French teacher given police protection after warning of spread of radical Islam in his town

From the French edition of The Local

French prosecutors said on Monday that they were investigating threats allegedly made to a teacher who has been placed under police protection after warning of the spread of radical Islam.

Didier Lemaire told French media the threats began after he wrote an open letter saying the state did not do enough to protect Samuel Paty, the teacher beheaded in a jihadist attack last October.

Lemaire teaches philosophy at a high school in Trappes, a low-income Paris suburb in the Yvelines département with a large Muslim population that has become emblematic of the government’s efforts to curb radicalism.

Authorities say hardline Salafist conservatism has attracted a widespread following in the town, which authorities say was the home of around 50 people who left to fight alongside jihadists in Iraq and Syria in recent years.

“We have been alerted to the worries expressed by this teacher with regards to threats he allegedly received,” the prosecutor’s office in nearby Versailles told AFP, without providing details.

A police source confirmed that Lemaire was benefiting from police protection.

“In accordance with his wishes, the school district will ensure, in cooperation with the police, conditions that will allow him to continue teaching at the school,” the Versailles board of education said in a statement.