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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

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

  1. Thank you for presenting your points and providing this information. I have learned something about this topic.

    Posted by switzerland tourism | June 6, 2014, 1:25 am
  2. I think it's the best piece I have read about this subject
    thanks for sharing

    Posted by العاب اطفال | June 18, 2014, 5:34 am
  3. Mohamed Merah was created in Toulouse. He passed away in Toulouse.

    Posted by gardening | August 10, 2014, 2:39 am
  4. In 2008, he tried to be a part of the France army, but was refused.

    Posted by furniture buy | August 10, 2014, 2:40 am
  5. The inspirations for his murders: the France army existence in Afghanistan

    Posted by mold removal | August 10, 2014, 2:41 am
  6. and France society’s strikes on Islamic types of outfit.

    Posted by home renovation | August 10, 2014, 2:42 am
  7. a item of the France atmosphere. No, he is a Islamic, an Islamist, an Algerian, an Arabic.

    Posted by auto service | August 14, 2014, 1:02 am
  8. See, the phrase ‘terrorist’ cannot be associated with the phrase ‘French’. Put it next to the others and we’re excellent.

    Posted by bike world | August 14, 2014, 1:04 am
  9. But isn’t France’s unsuccessful effort at developing a one-size-fits-all homogenous community also partially to blame

    Posted by sports man | August 14, 2014, 1:05 am
  10. Aren’t these strikes also a consequence of a community that locations its inadequate

    Posted by movie reviews | August 14, 2014, 1:06 am
  11. limited cultural unprivileged in squalid banlieues, out of vision on the borders of the primary cities

    Posted by sports center | August 14, 2014, 1:07 am
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    Posted by saras | August 16, 2014, 1:07 am
  15. That's a very nice blog you have here. Glad to have read this insightful article. I will be back for more readings!

    Posted by Virginia | August 18, 2014, 3:25 pm
  16. fascist political figures to seriously contend for the obama administration

    Posted by high schools | August 21, 2014, 7:05 am
  17. only 67 decades after the end of a war where the France themselves battled fascism.

    Posted by student university | August 21, 2014, 7:06 am
  18. We have Sarkozy’s latest claims on migrants, where he announced that there were ‘too many individuals from other countries in our area.

    Posted by real estate | August 31, 2014, 2:27 am
  19. The paradox, of course, being that Sarkozy’s dad was a Hungarian immigrant

    Posted by investment choices | August 31, 2014, 2:28 am
  20. and his own spouse, the gorgeous Carla Bruni, is French

    Posted by law and order | August 31, 2014, 2:30 am
  21. Those who the conversation was instructed to recognized who Sarkozy was fighting.

    Posted by divorce lawyer | August 31, 2014, 2:31 am
  22. he Italy far-right don’t proper care so much about Western migrants

    Posted by state law | August 31, 2014, 2:33 am
  23. it’s the Muslims that are their primary priority.

    Posted by foreign exchange | August 31, 2014, 2:35 am

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