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Memorial to Paty at demonstration outside the Hôtel de ville of Belfort, 21 October 2020. Wikipedia

‘My father will behead you’

A French teacher says he was threatened with a beheading by a student and then suspended by the headmaster for defending beheaded teacher Samuel Paty. Paty was beheaded because a 13-year-old girl had lied about his course on free speech to her Muslim father.

Published: March 17, 2021, 9:52 am

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    Le Parisien reported that the Muslim teenager had lied because she did not want her father to find out that she had been suspended for skipping classes. She claimed instead that her history and geography teacher Samuel Paty, had suspended her from classes after she had a disagreement with him over caricatures of the prophet.

    Another French teacher was threatened with a beheading and then suspended by his superiors after twenty-nine years of service, for having defended Samuel Paty.

    On Saturday October 17, 2020, the day after Samuel Paty’s assassination, the teacher noticed the students’ indifference to what had happened the day before. For most, the assassination of this teacher based on the lies of a teenager, was just an “event” and they treated it like a banal news item.

    “Until then, I had not been fully aware of the new reality, namely the tolerance of the new generations to barbarism,” the teacher admitted.

    “However, in homage to Samuel Paty, and for educational purposes, I then planned a selection, my choice, among the less raw caricatures of Muhammad. To my knowledge, there were no Muslims in my class. A student asked me if I was not afraid. And when I told him no, he said: ‘My father is going to behead you!'”.

    For this student from an immigrant background, the assassination of Paty was understandable and excusable.

    On Monday, November 2, 2020, upon returning from the All Saints holidays, the teacher was summoned to the principal’s office before the start of classes. He awaited the teacher there with an inspector and a report from the pupil in his charge who had threatened him with a beheading.

    According to the indictment, the teacher had advocated “the closure of Islamic mosques”, also a lie. But the principal clearly chose to believe the student. “I was then asked to apologize to the class the next day, Tuesday November 3. The following Friday, I had to report this meeting to the principal. An incident on that day would give him the pretext he needed to get rid of me.” It was a fight between students in class which broke out in the morning because of Covid.

    “I had to leave the establishment within a quarter of an hour. Forced out! As one colleague remarked, I must go and have my head beheaded elsewhere.”

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