France Bans Pro-Hamas ‘Sheikh Yassin Collective’ Implicated in Beheading of Paris School Teacher
In the wake of last week’s beheading of a Paris high school teacher, the French government on Wednesday announced a ban on an Islamist group named in honor of a Hamas terrorist killed by Israel.
Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal confirmed that the group — the “Sheikh Yassin Collective,” named for Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas leader who died in a 2004 targeted air strike in Gaza City — was “implicated” in the grotesque murder of Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher of history and geography.
After Paty showed his students a set of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a classroom discussion on freedom of speech, he received threats and abuse from Islamist activists in the run-up to his decapitation last Friday at the hands of Abdoullakh Anzonov, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who was later shot dead by police.
“We have this morning pronounced the dissolution of the Sheikh Yassin Collective, linked to last Friday’s attack, and for a long time the sock puppet of an anti-republican ideology that spreads hatred,” Attal stated at a Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.
The Yassin collective was founded by Abdelhakim Sefrioui, a Moroccan-born Islamist who was arrested on Sunday in connection with Paty’s murder.
Speaking on Tuesday night about the killing, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the “evil had been named: it is political Islamism.”
Countering Islamist influence would involve a “security, educational, cultural battle — and a battle that will last,” the French leader emphasized.