French President Emmanuel Macron has paid tribute to “quiet hero” Samuel Paty, the teacher who was beheaded last week on Friday.
Paty was targeted close to his school near Paris for showing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in class. His killer, 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, was shot dead by police.
Speaking at a televised memorial service on Wednesday, Macron told viewers that France “will not give up our cartoons”, the BBC reported.
The service was attended by the teacher’s family and some 400 guests.
The coffin was brought into the ceremony on the shoulders of a guard of honour and to the sound of the song “One” by the rock group U2.
On top of the casket was Paty’s Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour. It was posthumously awarded to Paty.
Macron said Paty had tried to teach his pupils how to become citizens.
“He was killed precisely because he incarnated the Republic”, Macron said. “He was killed because the Islamists want our future. They know that with quiet heroes like him, they will never have it.”
Paty had been the target of threats since he showed the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on October 6.
The history and geography teacher advised Muslim students to leave the room if they thought they might be offended.