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Girl Admits She Lied After Triggering Online Hate Campaign That Ended In Teacher's Beheading

Girl Admits She Lied After Triggering Online Hate Campaign That Ended In Teacher's Beheading
Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

An unnamed school girl was charged with slander after lying about a French teacher that led to his beheading by an Islamic extremist last October.

The 13-year-old student started a smear campaign on her history teacher, Samuel Paty, and alleged he asked his Muslim students to leave the classroom while he showed cartoon pictures of Prophet Mohammed during a lesson about freedom of expression and freedom of speech.

She lied to avoid admitting to her father she had been suspended for repeatedly not showing up for class. It set in motion a chain of events that led to Paty's grisly murder by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who tracked him down in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine—a town northwest of Paris.

According to Le Parisien, the girl confessed to the investigating anti-terrorist judge about making the false accusation and also confirmed she had never been to the class as she was on sick leave at the time.

The newspaper said:

"She would not have dared to confess to her father the real reasons for her exclusion shortly before the tragedy, which was in fact linked to her bad behaviour."

Paty was said to have asked his Muslim pupils to close their eyes or stand in the corridor when he showed the caricature of the Prophet that had appeared in the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.

But two days later, the girl told her father Paty had asked the Muslim students to leave the classroom before showing the caricature, and when she disagreed with him, Paty suspended her from the school for two days.

Her father, 48-year-old Brahim Chnina, believed his daughter's story and became outraged.

The Moroccan-born father posted a video on Facebook denouncing Paty and called for the school to fire him. A second video accused Paty of "discrimination."

Chnina contacted the school and police, telling them Paty was guilty of "diffusing a pornographic image" and sparking accusations of Islamaphobia at the school.

This led to an 18-year-old radicalised Chechen migrant named Abdullakh Anzorov to find a cause to act on after reading the complaints about Paty on social media.

On October 16, Anzorov traveled to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, paid two teenagers to identify Paty outside the school as he was leaving for home and beheaded him..

Anzorov was later shot dead by police.

The girl was charged with slander, and her father and another man—an Islamic preacher and campaigner—are under investigation for "complicity in a terrorist killing."

The girl's lawyer, Mbeko Tabula, claimed:

"She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson."

Tabula told the news outlet:

"It was the father's excessive behaviour, making and posting a video incriminating the professor that led to this spiral. My client lied, but even if it had been true, the reaction of her father was still disproportionate."

The shocking news story broke after the French government warned a student campaign accusing two univerisity professors of "Islamaphobia" could result in tragic consequences.

According to Yahoo, Junior interior minister Marlène Schiappa told BFM TV on Monday:

"These are really odious acts after what happened with the decapitation of Samuel Paty who was smeared in the same way on social networks."
"When something is viewed as racist or discriminatory, there's a hierarchy where you can report these types of issues, which will speak to the professor and take action if anything is proven."
"One cannot start saying you are going to take the law into your own hands by writing people's name on walls , especially when you know that behind it, there is a risk of death."

The murder of Paty stunned all of France, which prompted memorials and marches around the country for citizens to pay their respects.

President Emmanuel Macron hailed the slain teacher as "a quiet hero" at a ceremony and recognized the victim's family with the nation's highest honor, the Légion d'honneur.

French Muslims comprise about 10% of the population and, according to them, are constantly subjected to discrimination and bigotry because of their faith.

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