March 26, 2012

Mohamed Merah – Man of the West

By CAROLINE GLICK, The Jerusalem Post, March 23, 2012

In addition to denying, justifying and inciting jihadist violence,
Western elites and authorities also engage in facilitating it.

The massacre of Jewish children at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school
in Toulouse presents us with an appalling encapsulation of the
depraved nature of our times – although at first glance, the opposite
seems to be the case.

On the surface, the situation was cut and dry. A murderer drove up to
a Jewish school and executed three children and a teacher.

Led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, all of France decried the
massacre and announced its solidarity with the French Jewish
community. World leaders condemned the crime. The killer died in a
standoff with French security forces. Justice was served. Case closed.

But dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that justice has not been served.

Indeed, it hasn’t even begun to be addressed. The killer, Mohamed
Merah, was not a lone gunman. He wasn’t even one of the lone jihadists
we hear so much about.

He had plenty of accomplices. And not all of them were Muslims.

An analysis of the nature of his crime and the identity of his many
accomplices must necessarily begin with a question. Why did Merah
videotape his crime?

Why did take the trouble of strapping a video camera to his neck and
filming himself chasing eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego through the
school courtyard and shooting her three times in the head? Why did he
document his execution of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two little
boys, three-year-old Gavriel and six-year-old Aryeh?

The first answer is because Merah took pride in killing Jewish
children. Beyond that, he was certain that millions of people would be
heartened by his crime. By watching him shoot the life out of Jewish
children, they would be inspired to repeat his actions elsewhere.

And he was surely correct.

Millions of people have watched the 2002 video of Daniel Pearl being
decapitated. Similar decapitation videos of Western hostages in Iraq
and elsewhere have also become runaway Internet sensations.

Led by Youssef Fofana, the Muslim gang in France that kidnapped and
tortured Ilan Halimi to death in 2006 also took pictures of their
handiwork. Their photographs were clearly imitations of the photos
that Pearl’s killers took of him before they chopped his head off.

The pride that jihadist murderers take in their crimes is not merely
manifested in their camera work. US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who
massacred 13 US servicemen at Fort Hood in 2009, showed obvious pride
in his dedication to jihad. Hassan gave a presentation to his
colleagues justifying jihad. He carried business cards in which he
identified himself as an “SOA,” a soldier of Allah.

Similarly, Naveed Haq, the American Muslim who carried out the attack
at the Seattle Jewish Federation building in 2006, murdering one woman
and wounding another five, bragged to his mother and friend about his
crime in monitored telephone calls from jail. Haq boasted that he was
“a jihadi” and that his victims deserved to die because they were
“Israeli collaborators.”

The exhibitionism common to all the men’s behavior makes it obvious
that that their attacks were not the random actions of isolated crazy
people or lone extremists. All of these killers were certain that they
were part of a global movement that seeks the annihilation of the
Jews, the subjugation of the Western world and the supremacy of
jihadist Islam. And they were convinced that their actions served the
interests of this movement and that they would be viewed as heroes by
millions of their fellow Muslims for their killing of innocents.

THIS SITUATION is bad enough on its own. But what make it truly
dangerous are the West’s responses to it. Those responses together
with the crimes themselves expose the depraved and perilous nature of
our times. And they show that Merah’s death can bring no closure to
this story.

There are five interrelated aspects to the West’s response to these
crimes and the jihadist reality they expose. The first aspect of the
West’s response is denial.

Time after time, Merah and his ilk throughout the Western world show
us who they are and what they want. And time after time, the Western
elites, and even much of the Jewish leadership, turn a blind eye and a
deaf ear to their cries of murder and calls for the destruction of
Western civilization.

In the case of Halimi’s murder, for instance, Paris police refused to
view his abduction as a hate crime. Despite the fact that Fofana and
his followers called Halimi’s family and recited Koranic verses while
Ilan screamed out in agony in the background, the Paris police treated
his disappearance as a garden variety kidnap-for-ransom case.

Even after Ilan was found naked at a rail heading with burns on more
than 80 percent of his body and died en route to the hospital, it took
French authorities over a week to admit that he had been the victim of
an anti-Semitic crime.

On a lesser note, everyone from the media to Jewish communal leaders
in the US abjectly refuse to recognize that mainstream Muslim groups
like the Muslim Students Association are sympathetically inclined
towards Hamas. Moreover, they refuse to recognize that sympathy for
Hamas necessarily entails sympathy for Hamas’s genocidal platform of
annihilating the Jewish people in the name of jihad.

