We have seen several reports about Muslim support for the Jew-killing jihad murderer Merah. We have not seen any reports about Muslims speaking out against him and against Islamic antisemitism in general. Yet the official government and media narrative is that only a tiny minority of extremist Muslims are violent, and most other Muslims abhor their actions. Stories like these show up the hollowness of that dogma.
"In Toulouse suburb, 'scooter killer' is 'one of us,'" by Nicholas Vinocur for Reuters, March 30:
(Reuters) - In the neighborhood where Mohamed Merah grew up, and was last seen joking with friends days after he had killed three French soldiers in a pair of shootings, the message to outsiders is clear: he was one of our own, no matter what he did.
The self-styled Islamist militanttore a wound in France's fragile sense of community when he gunned down the soldiers, sons of North African immigrant families like his own, and then a rabbi and three Jewish children - all in the name of al Qaeda.
For days, Toulouse lived in fear of the "scooter killer".
France reeled at the worst such attacks since a bombing campaign involving another young son of Algerian parents from another rough provincial suburb, Khaled Kelkal from Lyon, killed eight people in 1995. President Nicolas Sarkozy put his re-election campaign on hold to call for unity. Tens of thousands of people marched silently in memory of the victims.
But in Les Izards, the 1960s housing project where Merah, 23, felt most at home, the reaction to his rampage has been one of anxious defiance of outsiders trying to peer into what seems like a closed world, cut off from elegant downtown Toulouse by its poverty, by crime and, locals say, by racial discrimination.
"I'm going to tell you one thing: he was a kid from this neighborhood and we support his family no matter what people say on TV," said one middle-aged mother of Algerian origin who said she had known Merah when he was a child in Les Izards.
Typical of others in the area of low-rise blocks and tidy squares a 15-minute metro ride north of the city centre, she did not want to be named when speaking up for the man who was, briefly, public enemy No. 1: "He was one of ours," she said. "And we will never be sure of what really happened."...
Several residents of Les Izards, in illustrating that sense of confrontation with the French state, alleged that on the day Merah was killed, police cars drove through the neighborhood honking car horns in the manner of jubilant sports fans.
"If we don't want to produce more Mohamed Merahs," Makongo warned, "We are going to have to work a lot harder to reach these kids through dialogue - and find them jobs."
Yes, it is all our fault, and up to us to fix the problem. Islamic antisemitism? Pah!
Incidentally, Merah was not a "self-styled islamist"; the French security services had been involved with him for some time. His entire family are islamists. In time, no doubt we'll find out the details of his trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel -- all places where your average sun-seeking Frenchman goes on holiday.