French Interior Minister Gerarld Darmanin has asked the local authorities of Bordeaux and Béziers to provide police protection for the mosques in the two cities in the south-west of the country from threats and acts of violence. “These actions are unacceptable in the territories of the Republic,” the minister wrote in a tweet.
Threats or acts of violence targeted the mosques of Béziers and Bordeaux, I asked the Prefects of the departments concerned to protect these places of worship. Such acts are unacceptable on the soil of the Republic.
— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) October 21, 2020
Radio ‘France Bleu’ reported last night on its website that those responsible for the Ar-Rahma mosque in Béziers had filed a complaint with the police as a result of hate messages posted on Facebook, including a call that invited to set the mosque on fire . The threats come just days after a Chechen teenager beheaded a history and geography teacher, Samuel Paty, for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class at a high school northwest of Paris.
‘France bleu’ showed a Facebook message, which has already been removed from the social network, urging that tribute be paid to the murdered teacher by setting fire to the Beziers mosque. Prime Minister Jean Castex said in Parliament on Tuesday that France needed a law that would punish those who endanger the lives of others through social media.
The security forces have taken charge of “dozens of arrests” related to the case of the murder of the professor after launching a broad anti-terrorist police operation last Monday. “They clearly issued a fatwa against the professor,” Darmanin then told Europe 1 radio. According to the authorities, more than 80 hate investigations have been opened after investigating messages of apology for the crime that were broadcast on social networks. The French police have carried out several arrests in relation to the murder, as explained by the minister. “There have already been arrests since Sunday.
Yesterday, Tuesday, the Government decreed the closure of the Great Mosque of Pantin in the Seine-Saint-Denis department northeast of Paris, where the crime occurred, for having participated in the dissemination of the video against the teacher, as part of a campaign of harassment that ended with his life.