July 25, 2021

Hundreds pay respects at funeral of Chechen refugee who beheaded French teacher

Several hundred people paid their respects last week at a funeral in Russia for the Chechnyan teenager who beheaded a teacher in France over cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

Samuel Paty, a 47-year old history teacher, became the target of a hostile online campaign after discussing the cartoons in a class on freedom of speech and was eventually attacked and murdered by Abdoulakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, in October.

Anzorov was shot dead by police shortly after the attack on October 16. His body was repatriated to Russia last week to allow his family to bury him in his ancestral village in the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya.

Several hundred people attended the funeral on Friday in the village of Shalazhi, chanting prayers on their way to the cemetery, a video released by several media outlets showed.

Salman Magamadov, the village chief, insisted in an interview with the Podyem media outlet on Monday that Anzorov received an ordinary burial without “any special honours”.

Prominent Muslim clerics in Russia have used the attack to condemn French authorities for mocking their religion.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of Chechnya, said French President Emmanuel Macron was to blame for allegedly encouraging insults against Muslims.

Mr Kadyrov later sought to distance his region from the attack, insisting that the teenager, an ethnic Chechen, was born in Moscow and moved to France when he was a small child.

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