terrorist attack Friday in Paris suburb. history teacher beheaded. knife-wielding Islamist shot dead.

This is France today: a history teacher giving his students a lesson on freedom of expression and showing images of Prophet Mohammed. In broad daylight and in the street, the teacher had his throat slit and his head cut off. As the assailant cut the victim’s throat he shouted “Allahu akbar” — God is great.

Identified as an 18-year-old Chechen, born in Moscow, the assailant was part of a radical Islamist group in this suburb north of Paris.

France has offered asylum to many Chechens since the Russian military waged war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya in the 1990s and early 2000s. There are Chechen communities scattered around France.

Earlier this month, the 47-year old teacher named Samuel Paty, had reportedly shown a class of teenage pupils a caricature from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo during a moral and civic education class discussion about freedom of speech. This sparked a furious response from a number of Muslim parents who demanded his resignation. Before presenting the caricature, the teacher reportedly invited Muslim students to leave the classroom if they wished.

One angry parent posted a menacing video on YouTube complaining about the teacher. Another parent posted below the video, defending the teacher, writing: “I am a parent of a student at this college. The teacher just showed caricatures from Charlie Hebdo as part of a history lesson on freedom of expression. He asked the Muslim students to leave the classroom if they wished, out of respect. He was a great teacher. He tried to encourage the critical spirit of his students, always with respect and intelligence. This evening I am sad for all teachers in France. Can we continue to teach without being afraid of being killed?”

On my lunch break last Friday, a mere 4 hours before the slaughter occurred, I was at my desk reading the on-line newspapers. I saved this article to read later. It’s entitled –

The combatants: these women who are mobilizing against Islamism

(Translated from the article, link below) – INVESTIGATION – In the midst of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, and following President Macron’s recent speech on the bill against separatism in France, we give a voice to these women who are fighting on the front lines against Salafist fundamentalism and communitarianism. Despite threats to them, they have chosen to speak their truth loud and clear.

They are called Sonia Mabrouk, Najwa El Haïté, Zineb El Rhazoui, Fatiha Agag-Boudjahlat, Dana Manouchehri and Jeannette Bougrab. They are young and brilliant. They are known and recognized figures. Their words carry, are debated, sometimes irritate, but they are heard. They are also the faces of this courage, of this France which wants to resist against religious obscurantism and the dangers of political Islam. No, the words are not too strong. Because denouncing Islamism in Europe or in France, the homeland of human rights, but also of secularism, is not without risk.

All of these women are under police protection 24/7. In Paris. They receive death threats daily from Islamist fundamentalists living in France.

Paris today is not “Emily in Paris”.