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Merah is a Product of France, Not Islam

Mohamed Merah was born in Toulouse.

He died in Toulouse.

In 2008, he attempted to join the French army, but was rejected. The motivations for his murders: the French military presence in Afghanistan, and French society’s attacks on Islamic forms of dress.

These are all French issues. Mohamed Merah is a product of modern French society, a symptom of the many terrible problems that that society faces. A society that propels far-right fascist politicians to seriously compete for the presidency, only 67 years after the end of a war where the French themselves fought fascism.

And yet in no way has he been described as a Frenchman gone bad; a product of the French environment. No, he is a Muslim, an Islamist, an Algerian, an Arab.

See, the word ‘terrorist’ cannot be associated with the word ‘French’. Put it next to the others and we’re good.

But isn’t France’s failed attempt at creating a one-size-fits-all homogenous society also partly to blame? Aren’t these attacks also a result of a society that places its poor, deprived ethnic minorities in squalid banlieues, out of sight on the outskirts of the main cities? A society where an unpopular president plays on racist and Islamophobic themes to garner more votes, rather than confront them.

That is the reality of today’s France.

You put people in a corner, and eventually, horribly, they’ll lash out in a terrible manner.

And how exactly are French Muslims being put into a corner? Well, let’s look at some recent examples.

We have Sarkozy’s recent statements on immigration, where he declared that there were ‘too many foreigners in our territory.’ The irony, of course, being that Sarkozy’s father was a Hungarian immigrant, and his own wife, the glamorous Carla Bruni, is Italian. Those who the speech was directed to understood who Sarkozy was attacking. The French far-right don’t care so much about European immigration – it’s the Muslims that are their main concern.

In fact, Sarkozy is trying so hard to win the anti-Islam vote that he is stealing extreme right policies, even when he has previously criticised them. When Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Front National announced that halal meat was invading French society, Sarkozy said that she was whipping up controversy. However, he then went on to announce that halal meat was the “issue that most preoccupies the French.” Well, the ones he’s seeking to get the votes of, anyway.

And of course, there is the ban on Muslims praying in the street. Whilst it is definitely preferable that Muslims not pray on the streets, in many instances they are forced into it, because of a lack of mosques. There are only 4 in France’s second city, Marseille, a city that’s population is 10% Muslim. If the issue of praying on the streets were about public safety and congestion then Sarkozy would seek to rectify this issue of a lack of mosques. Instead, the ban can only be seen as yet another attack on Muslims as elections near.

But isn’t France’s failed attempt at creating a one-size-fits-all homogenous society also partly to blame?

These issues aren’t new. Muslims have lived in France for over 100 years, and the problems remain the same. Muslim resentment of the situation is also longstanding. Whether it’s the riots that rip through France’s cities every so often, or the government’s continued refusal to apologize for the atrocities committed in Algeria during the colonial period; French Muslims are made to feel like the enemy within.

What Mohamed Merah did was a vicious crime, and one that shouldn’t be swept away by simply describing the man as crazy – unlike certain soldiers in Afghanistan. This piece should not be read as a justification for his crimes. However, let’s remember that, even if it has been barely mentioned, Merah killed Muslims too, Muslims who put their lives on the line for liberté, égalité, fraternité. Yet many in modern French society do not see them as equal. They are still the guestworkers, the foreigners, only in France temporarily.

But that does not take away from the reality – the Merah killings are a product of France, and not of Islam.

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Discussion

58 Responses to “Merah is a Product of France, Not Islam”

  1. Well put Abukar!
    It is indeed ironic that we did not heard about the three French paratrooper that gunman killed 3 days earlier, unitl after the shooting at the Jewish school was reported. There is no doubt an obvious bias by the media when Muslims are the victims. It is hardly ever mentioned as you stated in the post. Now, we have 3 children who were killed mercilessly along with the Rabbi, it is 24/7.

    On a lighter note, here is a trivia question for those who are following the Toulouse shooting. No offense to the victims of the two crimes committed in Toulouse!

    Question: What do Monica Lewinsky, the Shoe Bomber and the Toulouse gunman all have in common?

    Answer: All of them visited Israel before they made it to the Hall of Fame.

    Posted by Mahmoud El-Yousseph | March 28, 2012, 9:52 pm
  2. Racist Arab-Islamic Mohamed merah – product of Arab-racism, a branch of the ugly cult of fake-victims, olso known as fakestinians, the [grandchildren of Arab immigrants] Those palestinian-Arab aggressors (since 1929 massacre in Hebron), who use their civilian population to cause their deaths in order to defame israel…

    Posted by freedemocracy | March 29, 2012, 8:27 am
  3. Yes, it was a hate crime by ethnic Arab racism [ http://www.france24.com/en/20120321-france-shooti... ] and religious Islamic bigotry, he was a member of Forsane Alizza banned for "inciting racial hatred." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/

    Even al-Arabiya said it was a clearly 'NAZI like CRIME' http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2012/03/29/203


    And just what is the entire Arab vs Israel conflict all about if not Arab Muslim bigotry to the non-Arab non-Muslim minority State?

    Posted by Maria | April 1, 2012, 1:31 am
  4. That's the trouble… Mohamed Merah was not "a product of modern French society" as much as he was a conspicuous example of the problem of assimilation into society that is impeded and restricted by Islam. Lack of assimilation is a key factor in breeding terrorism.

