Isn’t it sad that the murderous rage, which decapitated Professor Samuel Patty, began with a lie by a student who accused him of Islamophobia?

We learned this week (Le Figaro and AmoMama) that Professor Samuel Patty, who was brutally murdered in France by a young radicalized Islamist, was also the victim of a lie. Yes, a simple lie by a student who accused him of having taken Muslim students out of class to show the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. In fact, it turned out that she was not present on that day:

While the responsibility clearly and primarily lies with the murderer, it was a somewhat predictable consequence of her lie. This shouldn’t be the case, but unfortunately is in today’s France. As such, there is heightened responsibility for such statements.

This tragedy shows us one more time that facts (= evidence) DO and SHOULD matter in life. As lawyers, researchers, journalists, and as reasonable, logical citizens, this is what we must examine first and foremost in life to be as fair as possible to all.

For all possible reasons, younger or older people may resort to lies (i.e., perhaps in this story, there is a family context. Who knows?). In life, lies can be white or more serious. Regardless, the problem here is not the lie of this student in reality. It’s perhaps more how institutions, companies, communities, or entire countries forget that they have the responsibility to commit to facts and reason/logic… It is only facts that allow us to be as fair as possible to all parties and in challenging situations like this one.

May Mr. Patty rest in peace. May his family members find peace in their hearts… May everyone, young or old, pause to reflect on the consequences of their words or their quick (mis)judgment… The life of innocent people, like Mr. Patty, can be at stake.

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