Islamic terror is alive in France (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) Boaz Bismuth 03/25/12)
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Mohamed Merah, who brutally murdered seven people between March 11
and 19, including a Jewish teacher and three small children, shows
France that Islamic terror is alive and well, and even committing
murder in its midst.
Merah may have had accomplices. He also had supporters, as one can
see from the demonstration organized in his memory on Saturday. One
French teacher even asked her students to observe a minute of silence
in his honor, as if he were one of the unfortunate children he gunned
down in cold blood. These people are a minority, of course, just like
the jihadis are a minority. But look at what a minority can do.
In 1990s France, when there were a wave of attacks, there were always
those willing to defend the young people lacking an education and a
future who carried out attacks for the Algerian GIA, because, they
argued, it was almost their only option. This explanation is similar
to the one given to French media concerning Palestinian suicide
bombers during the Intifada. French President Nicolas Sarkozy rightly
refuses to rationalize acts of terror.
France of spring 2012 is preparing for elections. It strongly
condemns what happened in Toulouse and refuses to discuss the
socioeconomic factors that led a young, Algerian immigrant from a
working-class neighborhood to turn to terror.
As much as France would rather not bring up the subject because it
strengthens extreme Right candidate Marine Le Pen, it understands the
problem and knows that it must be dealt with.
Franceís government is aware of the fact that following the murder of
Osama Bin Laden in May 2011, jihadis returned to French soil. They
returned with gusto, filled with hatred for the country that absorbed
their parents. And most importantly, the jihadis returned with
military training. Like classic Salafi jihadis, their goal is to
change the face of French society. They have no desire whatsoever to
Mohamed Merah is not alone. Young people like him are hiding all over
the cities of Marseilles, Paris, Lyon and their suburbs. For them, a
little Jewish girl is not a little girl, but rather a symbol that
must be wiped from the earth.
Just as with the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, one can find
conspiracy theories about Merahís death on the Internet. One French
site, called Alterinfo, says that Merah was shot to death rather than
captured alive as part of a Mossad plot. Bin Laden may have died, but
his teachings live on. They are alive, kicking, and even committing
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