PARIS: A teacher in a Paris suburb was attacked Monday by a man wielding a box cutter and scissors who cited the Islamic State jihadist group, sources in the police and prosecutor’s office said.
The assault comes after the Islamic State in November urged its followers to kill teachers in the French education system for teaching secularism and being “in open war against the Muslim family”.
The 45-year-old man was stabbed in the side and throat while preparing for his class at a school in Aubervilliers, northeast of Paris, but his life was not in danger, a police source said.
The attacker was dressed in overalls and a balaclava and arrived without a weapon but grabbed what appeared to be a box cutter that was lying in the classroom as well as a pair of scissors.
According to local prosecutors the man shouted: “This is Daesh. This is a warning.” Daesh is another name for IS.
The brief exchange was reported by a witness working inside the school.
The attacker fled after stabbing the teacher and the probe has been taken over by anti-terrorist investigators.
The Islamic State’s French-language magazine Dar-al-Islam called in its November edition for its followers to kill teachers in the French education system, describing them as “enemies of Allah”.
“This education, in the case of France in particular, is a means of propoganda used to impose the corrupt way of thought established by the Judeo-masonry,” it said.
“Muslims must know the French education system is built against religion and Islam as the only religion of truth cannot cohabit with this fanatic secularism.”
While the motivations of the attacker were not yet clear, the assault comes as France remains on high alert a month after a wave of shootings and suicide bombings at Paris nightspots killed 130 people and left 350 injured.
The November 13 massacre was the second major attack on French soil in less than a year after 17 people were killed when jihadists targeted the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket in January.
Last month’s attacks saw France impose a three-month state of emergency, and led to a Europe-wide manhunt for suspects who may have been involved.
Security has also been boosted at schools.
Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said the terrorist threat was “real and permanent (and) all public places deserve protection, particularly schools”.
“We will continue to reinforce security measures at schools in a context where schools feel threatened,” she said.
In March 2012 jihadist Mohamed Merah killed three children and a teacher outside a Jewish school in an attack which also saw him kill three soldiers.