Police arrested an 18-year-old rapper in Seine-et-Marne this week for publishing a music video featuring lyrics that allegedly praised the murder of teacher Samuel Paty.
Rapper Maka initially released the song, entitled ‘Samuel Paty’, earlier this month on several social media platforms including YouTube before it was taken down.
The song’s lyrics include the line “We cut like Samuel Paty, without empathy” while a car is on fire in the background of the video, newspaper Le Figaro reports.
Just days after the video had been banned, a 14-year-old boy attending a Savigny-le-Temple school used the lyrics to threaten his teacher during a class on freedom of expression. The teen, who was placed under investigation, was also carrying a taser in his pocket at the time.
Since the murder of Mr Paty, who was killed by a Chechen terrorist for showing Mohammed cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo to his class during a lesson on freedom of expression, there has been a surge of threats to teachers and other public officials, according to a judicial source.
“It’s exploding! There are many threats against public figures, the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, several ministers, deputies, teachers,” the source said.
In some areas of France, high numbers of pupils question whether criticising Islam should be allowed at all. In the Paris suburbs, one teacher claimed that as many as a third of her pupils questioned France’s values regarding freedom of expression.
“After the attack on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, there was spontaneously a form of national unity. Of course, we heard phrases like: ‘They asked for it.’ We heard pupils say that, but it was very rare,” she said, but added since the murder of Paty, pupils’ attitudes have shifted.
The arrest of Maka comes just two years after Muslim rapper Médine Zaouiche, who released an album called Jihad calling to “behead secularists”, announced he would play a concert at the Bataclan nightclub in Paris where 90 people were killed in a radical Islamic terrorist attack in 2015.