On October 16, 2020, Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old history and geography professor, was beheaded near his Bois-d’Aulne college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines), by an 18-year-old Russian refugee of Chechen origin. years old who reproached him for having shown caricatures of Muhammad to his pupils.
The anti-terrorism investigating judges closed their investigations last week.
The event had aroused considerable emotion throughout the country. This year, as in October 2021, schools, colleges and high schools are invited by the Ministry of Education to pay tribute to the professor, Friday or Monday.
This time “may take different forms (minute of silence, exchange, educational sequence) the content of which will be left to the choice of the teams”, indicates the Minister of Education Pap Ndiaye in a letter sent last week to the rectors of academy.
“This tribute to Samuel Paty always arouses a lot of emotion for teachers, some of them still have fears about addressing this theme of secularism,” said Didier Georges, of SNPDEN-Unsa, the first union at AFP. the heads of establishments.
Pap Ndiaye will be present at the Sorbonne on Saturday afternoon alongside Mickaëlle Paty, sister of the teacher, for the presentation of the first Samuel Paty prize, organized by the Association of History and Geography Teachers (APHG).
The next day, the anniversary of the death, a tribute will take place at 6:00 p.m. in front of the college where he worked, and a wreath of flowers will be laid in Square Samuel-Paty in Paris, opposite the Sorbonne, inaugurated in 2021.
Eric Zemmour’s party, Reconquest, is calling for a rally “against the Islamic offensive at school” on Saturday morning, in front of the same square, a few hours before the minister’s arrival.
– Abayas and Qamis –
These commemorations take place in a context of new turmoil around respect for secularism in schools.
Before the start of the school year in September, a state anti-radicalization service had sounded the alarm: the Interministerial Committee for the Prevention of Delinquency and Radicalization (CIPDR) had accused the “Islamist movement” of questioning the principle of secularism at school” by relying on social networks, in particular Twitter or TikTok, to encourage the wearing of clothing marking a religious affiliation.
For September, the Ministry of Education has identified 313 reports for attacks on secularism in schools, colleges and high schools, according to figures released Thursday morning. “This start of the school year is in line with the level of reports observed during the previous school term, which recorded 904, from April to July”, he specifies.
However, they are up compared to the average for the first quarter of 2022 (December to March), when 627 incidents were recorded.
This data will now be published monthly, rather than quarterly as before.
The rue de Grenelle underlines a continuation of the “trend of increase” of incidents for “wearing of religious signs and outfits” (including abayas and qamis, long clothes worn respectively by women and by men): they accounted for 54% of incidents recorded in September, compared to 41% in the second quarter of 2022 and 22% in the first quarter.
“The 2004 law is very clear. It prohibits the wearing of ostentatious clothing and religious signs in school premises. This law must be respected. I will be firm and uncompromising on this,” the education minister said on Tuesday. .
The wearing of religious outfits has been reported in “certain academies” and a “unified response” must “be provided”, indicated the ministry in mid-September in a note to rectors.
The management staff of the ID-FO union, for their part, asked for “clear directives” in the face of a problem which “has not diminished since the start of the school year, quite the contrary”.
Among the incidents recorded, a teacher from a high school in Thann (Haut-Rhin) “suffered death threats from the uncle of one of his students” in early October after having “discussed in class the freedom of expression, the cartoons of Muhammad and Charlie Hebdo”, according to a judicial source. The rectorate of Strasbourg “firmly” condemned Wednesday these “intimidations and threats”.