Some 13 regions of France have brought forth an initiative to publish a book of caricatures to be distributed at high schools, after the recent murder and decapitation of a French history teacher who showed a cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad to his students.
As Renaud Muselier, president of the Regions of France, explained, the new book will feature “the most striking religious and political cartoons published in the regional press alongside those published in the national press".
"We are going to ask a college of historians to put into perspective the right to caricature in the political history of our country," Muselier said as quoted by AFP, condemning the teacher's murder as a "despicable and cowardly assassination".
He also remarked that the Ministry of National Education is going to be associated "with this initiative so that this book can be made available to all high school students in France".
"By this gesture, while respecting our skills, we want to testify to our commitments to defend the values of the Republic and the fundamental right of each and every one of our fellow citizens to live in peace and freedom", Muselier declared.
On Friday night, French media reported that a history teacher, later identified as Samuel Paty, 47, was attacked and decapitated by an 18-year-old refugee of Chechen origin. The attack came after Paty showed a cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad to his students at the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, north-west of Paris.
The killer, identified as Abdoullakh Anzorov – who, as a spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in France explained, had lived in France with his family on a legal basis since 2008 - was shot dead by French police shortly after the attack. Nine other people were detained as part of the investigation.