Samuel Paty murder: father of attacker believes beheading ‘paid off the debt of all Muslims’
In comments that have surfaced in the French media – newly translated into English by Policy Exchange’s Understanding Islamism Project – Abouyezid Anzorov, the father of Samuel Paty’s killer, Abdoullakh Anzarov, glorified the beheading of Samuel Paty, an act that shocked France and the world.
Speaking in an interview with a Chechen blogger just days after France’s national tribute to Paty, the killer’s father explains that in early October 2020, his son became aware of a video “sent by an imam of a local mosque” which denounced Samuel Paty.
Le Figaro reports:
This seems to refer to the video broadcast by Abdelhakim Sefrioui, who claimed to be a member of a “council of imams of France”. The terrorist’s father adds that in his video, this “imam” referred to “apparently the unsuccessful attempts of Muslims to oppose, by legal methods, images offensive to believers”. In his video, Abdelhakim Sefrioui makes the following accusation: “It’s been five to six years that children aged 12-13, Muslims, have been shocked, assaulted, humiliated in front of their comrades.”
Abouyezid Anzorov said: “Abdoullakh received this video. He couldn’t stand it and ran into the kitchen to talk to his mother about it. His mother cursed those who draw cartoons and replied that it was not up to us, that our business is to pray.”
The father also adds that his son did not “act spontaneously”. He says he himself would not have had “the courage, the strength to decide to carry out this murder” and that, if he had known of his son’s plans, he would have stopped him.
But he also said that his son “has repaid the debt of all Muslims” and says he is “happy with himself” because “he left defending the honour of all Chechens and all Muslims in the world”.
Dr Paul Stott, Head of Security and Extremism, Policy Exchange, said:
“The comments by Abouyezid Anzorov, the father of Samuel Paty’s murderer, are deeply disturbing. There is no ‘debt repaid’ in killing a school teacher doing his job. However, his interview does give important insight into the apparent radicalisation process that occurred before this terrorist attack – with Abdoullakh Anzorov receiving a video from a local Imam denouncing blasphemy.
“It is suggested by Islamist groups in this country and on the continent, that the French government’s response to both jihadist violence and Islamic extremism is rooted in racism and prejudice. Interviews like this are a reminder of the reality – the west faces a deadly terrorist threat, and must break the radicalisation process which fuels that threat.”