mardi, mars 07, 2006

barbarie antisémite

The facts:
  • France has the most jews and muslims of any European country.
  • France was known for its antisemitism, even before the days of the Vichy collaborators.
  • The headscarf controversy and persistent racism against those of Arab and African descent boiled over last fall, when the country exploded with violence due to a disaffected and impoverished (primarily muslim) underclass.
  • The government can no longer ignore the rising tension between jews and muslims.
Last week, an awful story involving the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a 23-year-old jewish man named Ilan Halimi came to light. Lured by a pretty girl, Ilan met her for a date that turned out to be a trap. He ended up chained, tortured, and emprisoned for two weeks, then was left to die in a wooded area near train tracks in the suburbs of Paris. The gang that abducted him did so because he was jewish and because they assumed his family was therefore wealthy enough to afford a ransom.

The story turned my stomach, but the outraged response of thousands of decent people reminds me that although people are sometimes awful, persons can make a difference. About 100,000 marched peacefully in his memory on Feb. 26.
Torture and Death of Jew Deepen Fears in France
BAGNEUX, France, March 3 — Two strips of red-and-white police tape bar the entrance to the low-ceilinged pump room where a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, spent the last weeks of his life, tormented and tortured by his captors and eventually splashed with acid in an attempt to erase any traces of their DNA.

The floor of the concrete room, in the cellar of 4, rue Serge-Prokofiev, is bare except for a few packets of rat poison, a slowly drying wet mark and a dozen small circles drawn and numbered in white chalk, presumably marking the spots where the police retrieved evidence of Mr. Halimi's ordeal.

Mr. Halimi, 23, died Feb. 13, shortly after he was found near a train station 15 miles away by passers-by, after crawling out of the wooded area where he was dumped. He was naked and bleeding from at least four stab wounds to his throat, his hands bound and adhesive tape covering his mouth and eyes. According to the initial autopsy report, burns, apparently from the acid, covered 60 percent of his body.

"I knew they had someone down there," said a young French-Arab man, loitering in the doorway of a building adjacent to the one where Mr. Halimi was held. He claimed to live upstairs from the makeshift dungeon but would not give his name or say whether he knew then that the man was a Jew. "I didn't know they were torturing him," he said. "Otherwise, I would have called the police."

But it is clear that plenty of people did know, both that Mr. Halimi was being tortured and that he was Jewish. The police, according to lawyers with access to the investigation files, think at least 20 people participated in his abduction and the subsequent, amateurish negotiations for ransom. His captors told his family that if they did not have the money, they should "go and get it from your synagogue," and later contacted a rabbi, telling him, "We have a Jew."

The horrifying death has stunned France, which has Europe's largest Muslim and largest Jewish populations. Last weekend, tens of thousands of people marched against racism and anti-Semitism in Paris, joined by the interior minister, Nicholas Sarkozy, and smaller marches took place in several other French cities, including Marseille.

In the wake of the riots that broke out in the immigrant-heavy Paris suburbs last fall, the case seems to embody the social problems of immigration, race and class that France has been facing with so much uncertainty. The emerging details raise deep fears of virulent anti-Semitism within the hardening underclass, and point to the decaying social fabric in which that underclass lives.

Those that the police say kidnapped and killed Mr. Halimi called themselves the Barbarians, and included people of different backgrounds: the children of blacks from sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, of Arabs from North Africa, of at least one Persian from Iran, and of whites from Portugal and France.

The gang's leader was a tall, charismatic young man named Youssouf Fofana, 25, one of five children born in Paris to at least nominally Muslim immigrants from Ivory Coast. When he was a teenager, the family moved to the bleak neighborhood of 12-story concrete apartment blocks where Mr. Halimi was held.

2 commentaires:

V.S. a dit…

Well... It's a headline in France for weeks now. The leader of the gang has been arrested in Ivory Coast and extraded.
But "The gang that abducted him did so because he was jewish" is what a member of this gang said to the police.
And it don't makes all french antijewish. It's just what a stupid man said on a gang at a moment. Some lobbies, muslims, jewish or NOT are really active for a while to opposate communities in France. And politics are surfing on this to say all or nothing.

The fact is also that there was (fortunately!) much more people at a meeting in the memory of Ilan than real antijewish activists in France. And communities agressions exists on Paris and parisian's suburbs principally. In many cities "moderate" muslims, catholics, and jewish live peacefully but national and international press are not interested by non-sensasionnal informations. Last month, 3 people have been kidnapped for ransoms (a new mode Badgad imported?) and killed, both were no jewish, no argue for racism were reported. It made 3 lines on news, because Ilan was a symbol for political or religious lobbies. But, at the origin, the crime is the kidnap, torture and death for money, whatever circonstences.

There's a also a thing american's ignore (or missunderstand ?) it's the princip of "Laicité" admitted in France. Laicity is not deny of religion's, but law and our constitution, since 1905, admitted that religions and State (politic) were separated and can't be associated. No priest, rabbin or immam can't made politic, and no politic interfeers in any religion. The original goal was the free respect of practising any religion, and to became independant from catholic and jewish influence that existed in Europe in XIXth century. But in other part, religions communities are engaged to not convert others, and to practice a moderate, and pacific religious directives. But, with the israelo-palestinian conflict, not so far from us, the social difficulties, the policital crisis, the integrists lobbies (muslims, jewish and catholics) entered in active mode. And burnst some simple minds or became an excuse or a cause for dangerous people, like this Youssouf Fofana and his gang, or Zachariah Moussaoui.

hum... sorry for lengh.
V.S. - Racist vs assholes, all over the world, whatever ther nationality, color or religion.
Hitler killed jewish to spend their money. W. Bush is killing iraqian's, afghan, for oil, and innocent blacks by legal injection, nobody threat him of racist.

Marco a dit…

Juste un petit mot en francais sur votre blog que je regarde depuis quelques mois
Ce qui arrive en FRANCE depuis longtemps deja c'est la perte de la mémoire.
Quelle image donne-t-on de la FRANCE a l'etranger? Sommes nous tous si horrible que cela ?
Le malaise est pourtant bien présent. Vivement la fin des tensions inter-raciales.
thanks for your blog