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French city won’t honor hero police officer slain by ISIS over concerns of offending locals

Marseille (French Provence), Canebière and Fort Saint-Nicolas. (Philippe Alès/Wikimedia Commons)
October 14, 2018

A French police officer who heroically saved a hostage from an ISIS terrorist will not be honored in public over fears of offending Muslims.

Arnaud Beltrame, a police officer from Marseille, France, negotiated with an ISIS terrorist during a Mar. 2018 hostage situation in which he traded himself for a female hostage and was later stabbed to death. Attempts to name the city’s 15th district after Beltrame were recently rejected over concerns of offending the Muslim community, Voice of Europe reported Saturday.

Stephane Ravier, Marseille’s 7th district National Rally mayor, said that the proposal was refused during a Marseille town council meeting.

“Leftist elected officials, socialist and communist, refused that a place in the 15th district be named after Arnaud Beltrame, in the first time, they’ve said, under fallacious pretext, that this place wasn’t prestigious enough, before telling the truth in these terms: we are on the field, we witnessed that the population has changed and if we give the name of Arnaud Beltrame in this district, the population will take that as a provocation,” Ravier said.

The 15th district in Marseille, much like the overall city, has a wide population of immigrants, many of whom are practicing Muslims. The area is also said to contain a large population of jihadists. The attack that ended Beltrame’s life took place just five months after an ISIS terrorist killed two women in the same area.

Radouane Lakdim, 25, stole a car and opened fire on police before entering a supermarket on Mar. 24, 2018. There, he fatally shot two patrons and took hostages, CNN reported at the time. He was armed with a handgun, a knife, and three bombs, and shouted “Allah Akbar” while committing the murders.

Beltrame, a lieutenant colonel with the National Police, successfully negotiated a trade of himself for a female hostage. He entered the supermarket with his phone on so authorities could overhear the terrorist’s communication and activities.

When gunfire was heard inside the supermarket after a three-hour standoff, police stormed in. The gunman was killed and Beltrame was fatally stabbed.

ISIS-linked news outlet, Amaq News Agency, published a statement in which they referred to the terrorist as a “soldier” of ISIS who carried out their attack on a U.S. ally involved in efforts against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

“Our country has suffered an Islamist terrorist attack,” President Emmanuel Macron told reporters at the time. “We’ve paid the price of the danger of the terrorist threat in blood for several years.

“He has saved lives, and done his role and his country proud,” Macron said.