Free Speech

"French Schoolgirl Admits Lying About Murdered Teacher"


The BBC reports:

Samuel Paty was beheaded in October after showing students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

[A French schoolgirl], whose complaints sparked an online campaign against Paty, has now admitted that she was not in the class….

The 13-year-old girl, who has not been officially named, originally told her father that Paty had asked Muslim students to leave the classroom while he showed the cartoon during a class on free speech and blasphemy.

According to evidence given by the girl seen by French media she said: "I didn't see the cartoons, it was a girl in my class who showed me them."

"She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson," her lawyer, Mbeko Tabula, told AFP news agency….

As he had done in similar lessons on free speech in previous years, Paty warned students that he was about to show a depiction of Muhammad. He said anyone who thought they might be offended could close their eyes.

The girl had originally claimed the teacher had asked Muslim pupils to leave the room. When she objected she was suspended from school, she said. It now appears that the girl was suspended the day before the class was given, according to Le Parisien newspaper, because of repeated absence from school.

The girl explains in her leaked testimony that she made up the story so as not to disappoint her father….

NEXT: Class #15: Future Interests III

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  1. How about we behead the girl?

    If we impeached Donald Trump for what really was nothing more than an unruly frat party by people old enough to know better, then we ought to execute this girl for getting the teacher murdered.

    I say this not completely in jest — the only way that we are going to save Western culture is by resorting to the tactics of those who wish to destroy it.

    1. You may only suggest beheading a 13 year old girl, if you are willing to do it personally. Pretty tough as she looks up at you.

      I do not know if I would have the personal physical courage to execute a serial rapist and murderer of children. I would not have the slightest hesitation to dispatch a member of the lawyer hierarchy. Any reluctance would be totally overcome by duty to country.

      1. I could and would do it were it truly necessary.

        That’s why I am such a stickler for due process, by the way…

  2. We are sick of the pro-criminal lawyer profession around the world. It must be crushed to save the world. The murderer should not have made it to age 14. This repeat offender was kept alive by traitor lawyers.

    Beyond protecting the criminal, the lawyer protected the financiers, intellectual and religious leaders behind Islamic terror. All should have been executed decades ago.

    This is the most toxic, dangerous occupation in the entire world. It must be crushed to save, not just the nation but the world.

  3. Well, we’ve officially hit a new low.

    1. Only 2 people are lower than the lawyer. One is above mentioned serial rapist and killer of children. The other is the journalist.

    2. We? You, Volokh, commenters? The teacher, the girl, her father, the other students?

      Officially? Are you keeping a record of … what?

      1. Of the tempora, I think, and of the mores.

        1. It’s actually an honest question on a level that people don’t like to think about — if it is necessary to behead a 13-year-old girl to save a society, and you know (with certainty) that it is necessary, do you do it?

          Better example — circa 1890, do you kill 20 helpless infants knowing that one of them would otherwise become Adolph Hitler and he’d kill what, 20 million people? And what if it is 200, or 20,000?

          These are not easy questions, and what scares me is that people seem to think they are — do not forget that we fought the Cold War accepting killing a whole lot more people than that…

          1. These are actually very easy questions in the real world, even if they might be fun hypotheticals in philosophy class.

            1. The point I am trying to make is that many tacitly accept the legitimacy of the first killing, but not of the second.

              All cultures are not equal — while the Bible says “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, no one (hopefully) would tacitly accept the murder of witches. Yet many tacitly accept the murder of the teacher, saying “well, he shouldn’t have offended Islam.” No!— Islam shouldn’t have murdered him!

              While we may consider a 13-year-old to be a child in middle school, Islam defines adulthood at puberty and hence Islam would consider her an adult. And morally, if not legally, she’s an accessory to the murder of the teacher. And don’t some states execute accessories to murder?

              What if she’d instead told her father that the teacher was gay? Islam isn’t overly tolerant of that, either — although for some reason we don’t tacitly accept the legitimacy of murder on that basis. (Or at least I hope we don’t.)

              Let’s take age, sex, and religion out of this. A conspires with B for B to murder C because C is gay. Legal implications for A?

              So if Donald Trump should be criminally prosecuted for inciting the building takeover (as some argue) then the girl (whom Islam considers to be an adult) should be criminally prosecuted (and, upon conviction, executed) for the murder of the teacher.

