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Murder of Samuel Paty

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Photograph of people gathered in a town square and looking at a framed black-and-white photograph of Samuel Paty teaching, beneath which is written: "Samuel Paty, 1973–2020"
Memorial and demonstration in memory of Paty in Belfort, France (21 October 2020)

The murder of Samuel Paty was a terrorist attack that took place on 16 October 2020 in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, near Paris. Paty was a French secondary school teacher, and he was killed and then beheaded by an Islamist terrorist, Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov. Anzorov killed Paty after a "hate campaign" on social media.[1][2] A student at the school where Paty taught lied about Paty's teaching, and the student's father started the hate campaign.[3]

Paty showed his students Charlie Hebdo's 2012 cartoons showing Muhammad in a class on freedom of speech.[4][5][6] A girl who was not in the class lied about what the teacher taught, and her father made a complaint to the police.[3] He also started the internet "hate campaign" against Paty that caused Anzorov to kill Paty.[1][3][7] The murder happened during the trial of other terrorists who were part of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in 2015.[7]

The killers in the 2015 shooting were against Charlie Hebdo's 2012 cartoons showing Muhammad.[7] After Paty showed these cartoons in a class about freedom of speech, an Islamist imam wrote a fatwa (an opinion on Muslim law) against Paty which called for his punishment.[8] Anzorov killed Paty and put a picture of his head on Twitter.[6][7] Many of Paty's students saw the picture.[7] Anzorov said that he had "executed" Paty and addressed his words and the picture of Paty's head to Emmanuel Macron, the president of the French Republic.[9] The police shot Anzorov dead a few minutes after the murder.[9]

President Macron said that the event was "a typical Islamist terrorist attack", and that "our compatriot was killed for teaching children freedom of speech".

Events before the murder[change | change source]

On 6 October, Samuel Paty was teaching a lesson on dilemmas.[2] The lesson was about the magazine Charlie Hebdo's cartoons of Muhammad and the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting.[2] (In January 2015, Islamist terrorists attacked the office of the magazine and killed 12 people.)[2] Paty showed the class of 13- and 14-year-olds the cartoons but said that Muslim students, who might be shocked, could close their eyes or leave the room if they wanted.[10]

A 13-year-old girl at Paty's school was often truant and failed to go to her lessons.[2] Because of her absences, the school suspended the girl.[2] She did not want her father, Brahim Chnina, to know about her bad behaviour.[2] On 8 October the girl lied to her father that Paty had ordered Muslim students in his lesson on 6 October to leave the room.[2] She said the teacher then showed the other students "a photograph of the Prophet naked".[2] She said that Paty sent her home for two days because she disagreed with him.[2] The girl was not in the lesson.[2]

Brahim Chnina, the girl's father, was 48 years old and was born in Morocco.[2] When his daughter told him her story, Chnina made an angry video which he put on Facebook.[2] In the video, he demanded that the school fire Paty from his job.[2] Chnina made another angry video in which he accused Paty of "discrimination".[2] Chnina made complaints to the school and to the police.[2] He said Paty was "diffusing a pornographic image".[2] Chnina said that Paty had ordered Muslim students to lift their hands and then leave the room while Paty showed the class the image.[10] Chnina also said there was Islamophobia at the school.[2] He said that other parents should help him force the school to fire Paty.[10] He sent these videos to the organization Collective Against Islamophobia in France (French: Collectif Contre l'islamophobie) and to his local mosque.[10] Chnina said the same things on radio as well.[10]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "France teacher attack: Seven charged over Samuel Paty's killing". BBC News. 22 October 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Willsher, Kim (8 March 2021). "Samuel Paty murder: how a teenager's lie sparked a tragic chain of events". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Samuel Paty: French schoolgirl admits lying about murdered teacher". BBC News. 9 March 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  4. Paone, Antony (17 October 2020). "For a teacher in France, a civics class was followed by a gruesome death". Reuters. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  5. Ganley, Elaine (17 October 2020). "French leader decries terrorist beheading of teacher". Associated Press. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Willsher, Kim (17 October 2020). "Teacher decapitated in Paris named as Samuel Paty, 47". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "France teacher's killer had 'contact' with jihadist in Syria". France 24. 22 October 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  8. "France teacher attack: Pupil's father 'exchanged texts with killer'". BBC News. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  9. 9.0 9.1 de La Hamaide, Sybille; Chiarello, Thierry (18 October 2020). "Teenager asked pupils to identify French teacher before beheading him". Reuters. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Willsher, Kim (4 December 2020). "Samuel Paty: French security services failed to act over incendiary social media campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2021.