In a Hadith, Prophet Muhammad said he was given things that no other prophet has been given, before including “I was supported with terror.”
The concept of what Islamists terrorists do, therefore, is simple: create fear and terror — which far surpass the size of the actually committed terrorist act. The expense of counter-terrorism, for instance, far exceeds the cost of terrorist acts, and has created huge US expenses, which are now facing cuts as a result of the US economic crisis, despite threats still being present.
On a social level, the BBC reported that since the shootings, many Jewish children in France have been afraid to go to school, and Jewish teenagers have reported fears of being recognized as Jews by the way they dress.
Merah’s claim– that he had not planned in advance to attack the Jewish school — is disturbing, even if it was true. As he said, he wanted to kill a French soldier, but when his plan to kill a French soldier failed, he chose the next available target. In other words, the Jews in Toulouse were a soft target, like fish in a pond, for Merah. It does not matter what the fish do: the fish do not need to do anything to “provoke” the fisherman; they are simply there for him. The ‘fish’ may think that if it swims more slowly or with prettier loops, that these actions might not “inflame” the fisherman, but of course there is nothing that he can do to influence the fisherman or to change how the fisherman will view him.
The image of Jews being “a soft target” seems evident in the UK as well, at least according to one British Jewish mother writing in the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, last week. In her account of anti-Semitism in the UK, she says, “In the end, I’m afraid I believe that our children are a target because no one fears a Jewish reprisal. Or, as the comedian Jackie Mason once said, “Nobody ever crossed the street to avoid a group of Jewish accountants.” She then adds significantly, “We (Jews) don’t make excessive demands for the State to absorb our culture. We just want to live a peaceful coexistence.” Ironically, unlike the Islamists to which Mohammad Merah belonged, Jews accept the culture of the nations they live in and do not try to impose their ways, yet it is people like Merah who receive acceptance and tolerance.
More alarming were the comments made by the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last week. At an event in Brussels on Monday organized for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees — a UN entity with an appetite for supporting anti-Zionism — Ashton paid tribute to children around the world, including a coach crash in Switzerland which killed more than 20 Belgian children, the Syrian conflict, the Toulouse shooting, and “what’s happened in Gaza.” Ashton’s comparison of children under ten years of age, dragged by the hair and then killed at point-blank range in their school simply for being Jewish, to children killed in the conflict in Gaza, is a display of the most staggering duplicity. Ashton knows – or should know – perfectly well that the children in Gaza are not targeted by the Israeli army. Ashton knows – or should know - that Hamas, in deliberate violation of the Geneva Conventions as well as all universal norms of human rights, places children near ammunition depots and the like, so that they will serve as human shields, and appear to the world as victims of Israel instead of Hamas, where the blame actually belongs. And while Hamas engages in this barbaric and cynical manipulation, Israel tries to defend itself from literally thousands of rocket attacks launched by Islamist militants in densely-populated areas.
Later, Ashton said she “unreservedly” condemned the murders and said she drew no parallel between the shooting in Toulouse and the situation in Gaza. Still, the damage had been done: Ashton had put the deliberate crime in Toulouse at the same level as the deaths of Palestinian children manipulated by Hamas’s malignity toward its own young people; and she had put Israel on the same immoral level of Merah and Hamas. Ashton nevertheless received stout support from many European parliamentarians who claimed that her comments “were taken out of context“! – a claim that should tell you all you need to know about many European Parliamentarians.
Looking deeper into Mohamed Merah’s fundamentalism and eventual terrorist acts, connections to other European courtiers emerge, particularly in the UK and Belgium. Mohammad Merah’s brother, Abdelkader, now in the custody of French authorities, may have met radicals in the UK; and both Scotland Yard and the British internal intelligence, the MI5, seem to believe he was in the UK to meet British Muslim radicals.
About the Author: Mudar Zahran is a Palestinian writer and academic from Jordan, who now resides in the UK as a political refugee.
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