Toulouse killings: making political capital out of Mohammed Merah

Nabila Ramdani writes: When young children are murdered by point-blank shots to the head, it is very difficult to draw conclusions about anything, let alone religion. The crimes Mohammed Merah has apparently confessed to are unimaginably wicked. French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, summed them up with the blunt relish of a newspaper headline writer, describing the 23-year-old killer as a “monster” who represented nothing and nobody.

However, such interpretations of what has happened in the Toulouse area over the past 10 days won’t last long. Far-right politicians have already seized on the image of the lethal young Muslim from an Algerian immigrant background. The National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who is on course to win up to 20% of the popular vote in the presidential elections beginning next month, said it was time to “launch a war” against a “fundamentalist risk which has been underestimated in our country”.

Le Pen has highlighted the fact that Merah had a French passport and was born and brought up at the expense of the republic. Even after he escaped from an Afghan prison where he was held for planting Taliban bombs, he was able to return to a council flat in Toulouse. “Homegrown” Islamic terrorists are the ultimate bogeymen for rabble-rousing politicians, and there is absolutely no doubt that the National Front’s share of the vote will increase because of this outrage.

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3 thoughts on “Toulouse killings: making political capital out of Mohammed Merah

  1. John Somebody

    I’ve yet to hear, (as usual), anyone saying anything about how people behave as though the lives of European, U.S. , Russian etc, people, (especially babies), are somehow worth more than the lives of Palestinian, Afghan, Iraqi people, (especially babies).
    Are the imitation left, afraid of backlash, from the ranting right, accusing people who say such things, of being anti- European, U.S., Russian babies, on the lines of how zionists accuse Palestinian fighters, of terror tactics ?

  2. delia ruhe

    I expect Bibi will get mileage out of this — the usual propaganda: the diaspora is too dangerous for Jews; immigrate to Israel.

    (It’s amazing to me that Israel is always advertised as the only “safe” place for Jews. This myth runs parallel to the Iranian bomb myth. One well-placed nuclear weapon could achieve in 10 seconds what Netanyahu scare-mongers about, namely Holocaust II.)

  3. Tom Hall

    Sarkozy’s best, though perhaps fading hope for reelection, lies in the prospect of siphoning votes from among supporters of the National Front. His stock has fallen too low with “mainstream” sectors of the population, and he stands little chance of improving his totals apart from Rightist sources. But why should National Front sympathizers abandon their standard-bearer Marine LePen for a candidate they regard as inauthentic, opportunistic, and frankly rather foreign-looking? Ironically, resistance to Sarkozy on the Right will be grounded in the very racial hostility he tries to exploit against others.

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