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.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Ganley, Elaine (17 October 2020). "French leader decries terrorist beheading of teacher". Associated Press. Retrieved 10 March 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "France teacher attack: Pupil's father 'exchanged texts with killer'". BBC News. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)