French Police Question Boy, 8, Over Terrorism Remarks
He wouldn't participate in moment of silence at school
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2015 6:36 PM CST
File photo of high school students in Bayonne, France, paying respect to the Charlie Hebdo victims.   (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

(Newser) – Just how on edge is France after the Charlie Hebdo attack? This might provide a clue: Police in Nice questioned an 8-year-old boy for a half-hour because he refused to take part in a moment of silence at his school and instead praised terrorists, reports AFP. “In the current context, the principal of the school decided to report to police what had happened,” explains a regional security official. French education ministry officials say that school administrators first brought in the boy's father, and summoned police only after the father became angry, reports the Wall Street Journal. The family's lawyer disputes that and calls the entire affair "insanity."

The lawyer says the boy, identified only as Ahmed, acknowledged to police that he said, "I am with the terrorists." But when police asked him what "terrorism," meant, the boy said he didn't know. A group called the Collective Against Islamophobia in France released a statement after the incident criticizing “the collective hysteria that has engulfed France since early January," reports France24. No charges have been filed in the case, but that could change: A spokesperson for the education ministry says social services are investigating allegations the boy was abused at home, and police are investigating the father's complaint that the school's director slapped him during an argument. (A French comic is in hot water over his terror remarks.)
 

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