Didier Lemaire, a teacher for twenty years in the French city of Trappes, must live under 24-hour police protection. In addition, he must leave his profession after his life was threatened for honoring the memory of the beheaded history teacher, Samuel Paty, and for defending the values of the Republic. Instead of denouncing the threats of violence against the philosophy teacher, Ali Rabeh, the Muslim mayor of Trappes, further incited those threatening his life.
Lemaire became a target after writing an open letter in L’Obs [translated below] to his fellow teachers condemning the violence taking place due to the Islamization of his school, his city, and the whole of France. The letter by Lemaire is titled, “Open letter from a teacher from Trappes: ‘How to compensate for the State’s lack of strategy to defeat Islamism?’”
It is important to note that Didier Lemaire identifies himself as “center-left”. As reported by Gates of Vienna, secularism (laïcité) in France is a progressive institution. Therefore, Islamization which attacks and undermines laïcité, should be widely denounced by the Left. Generally speaking, however, this is rarely the case. Mr. Lemaire is a courageous exception to that rule.
Lemaire published his letter on November 1, two weeks after the decapitation of Samuel Paty – the professor who was slaughtered by an Islamic migrant after he had shown his students a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. “It was addressed to teachers,” he explains. “It was a call to protect our students from Islamist pressure, which continues to grow in some neighborhoods.”
In Lemaire’s letter he describes the “progression of a community influence” in the city and points to a “lack of state strategy to defeat Islamism”. Muslim residents in Trappes where the teachers school is located comprise more that 50% of the population. The suburb in the west of Paris of about 32,000 inhabitants has been labeled by law enforcement as a breeding ground for jihadis.
Several of Lemaire’s students were very angry that he chose to publish his article publically. “In one of my classes, the reactions were very hostile” , stated the professor.” The students asked me why I wrote a letter against them. I explained to them that I wrote a letter for them, to protect them.”
Hostility then spread throughout Trappes, “the police commander explained to me that Trappes was in turmoil, that the whole town was discussing this letter,” reported Didier Lemaire. “Many were hateful against me, accusing me of Islamophobia, racism, stigmatization of this population. These attacks, after the assassination of Samuel Paty, are a way of designating me as a target.”
The islamic mayor of the Trappes, Ali Rabeh, further inflamed the situation when he went to Lemaire’s school without permission and distributed leaflets blaming the teacher for the threats he was receiving. Furthermore, the far-left mayor smeared Lemaire and called him a liar. The French elected official from Morocco also accused Lemaire of being “Islamophobic and racist”. Samuel Paty received similar slanderous and incendiary treatment by Police days before his beheading when they interrogated him for “thought crimes” instead of offering him protection.
Since then, the philosophy professor has lived under police protection and must be escorted while at school. “When entering and leaving the establishment, the police accompany me and check that I am not being followed by a car. The entrance to the school is secure.”
Lemaire implored his colleagues to also speak up about the dangers they are facing. “All teachers who are living this situation like mine should speak up and say what is happening in France,” he said. “Teachers live in fear. One in two teachers is censoring themselves.”
In a press release, the teachers of the Lycée de La Plaine de Neauphle in Trappes gave their support to Didier Lemaire,
“Our colleague Didier Lemaire has exposed himself personally to defend our students against the grip of radicalism, the grip of which we regularly perceive the echoes. The sincerity of his commitment is beyond doubt for us who have worked with him on a daily basis. “