, food)
  • Thematic inputs such as comic strips, art history, archives, law medicine…
  • The National Defence angle

If agriculture is considered as a major trait of Picardy, the objective of the day is to accentuate its innovative character in the framework of the mutating rural territories. More suggested aspects are:

  • The rurality of today: the identity & multifunctionality of rural areas.
  • The recent mutations in agrosystems and sylvosystems.
  • Environment and agriculture.

The National Days are:

  • To highlight the energy and interest of History and Geography. The ‘Agoras’ expect the best discipline.
  • To offer scientific events to teachers and students as well as friends of History and Geography (the general public).
  • To connect the programs, the university research and local heritage surrounding tough subjects.
  • To discover Picardy.
  • To get to know the APHG (Association of History and Geography teachers) so that the Agoras can be a driving force of action to the APHG on a national scale.

For more information follow this link

EuroClio Director meets Europe Committee of the French Member Association

Jaco Stoop Association ,

On 30 January 2016, Jonathan Even Zohar was invited to join the meeting of the Europe Committee of APHG, the Association of History and Geography Teachers of France. This was an excellent opportunity to present in more detail the EuroClio approaches and methodologies. The Europe Committee brings together representatives from different regions of France and seeks to connect initiatives among history and geography educators of France. Following a presentation on the activities of EuroClio, a discussion was held about specific ideas for future cooperation, such as hosting the EuroClio Annual Conference in France. At the end, a short video-interview was held with Jonathan, in which questions were raised about the importance of teaching history in a transnational fashion, while developing the subject in more student-centred ways. This interview will be published on the French Association website soon.