Teen who beheaded French teacher reportedly given hero's funeral in Chechnya

An 18-year-old man who was killed by police after beheading a teacher in Paris has received a hero’s funeral attended by hundreds of people in his native Chechnya, according to reports.

Abdullakh Anzorov decapitated Samuel Paty, 47, in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in October after the teacher showed his students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad as a way of demonstrating freedom of speech in a class discussion.  

The cartoons ran in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in September to mark the start of a trial in the 2015 attack on the magazine’s staff by gunmen.

Amateur footage distributed by the Telegram messaging platform showed dozens of men wearing heavy coats walking through snow Sunday, chanting and carrying a body shrouded in green cloth.

The funeral was held in the village of Shalazhi in the Urus-Martan district of the North Caucasus republic, according to Agence France-Presse, which cited the Caucasus Knot news website.

Three short videos from the procession were uploaded to a Russian-language social network group called “Islam is the Religion of God,” the Guardian reported.

Security personnel closed the village except to local residents, while more than 60 law enforcement officers were on duty at the funeral, which was attended by friends and relatives, the outlet reported.

“There are still traffic jams in neighboring villages because of the large number of people who want to attend the funeral,” a Telegram channel said late Sunday.

On Monday, Russian President ’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin did not have any information about the burial, according to AFP.

“We are talking about a murderer, we are talking about a terrorist. His actions are absolutely condemned and are unacceptable,” Peskov said.

One village official was quoted by a Russian news outlet as denying that Anzorov was buried with “special honors” — saying only that he was placed close to the graves of his relatives, according to the Guardian.

“He is a hero for the whole Islamic world,” the head of the Shalazhi administration was quoted as saying. “It was a normal funeral. I was certainly there, and expressed my condolences to his relatives. That is my duty.”

While Paty’s murder shocked France, prominent voices in Chechnya, including strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, have cast blame on the country’s secularism and President for allowing images of Muhammad as “provocations and attacks on the faith,” the Guardian reported.

Kadyrov has condemned Paty’s murder but has been more forceful in warning Western leaders about the dangers of antagonizing Muslims and “forcing people to commit crimes,” the outlet reported.

Ten people have been charged in connection with the murder, including a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old accused of pointing out Paty to his killer.

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