Schoolgirl’s fib led to beheading of French teacher

Now, five months after the tragedy, the girl has admitted to lying about the series of events which led to the murder of her teacher.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A French schoolgirl, whose statements about her teacher showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class sparked a deadly chain of events, recently admitted that she lied about her teacher’s behavior.

In October 2020, the girl, who cannot be named because she is underage, told her father that her teacher had shown a “cartoon of the Prophet naked” to students during a class on free speech and blasphemy.

She said that the teacher, Samuel Paty, had ordered all Muslim students to stand in the hallway while he showed the cartoon.

The girl’s father immediately filed a legal complaint against Paty, then launched a fiery social media campaign against him.

Ten days after the girl’s comments and the subsequent online firestorm, 18-year-old Chechen immigrant Abdullakh Anzorov tracked down Paty and beheaded him.

During a confrontation with French police after the murder, Anzorov was shot dead.

Now, five months after the tragedy, the girl has admitted to lying about the series of events which led to the murder of her teacher.

“I didn’t see the cartoons, it was a girl in my class who showed me them,” the girl admitted in testimony leaked to the French media.

“She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson,” Mbeko Tabula, the girl’s attorney told AFP.

He said to AFP that she had not been in class the day of the incident because she’d been ill. But French media reported that she’d actually been suspended from school the day before the cartoon incident, due to frequent unexcused absences.

Afraid to tell her father the truth about the reason for her suspension, she told him that Paty had told all Muslim students to leave the room, and that she’d been suspended after she objected.

“She would not have dared to confess to her father the real reasons for her suspension shortly before the tragedy, which was in fact linked to her bad behavior,” Le Parisien reported.

The girl’s classmates confirmed to investigators that Paty had not told Muslim students to stand in the hallway – rather, he’d warned them that he was going to show a depiction of Mohammed, as he’d done as a part of his free speech lessons for years.

He told the class that anyone who did not want to see the image should close their eyes.

The girl has now been brought up on slander charges and her father has been arrested on suspicion of being complicit in a terrorist killing, AFP reported.