Government adviser on Islamophobia calls for unity in the wake of France attack

Support us and go ad-free

Everyone should “work together” to counter extremism following an attack on a history teacher in France, the government’s Islamophobia adviser has said.

History teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded near Paris on Friday 16 October. Paty had previously been threatened for discussing caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed with his class, according to French police.

The suspect, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee unknown to intelligence services, was shot dead by police.

“We must not play into their hateful rhetoric”

Qari Asim MBE, imam of Makkah Mosque and government adviser on Islamophobia, spoke out against the incident. He also urged Britons not to be divided by “hateful rhetoric”. Asim said:

Such barbaric and gruesome acts of violence can never be justified in the name of Islam; such cowardice further taints our peaceful religion and increases hostility towards Muslims globally.

We must all value and defend freedom of expression and belief. At the same time we should respectfully help those who may not hold the same beliefs as us to understand the deep hurt that we may feel when we perceive our faith to be undermined.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

As an Imam, I urge everyone to work together to counter divisive and hurtful narratives and not give rise to those that seek to exploit it. Extremists look to divide us but we must not play into their hateful rhetoric.

Motive

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said authorities investigating Paty’s killing arrested nine suspects. They include the teenager’s grandfather, parents and 17-year-old brother.

French anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said an investigation for murder with a suspected terrorist motive had been opened.

Ricard told reporters that the Moscow-born suspect was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us