In the week that has just ended (March 23), Mohamed Merah, claiming to be a follower of Al Qaida, committed several murders in Montauban and Toulouse, severely wounding a Martiniquais soldier now in a coma and killing three military men of North African origin and four Jewish people including three children. Whatever his justifications, we strongly condemn this act, particularly in the case of the children, and wish to say to the North African, Jewish and Antilles families who have lost loved ones that we are in mourning with you.
We also feel anger and bitterness at the act of a young man claiming to support the cause of Palestinians and Afghanis. His act distorts the goals of these just causes, muddies the message and reinforces the side he claims to oppose. With only one month to go before the Presidential elections, his murderous folly re-energizes the campaigns of Nicolas Sarkozy and Marine Le Pen while undermining the anti-racist and anti-imperialist movement efforts in the hard struggle for justice and liberty.
However, it would be wrong to believe that Mohamed Merah’s vengeful fantasies came out of nowhere. The terrible violence that he displayed this week was fed for years by the cold reason of the murderous wars being led by major powers in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere with the support of the Israeli state. How could we not predict that all this would lead one day to violent actions in which Jewish French people, constantly linked by French propaganda to Zionism, would be the target? It is this link that must be broken in order to prevent the conflation of Jews with Israel. And that is where the honour of the anti-zionist movement is to be found: working toward the liberation of Palestinians but also of Jews.
How could the possibility of the growing Islamophobia expressed ad nauseam, and becoming a major electoral refrain this year, moving some members of violent sects to action be ignored? Such a political-ideological context could not be ignored. The crime is already being instrumentalized, conflated with an entire community, as evidenced scandalously by the Crif, which – after the identity of the killer was revealed – abandoned a march it had been planning with Muslim organizations. You can’t march with the guilty parties! This is a shameful attitude to adopt, irresponsible and dangerous. The emotion the tragedy rightly triggers should never be taken hostage by the interests of politicians and lobbyists. On the contrary, this is a time for French society to reflect collectively on the ravages of national and international political choices that have been against the common good. Anders Behring Breivik and Mohamed Merah were not flukes on European territory. They are the expression of the incredible disorder created by the imperialist and racist system. They are both the consequences and the symptoms. In this sense, Breivik and Merah are certainly products of Europe.
PIR, Parti des indigènes de la République
Translated by Karen Wirsig