          2. Killing Hitler would not have worked. Going back in time and killing him, if we ever learn to do that (and figure out a way to deal with Niven’s law of time-travel) won’t work either. The circumstances between the two wars — hyperinflation, and no way to stop it without radically excising the rules of civilization — caused Hitler to rise, and would have caused someone like him to rise even if he had never been born. There is never a shortage of people who can do what he did if the setting is favorable to it. That’s why THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL is so silly.

            Although it’s worth seeing tBfB, in order to learn the craft of acting from Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck. Anyone can act well in HAMLET or THE MALTESE FALCON, but an actor who can perform a crappy, badly written script well enough to be worth watching, is a true master. Like, say, Patrick McGoohan, whose spent his entire career playing silly, one-dimensional characters in mostly-bad movies, but made every one of them worth watching even so.

            1. Assuming for the sake of argument that the theories about Hitler being mentally ill from both Syphilis and an underlying Bipolar Disorder are true, as well as the fairly credible reports that he was a drug addict strung out on Meth and heaven only knows what else — if one assumes this, your theory falls flat because of the possibility that even Hitler might not have become “Hitler” had he been sane & sober.

              Let’s start with amphetamines causing both hallucinations and delusions, which (in large doses) they do, not to mention paranoid delusions and other such things. I’m not saying that Hitler was a nice guy, but it’s the same thing as Caligula, Nero, and lead poisoning — it’s part of the whole picture.

              And while the circumstances were different, Hitler’s initial leadership really wasn’t that different from FDR’s, right on down to quite similar symbolism, e.g. FDR’s NRA Eagle and the Nazi Eagle. Hitler put people back to work, initially, via massive public works projects while Roosevelt “called in the Gold.” Hitler created the Volkswagen, literally “people’s wagon” — an inexpensive car that families could use on his new autobahns, that initially included financing.

              So yes, a leader like Hitler would have inevitably arisen to address the hyperinflation & unemployment — but the Holocaust and attempt at global conquest doesn’t necessarily follow.

              1. Dr. Ed 2 : “Hitler’s initial leadership really wasn’t that different from FDR’s”

                Look, everyone here knows how ignorant Ed is, but still this shouldn’t go unchallenged. For the record, Hitler assumed power on 30 Jan 1933. In less than a month the constitutional rights of German citizens were suspended. In less than two months the Nazis had bypassed parliamentary rule, abolished all other political parties, suspended trade unions, arrested over 10,000 political opponents, had established the first concentration camps. The beginning of April brought the first anti-Jewish measures.

                But, yeah, there’s that Eagle-Thing, right? Maybe we should all pitch in some money and buy Ed a damn book of history.

                1. (a) Franklin Roosevelt was no blushing virgin and (b) the situation in the US was no where near as dire.

                  One week after taking office, Roosevelt issued Executive Order #6102 which made private ownership of gold a 10-year felony — something which remained until 1974. While not challenged on this, he did a lot of other stuff which was unconstitutional under existing SCOTUS precedent until he threatened to pack the court.

                  Yes, the Nazis set up concentration camps, but the Communists were killing people. Killing non-Nazi police officers, and had been for some time, including a quite notorious incident in August of 1931. Conversely, do not forget that FDR set up concentration camps for Americans of Japanese ancestry.

                  Opposition political parties have a different meaning in a parliamentary system, but Roosevelt appointed a lot of unelected bureaucrats to supersede Congress — and as to Constitutional rights, I think the right of a farmer to sell his crops as one of the most basic — and Roosevelt eliminated it.

                  And my grandmother never forgave him for promising not to “send her boys off to fight in a foreign war.”

                  You can buy all the history books you want, but reality is that history is messy and can not be viewed in the binary perspective you seem to seek.

                  1. And remember, everyone: the other side uses “whataboutism” too.

      2. I’ve been a regular reader and commenter here for more than a decade. The fact that we’ve reached the point where the primary discussion in the comments is an exchange of fantasies about killing a teenage girl is very sad to me.

        1. This blog has degenerated recently, but this post and the topic are not its lowest point, trust me.

          Once again, the best part of this blog is that it’s to niche for the paid disinfo shills.

  4. It don’t matter. Children sometimes lie. But you don’t behead the guy either way.

  5. Riddle me this.

    As a US Army vet I get dental care and at one time my dentist was a guy from Iran. I really liked him and got to know him on a personal level. He had an assistant who was from Mexico who was a dentist there but not nearly on his level. During one appointment we got into a discussion about the Vietnam war which both he and his assistant were against. I made the comment that the US Army never did anything like killing village elders and putting their heads on a stake outside the village. He responded with the question ‘Is it worse to desecrate a body after it is dead?”

