Toulouse Massacre, the Guardian’s Jessica Reed and the tyranny of liberal guilt

Imagine if you raised a son who grew up in a prosperous Western country but, at some point in his life, began to identify with the most hideously violent and reactionary terrorist movements.

Imagine further that your son joined al-Qaeda and spent time in Afghanistan as a terrorist assisting the Taliban in killing NATO troops.

Then, over a period of 10 days your son went on a killing spree, murdering French soldiers, a rabbi, his two young children and another child outside a Jewish school in Toulouse.

Would you engage in self-reflection and try to understand what went wrong?

Would you offer an apology to the victims’ families?

No. Benanel Merah, the father of Mohamed, said that he wants to take the French state to court for failing to capture his son alive.

After a two-day standoff with police, Mohamed was killed (on March 22) in an operation in which three officers were injured, one seriously, after he refused to surrender.

Said Benanel Merah:

“Why were they so hasty?”

“Why did they kill him? He could have been sentenced to many years in prison or even a life sentence. There is no death penalty in France.”

According to France 24, Benanel Merah told reporters that he would “hire the biggest named lawyers and work for the rest of my life to pay their costs – I will sue France for having killed my son.”

Interestingly, Benalel Merah left his family when his son Mohamed was six years old. His other son Abdelkader is currently under investigation, suspected of aiding and abetting his brother’s crimes.

Benalel failed miserably as a parent. He abandoned his family, and at least one of his sons grew up to become a monster – a 23-year-old man so blinded by anti-Jewish racism that he shot a petrified little Jewish girl a point-blank range without a hint of remorse.

While Benalel’s attempt to project the guilt which should be assigned to his son onto French police is, in itself, evidence of profound moral pathos, there are those in the West who evidently similarly viewed Mohamed’s death as an injustice.

Though the Guardian’s coverage of the Toulouse massacre was itself an exercise in denial – determined to run interference for the Islamist ideology which would target Jewish innocents – a series of Tweets by Jessica Reed, the Guardian’s assistant editor at ‘Comment is Free, are quite telling of Western liberal guilt, those whose heart bleeds for even the most malevolent and decidedly illiberal actors.

Here’s a portion of a Twitter exchange I had with Reed on March 22.

I don’t know Jessica Reed. And, I certainly don’t know how she responded emotionally to news that four Jews (including 3 children) were murdered by Mohamed Merah.

Yet, as I follow Guardian Twitterers somewhat regularly, I couldn’t locate even one Tweet (by the dozens of Guardian writers who regularly Tweet) which expressed shock, outrage, or anger over Merah’s antisemitic rampage. 

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told Radio Classique that “if I was the father of a monster [like Merah] I would shut my mouth in shame.”

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief advisor Henri Guaino told France Culture radio:

A little bit of decency right now would do everyone a lot of good. To try to blame the state is the height of indecency. This monster killed in cold blood. French society owes him absolutely nothing.”

The threat to sue came from the left-wing ideology that the criminal is never fully responsible for his acts, that it’s always other people that are responsible.”

Being a monster is not a symptom of the state of society…A monster is a monster. There is no social explanation for such a hideous crime.”

French police, political leaders and European journalists do not owe the father of such a cold-blooded killer a damn apology.

If liberalism means anything, it surely means identifying with the victims of racist violence – 30-year-old Jonathan Sandler, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 4, and seven-year-old Miriam Monsonego – and not the cruel, sociopathic perpetrator.

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