Emad El Din Adeeb, writing in Asharq Alawsat, makes the point that many Arabs and Muslims fear. Whenever an atrocity is committed these days, particularly if against civilians or members of other faiths, there is a dread that arises. Will the perpetrator be Arab or Muslim? Can it not, just for once, be someone else?
In the first moments following the shootings in Toulouse, France, Western media seemed to accommodate this hope. Reports were suggesting that the killer was, perhaps, a white, neo-Nazi, a skinhead of some sort, maybe another Anders Breivik. That turn out to not be the case. Instead, it is another angry Muslim shedding innocent blood through his beliefs in a perverted form of Islam.
But it’s all Muslims who get tagged with the terrorist label, not just those following a violent strain of it. Directly or indirectly, all Muslims find themselves under the cloud of suspicion and hatred; all Arabs; all North African immigrants in France.
A rabbi and
four three children, along with French military personnel (some of whom were themselves Arab Muslims) were killed by mortal shots in Toulouse. Islam and its adherents took a non-fatal blow, but a serious one.
What now after Toulouse?
Emad El Din Adeeb
What I dreaded and duly warned against in my article a few days ago – regarding my fear about the “Toulouse crime” in which four people were killed, three being children – has happened.
At the conclusion of my column, I wrote “due to all this, I pray to God that the perpetrator is not one of us”, meaning that he is not of Arab or Muslim descent, or a member of the French North African expatriate community.
Unfortunately, the perpetrator was identified as young Mohamed Merah, an Arab Muslim of Algerian descent who belonged to a third generation of North African immigrants, having been born in France and acquired French citizenship. However, Merah would later come to reject French society, imprisoned in his own misconceptions and extremist thoughts, whilst adopting Arab and Islamic slogans.
Mohamed Merah, by declaring that he was an Arab and a Muslim who advocated al-Qaeda’s ideology, and following the discovery of the arsenal of weapons he was hiding in his house, has greatly improved the reputation and standing of Mrs. Marine Le Pen, president of the extremist right-wing Front National party, known for its radical trend against French minorities, mainly the Arab Muslim immigrants, who were already suspected of the crimes in Toulouse.
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