In a tragic revelation, a 13-year-old French girl has admitted to cooking up a story that led to her teacher being decapitated by a teenage Jihadi terrorist. Samuel Paty was killed in October 2020 in a Paris suburb for allegedly showing students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
On Sunday, March 7, it was reported that the girl had admitted that she had wrongly accused Mr Paty. The French newspaper Le Parisien mentioned that she had confided to an anti-terrorist judge that she had lied and that she was not even present in the class where Mr Paty had displayed students controversial cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad.
The counsel representing the teenage girl said she lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson. The Parisian newspaper reported that the girl had lied because she did not want to anger her father.
Teenage girl weaves a fictitious story to prevent her father from knowing about her suspension
Like many school truants, the 13-year-old girl was determined to not let her father know that she had been suspended from school for missing classes. As a result, she weaved a story featuring her teacher Samuel Paty. The girl told her father that Mr Paty had asked Muslim students to leave the classroom while he showed the cartoons from satirical newspaper Charlier Hebdo during a lesson on free speech and blasphemy.
Though it might seem like a benign lie devised by a child to prevent her father from knowing the truth, it precipitated a chain of events that eventually led to the horrifying killing of Samuel Paty.
Soon after the girl narrated the fictitious tale, her father took to social media to launch a campaign, identifying Mr Paty and the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. He also called Mr Paty a “thug” and demanded he was sacked. The claims made by the girl’s father triggered global outrage and led to death threats against Mr Paty. 10 days later, the teacher was dead—decapitated by an Islamist terrorist.
It was later reported that the girl’s father was in touch with Paty’s killer, Abdoullakh Anzorov. Prosecutor even claimed that there was “direct casual link” between the online campaign and Mr Paty’s brutal murder. According to sources quoted by Reuters, the murderer had also a sent text message to the girl’s father before he beheaded Mr Paty with a kitchen knife.
The incident devastated Paty’s family, traumatised the country, and the girl and her father are now facing criminal charges. Two other teenagers, who were reportedly bribed by jihadi Anzorov, are under investigation. The killing also triggered a moment of reckoning for the French society, with President Emmanuel Macron vowing to take a hard stance against the rampant Islamism plaguing the country.
Classmates confirm Mr Paty did not ask Muslim students to leave as alleged by the girl
While teaching the class on the subject of “dilemmas”, Mr Paty had posed a question “to be or not to be Charlie?”, referring to the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag used to express solidarity for the newspaper that came under attack in January 2015, leading to the death of 12 people.
The girl had earlier claimed the teacher had warned students that he was about to show a depiction of Muhammad and had asked Muslim pupils to leave the room. When she objected, she was suspended from the school, she said. However, as per the Parisian newspaper, the girl was suspended the day before the class was given, because of her repeated absence from school.
The girl repeatedly remained firm on her false testimony until the police informed her about conflicting accounts given by several of her classmates. They had even confirmed that the girl was not present for the lesson and that Paty had not asked Muslim students to leave the class as she had claimed.