The Times wrote:French police guard teacher who condemned rise of radical Islam
Saturday February 13 2021, 12.01am, The Times
A French teacher has been given police protection after he denounced what he says is the spread of radical Islam in the west Paris suburb where he works.
Didier Lemaire, who teaches at Lycée de la Plaine de Neauphle, a sixth-form college in Trappes, was given protection this week after prosecutors began an inquiry into his claim that he had received death threats for comparing Islamists to Nazis.
Lemaire, who is accused by Ali Rabeh, the mayor of Trappes, of spreading disinformation, is the latest symbol of a fraught debate over the relationship between the secular French state and the country’s Muslim minority.
His supporters hail him as the defender of liberty, equality and fraternity when those values are being threatened by radicals wanting to impose their religion on society. Detractors depict him as an incendiary figure creating unmanageable tensions.
Lemaire, who teaches philosophy, calls himself a left-winger keen to protect the legacy of the republicans who wrenched control of the state from the Catholic church more than 100 years ago. In 2018 he co-signed a letter to President Macron warning that France was heading for a “form of civil war”.
In November, in a letter to the news magazine L’Obs after Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher, was beheaded by an Islamist, he wrote: “Schools and freedom are under attack,” adding that Paty’s murderer was the “arm of a project implemented by thousands of ideologues who, like the Nazis before them, nourish a feeling of victimisation to incite hatred.”
Lemaire was interviewed by a Dutch TV journalist who asked people in Trappes about the spread of radical Islam. “A parent of a former pupil told the Dutch journalist that if I continued to speak about Islam . . . I would be the next Samuel Paty,” Lemaire said.
Prosecutors started an inquiry into claims that this amounted to a “threat against a person charged with a public service mission”, prompting Lemaire to tell news outlets his life was in danger.
In later interviews he claimed that radical Islamists drove Jews out of Trappes two decades ago and are now forcing “atheists and moderate Muslims” to leave the town as well.
He said their influence had led to the closure of unisex hairdressers in the town and dissuaded women of north African origin from entering its cafés: “They cannot go in without feeling intimidated, threatened,” he said.
“My pupils, generally speaking, no longer feel French. They have other customs, an ideology that separates them from liberty and equality. Girls are under the influence of boys. It is a world that is very different to ours.”
Rabeh said there was no evidence to support Lemaire’s claims that his life was under threat or that the town was under Islamist control. The mayor added that he also felt in danger amid the escalating tension. “I have faced an odious campaign with death threats,” he said.
Lemaire, who says it is no longer safe for him to teach at Lycée de la Plaine de Neauphle, told French media he had been given police protection a week ago. This was not entirely accurate as officers had merely been asked to patrol outside the school.
However, with the row grabbing national headlines, Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister, assigned an elite close protection team to Lemaire on Thursday in an indication that the authorities are worried that he could indeed become a terrorist target.
Muslim leaders have been threatening Europeans who welcome distressed Muslim migrants into their countries while supporting China for sterilising and imprisoning indigenous Muslims just for being Muslims.
How does one square this circle? The same people who will call for the head of this teacher for expressing himself will also defend Chinese "teachers" detaining Muslim people without trial in special internment camps.
...take your common sense with you, and leave your prejudices behind...