Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

French Teacher Quits Muslim School Over ‘Charlie Had It Coming’ Hate

A teacher who taught at a French private high school for Muslims resigned because of rampant anti-Semitism and radicalism among his pupils.

Soufiane Zitouni, a former teacher of philosophy at the Averroes high school in the city of Lille in northern France, revealed his reasons for quitting five months after beginning to teach there in a letter he sent to Liberation, which the French daily published on Friday.

One pupil, he wrote, “one day had the nerve to tell me: ‘The Jewish race is cursed by Allah, many Muslims sages told me so.’” Zitouni wrote that anti-Semitic views were commonly expressed by other pupils as well, and that faculty resented his criticisms against radical Islam.

The school’s administration, for its part, told the local edition of the France 3 public television channel that they intended to sue Zitouni for libel.

Zitouni’s troubles with the faculty, he wrote, began after he published an Op-Ed in Liberation directly after the Jan. 7 slaying of 12 by Islamists at the Paris office of the Charlie Hebdo weekly, for its lampooning of Islam and its prophet, Mohammed. Zitouni’s colleagues criticized him for writing that “Today, the Prophet is Charlie, too” in protest of the murders.

Several of Zitouni’s pupils told him that the journalists at Charlie Hebdo “had it coming,” he wrote.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.