    Mohamed Merah's actions cannot be explained by claiming that he was somehow "put into a corner" simply because France will not SUBMIT as many Muslims would have them do.

    The Merah killings are a product of France, and not of Islam? Was it simply French issue having nothing to do with Islam when in 2005 riots broke out in 300 towns for three weeks following the deaths of two Muslim teenagers who were electrocuted when they hid in a power station believing they were being chased by police? (Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal would later boast that he convinced Rupert Murdoch to order Fox News to stop describing the rioters as Muslims.)

    Did the Muslim riots in France on November 15, 2009, Have nothing to do with Islam?

    Were the 2007 riots Muslim riots?

    Was it simply French issue having nothing to do with Islam when the Muslim youths rioted in Grenoble, France, on July 16, 2010, because two heavily armed immigrants, muslim arabs, robbed a casino and then tried to escape police by shooting at them?

    Can you deny that Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims

    By the way, there were no riots when two Muslims tried to kill a Jew in France.

    Posted by Mohammed | June 5, 2012, 3:51 pm
  5. The Muslim community needs to come to terms with the fact that there is a problem with violence. Denials and excuses can't possibly help.

    Posted by wake up | June 7, 2012, 2:49 am
  6. Here is the comment they don't want you to read, apparently. My comment from yesterday was deleted. I wonder why? Some intelligent discussion on topics is to be avoided? If something in the following copied comment is to be rejected, then by all means plz enlighten us. This is copied BTW…

    Merah is a Product of France?

    There might be a genetic component to culture, which would imply that one population group cannot be totally replaced with another and produce the same result. This is an insult to the currently accepted view that there is no such thing as a nation or a culture, that everything is a mix in a state of constant fluidity.

    Obviously, one could not make the same claim in the hard sciences, because one would then quickly be laughed out of the room. Yet in some of the social sciences this assertion is currently considered acceptable, even laudable. Nobody in physics or chemistry would suggest that all liquids are equal, or that particles are socially constructed. For instance, water, H2O, is essential to all known complex life forms on our planet. Yet change a single atom and the molecule becomes hydrogen sulfide, H2S, which stinks and is very poisonous.

    Needless to say, human societies are vastly more complex than chemical compounds, but sometimes changing a few basic ingredients among humans — or even just one central one — can produce strikingly different results. Can you really replace the traditional English population with Pakistanis, the French with Africans, the Dutch with Moroccans or the Germans with Turks within a few short years and expect the same end result?

    Merely asking this question makes you very nearly a pariah in polite Western society today, which indicates exactly how far in the direction of a colorblind, universal Idea Nation the self-appointed Enlightened Class has pushed the West. But is this situation sustainable?

    Color is just a word, we are all part of the same human race and “There are more important things to worry about than race. Such as the European Enlightenment values of humanity, brotherhood, tolerance and optimism!”

    Yes, but why were these values the unique products of European societies in the first place? And why have they frequently proven very hard to transplant to many other regions?

    Comments?

    Posted by DJ Faleh | June 8, 2012, 4:01 pm
  7. DJ Faleh I think you should be wary of bringing genetics into this discussion, because it reeks of ugly things like supremacism or eugenics. Especially on a blog like this where decent young people of middle eastern descent, who are living in the West, are trying to make sense of these things that are happening and our trying to defend and value their cultural heritage in a new setting. Maybe trying to say such things as the Ft. Hood shooting or the actions of this guy Merah have nothing to do with Islam or culture can be contentious and controversial, but genetics is probably out of place in those discussions.

    Posted by Hussein | June 8, 2012, 4:40 pm
  8. There is a genetic COMPONENT to culture. But human societies are vastly more complex.

    Anyway it is culture that is the problem. As Maria so resourcefully points out above: it was a hate crime by ethnic Arab racism and religious Islamic bigotry. See her links. He and his brother are heavily involved with Islamist organizations such as "Forsane Alizza [Knights of Pride], an organisation associated with the group Sharia4UK and another called Sharia4Belgium. Sharia4UK is closely linked to the banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun, formerly headed by Anjem Choudary."

    The problem is clearly related to Islam. The post here tries to blame the French victims and modern French society, which is similar to blaming a rape victim for wearing sexy clothes. Abubakr is desperate to portray this as a "Frenchman gone bad" rather than an Islamist and racist Arab Muslim

    "But isn’t France’s failed attempt at creating a one-size-fits-all homogenous society also partly to blame?" NO. As Mohammed so proficiently points out above: he was a conspicuous example of the problem of assimilation into society that is impeded and restricted by Islam.

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  13. Obviously that the Muslim community needs to come to terms with the fact that there is a problem with violence. Color is just a word, we are all part of the same human race and There are more important things to worry about than race. Such as the European Enlightenment values of humanity, brotherhood, tolerance and optimism!

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  15. Merah was a product of two things…Wahhabi Islam, and the Arab "World."…Enough said.

    Time for Arabs to grow up, and start acting like civilized free-thinking adults. The rest of the world(including the Islamic World), are REALLY getting tired of it.

    Posted by Cyrus | July 7, 2012, 9:47 pm
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