As David Horowitz wrote in a recent article at FrontPage magazine,
Jewish student leaders at places such as the University of North
Carolina Chapel Hill prefer to attack messengers like himself, than
accept the inconvenient truth that Muslim student leaders on campus
with them support the annihilation of Israel.

Ignoring and denying the openly expressed aims of jihadists like Merah
is of course only part of the problem. The second aspect of the West’s
effective collusion with these killers is Western elites’
justification of their crimes.

After initially pinning the blame for the Toulouse massacre on Nazis,
when French authorities finally acknowledged Merah’s jihadist
identity, they also provided his justification for murder. Speaking to
reporters, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant gave us Merah’s name
and his excuse at the same time.

Gueant told us that Merah was associated with al-Qaida and he was
upset about what he referred to as Israel’s “murder” of Palestinian

It should be unnecessary to note the simple truth that Israel doesn’t
murder Palestinian children. Palestinians murder Israeli children.

But then, if Merah got his news from the Western media there is a
reasonable chance that he wouldn’t know that.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was rightly condemned by
Israeli political leaders this week for her equation of the actual
massacre of Jewish children in Toulouse with the imaginary massacre of
Palestinian children in Gaza. But she is not alone in this behavior.
US President Barack Obama engaged in similarly outrageous libels when
during his speech to the Muslim world in June 2009 he compared the
Holocaust with Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

And the line separating these libels from actual incitement is often
hard to find.

French television, which Merah no doubt often watched, is notorious
for crossing it. It was France 2 that gave us this century’s first
anti-Semitic blood libel with its October 2000 tale of Muhammad
al-Dura’s alleged death at the hands of IDF soldiers.

The France 2 story was exposed as a fraud by an appellate court in
Paris in 2008. The appellate court overturned a lower court’s libel
ruling against Internet activist Philippe Karsenty who wrote on his
personal website that the al-Dura story was a hoax.

The appellate court viewed France 2’s unedited footage from the scene.
That footage showed al-Dura moving after the France 2 cameraman had
declared him dead. The footage led the court to overturn the decision
of the lower court that had found Karsenty guilty of libel.

Apparently the same French establishment that now declares solidarity
with France’s Jews is unwilling to part with the al-Dura hoax that
incited the spilling of so much Jewish blood in the past decade. Last
month, France’s Supreme Court overturned the appellate court’s ruling
and ordered it to retry the case.

As far as the Supreme Court of France is concerned, the appellate
court had no right to ask France 2 to provide evidence that its story
was true. According to the court, the unedited footage which proved
the story was a blood libel should never have been admitted as
evidence. The truth should never have been permitted to come to light.

IN ADDITION to denying, justifying and inciting jihadist violence,
Western elites and authorities also engage in facilitating it and,
after the fact, excusing it. In the case of Merah, although details
are still unclear, it has been reported that he underwent jihadist
training by al-Qaida in Afghanistan and was apprehended by Afghan

Despite his ties to al-Qaida, either US or French military authorities
decided he should be sent back to France even though he clearly
constituted a danger to French society.

Moreover, according to media reports, French authorities knew that he
was dangerous and still failed to apprehend him. They had been
informed that at least on one occasion, Merah sought to radicalize a
15-year-old Muslim boy. And yet, he was allowed to remain at large.

As the mother of the teenager said, “All these people had to die
before they finally arrest Mohamed Merah. What an enormous waste. The
police knew this individual was dangerous and radicalized. I
complained to the police twice about Mohamed Merah and tried to follow
up several times.”

In the US, Hasan’s colleagues and commanders knew of his sympathy for
jihad and his connections to jihadist leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
And yet they promoted him to major and sent him to Fort Hood.

The West’s complicity with these jihadist crimes doesn’t end with
their perpetration.

After failing to acknowledge that Halimi was abducted by jihadists who
murdered him because he was a Jew, French authorities conducted his
murderers’ trials behind closed doors. Hidden from public scrutiny, in
their first trial, Halimi’s killers were given pitifully lights
sentences. Fofana was rendered eligible for parole within 22 years. It
was only the outcry of activists within the French Jewish community
that caused French authorities to hold a retrial.

In Seattle, Haq’s first trial for his attack on Seattle’s Jewish
Federation was declared a mistrial. Seattle’s mayor and media went out
of their way to present Haq as mentally ill. The prosecution failed to
seek the death penalty and didn’t bother to present the records of
Haq’s phone conversations bragging about his crimes until his second

Together, the behavior of proud jihadist warriors of the West like
Merah, Hasan, Haq and Fofana, and the depraved silence, indifference
and complicity of Western elites with their jihadist aims, form the
physical and moral landscape of our time. And it is because of this
evil mix of perpetrators and enablers that Merah’s death is not a
victory of justice.

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