    In my belief system it is wrong to desecrate a dead body but I don’t really have a logical reason to defend it. I get that putting a head on a spike can create fear in the population but it can also create resentment and that might simply be a wash.

    While I have no qualms about capitol punishment beheading does seem to be a little beyond my liking; and somewhat old fashioned.

    So the question is how to deal with what Marshal McLuhan called a cultural discontinuity?

    1. Live and let live?

    2. Well, the guillotine is one of the most humane methods of execution. Fast, painless, and almost perfectly reliable. Unlike, for instance, lethal injection, which often fails and can be horrifically painful when it does. And unlike the electric chair, which used to fail a lot and was pretty horrible when it did (my parents tell me).

      If I were condemned to death, but had the privilege of deciding how the execution would be done, I’d choose either guillotine or drop-hanging (which is not very different– severing of the spinal column just below the head). Not only because of the speed and painlessness and reliability, but also because these methods preserve more of the cells and organs for transplant or research than poisons or electric shock.

      And between those two, guillotine would be more fun because of the spectacle and the splatter.

      So I think decapitation, by guillotine, is the best way to go.

      Dorothy Parker:

      Razors pain you;
      Rivers are damp;
      Acids stain you;
      And drugs cause cramp.
      Guns aren’t lawful;
      Nooses give;
      Gas smells awful;
      You might as well live.

      Mozart (Die Entführung aus dem Serail):

      “Erst geköpft, dann gehangen,
      Dann gespießt auf heiße Stangen;
      Dann verbrannt,
      dann gebunden,
      Und getaucht;
      zuletzt geschunden.”

      1. While I get your point that a guillotine can be fast and efficient it is not the only method of beheading. Anyone who watched GOT remembers Theon Greyjoy’s drawn out effort to behead Ser Rodrik Cassel; something that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

        I am not trying to dis a guillotine but I doubt it is responsible for most beheadings; and likely most peeps who behead others are more like Theon.

    3. “In my belief system it is wrong to desecrate a dead body but I don’t really have a logical reason to defend it. I get that putting a head on a spike can create fear in the population but it can also create resentment and that might simply be a wash.”

      Four words: “Western Christian Liberal Enlightenment.”

      You are a product of a culture that so unquestionably accepts those values that you don’t even think of things like John Locke and his concept of the God-given rights of the individual. The IDF addresses this as the “Purity of Arms” and states that:

      “The IDF serviceman will use force of arms only for the purpose of subduing the enemy to the necessary extent and will limit his use of force so as to prevent unnecessary harm to human life and limb, dignity and property.

      The IDF servicemen’s purity of arms is their self-control in use of armed force. They will use their arms only for the purpose of achieving their mission, without inflicting unnecessary injury to human life or limb; dignity or property, of both soldiers and civilians, with special consideration for the defenseless, whether in wartime, or during routine security operations, or in the absence of combat, or times of peace.”

      The whole thing can be found at

      Pre-Enlightenment England put heads on pikes — look at what they did to Cromwell’s corpse — although Machiavelli did warn about creating the resentment you mention. But we don’t because it offends the dignity of the dead, who are, of course, defenseless.

      1. See my comment above about Theon Greyjoy.

        When I was stationed at Ft. Belvior I met a two star who taught at the War College who claimed it was mandatory to read three books; The Persian Wars, The Peloponnesian War, and the Punic War.

        During the Peloponnesian War the island of Lesbos was captured and the leaders in Athens favored decimating the population (literally lining up the population and killing every tenth man). But wiser council prevailed based on the argument that if that happened every army would fight to the last man. If mercy was shown armies would be more likely to surrender.

        And all of this before Jews and Christians were messing around.

  6. My questions:

    The girl deliberately lied, and it lead to the death of Mr. Paty. How does the law in France address personal culpability? What legal recourse does the Paty family actually have?

    If something like this happened in the US, what recourse is available to families like the Paty’s?

    1. Torts. Reports to the police are immune.

      1. Are there any modern American cases holding slanderers liable for physical harm in similar circumstances? This isn’t a case of fighting words where the lie could be expected to provoke an immediate violent response. The cause and effect are a lot farther apart than, for example, Trump’s speech and the unrest at the Capitol. (Liberals can substitute “insurrection” and progressives “treason” in that last sentence. It amuses me to use a euphemism.)

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