Division: between madness and reason?‏

Fouad Imarraine

The murders committed against French soldiers, children and a father of two has left us all in shock. After the emotions caused by hearing the murder’s justifications, questions are raising everywhere. French soldiers killed in uniform on their own territory, Jewish children murdered coldly in front of their school and inside their school in broad daylight.
Can ordinary, reasonable people show such a determination to shut down children in cold blood? This act cannot have been committed by a sane person. Murderous madness has been here acted out with all the terror related to it.
Information about the main suspect came out little by little. The young man is said to be a jihadist and he died fighting, as he apparently wanted to. And then blame spread like wildfire: fundamentalism is underestimated in France, the Israélo-Palestinian conflict is imported here and is used to kill Jews, what does an “islamist jihadist” who had been living in Afghanistan do in France, etc.
It is difficult to speak about such a drama especially in the middle of the presidential election campaign. A campaign which has been marked by stigmatization and hatred speeches’ propagation.
A campaign which has been “suspended” by Nicolas Sarkozy, who did not hesitate to make a foolish talk in front of children in a Parisian primary school. In such a dramatic case, where emotion is at its height, any word, any act can be perceived as disproportionate. This kind of situation requires restraint, condemnation goes without saying, but then reflexion is needful.
The Muslim community has been targeted by irresponsible speeches during the presidential campaign, and it is now holding the hostile public gaze as if the whole community was to be considered as responsible for these murders. Once again, it will be stigmatized, even if some will try to reassure us that they do not confuse the “dangerous minority” with the “integrated majority”. However it will be obviously very difficult to shield this community from suspicion and groundless accusations.
Since the end of the Eighties until today, terrorist attacks created reflex condemnation: Islam, Muslims, Palestine, etc. are source of violence which has come to terrorize our societies.
Although Muslims roundly and unanimously condemned the criminal acts committed in Toulouse and Montauban, it is always the same troublemakers who are going to take profit of the debates in order to stigmatize their favourite scapegoat.
Trusting men and women who are constantly inflaming public’s mind with hatred speeches while facing such a drama, is it possible?
Even though grieves and mourning are still dominating our mind, one cannot help thinking about the “afterwards”. It is highly unlikely that the murders will not have serious consequences on million of citizen in France. The need to reject all kind of stigmatization and hatred was already obvious before the drama, and now it becames an emergency, for it is high time to face and combat one of the most direct threat of the Republic: the division of the French population.

Fouad Imarraine – EMN France

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