Perpetrators as victims: Seumas Milne ignores Islamist-inspired antisemitism of Toulouse massacre

Mohammed Merah

As we reported, The Guardian’s two official editorials on the Islamist inspired murders of four innocent Jews in the French city of Toulouse by Mohammed Merah, in over 900 words of text, never once used the word “antisemitism”nor mentioned the names or Jewish identity of the victims, yet employed the phrase “anti-immigrant rhetoric” three times.

The second editorial, published after Merah’s identity, and Jihadist background, was known, warned not of Islamist inspired Jew hatred, but of the danger of French officials “alienating” the French Muslim community.

An analysis of the shootings by the Guardian’s Paris correspondent, Angelique Chrisafis, which attempted to locate root causes for Merah’s rampage, similarly never mentioned the word “antisemitism” yet included this possible explanation for his massacre:

 Merah had self-radicalised in prison, where he spent nearly two years as a teenager after stealing a handbag. Merah’s lawyer said he been a polite and tolerant teenager, but resentful about that prison sentence and angry at being rejected by the army.

And, Chrisais added this:

Merah’s background of petty crime and poor schooling on a housing estate in a drab neighbourhood of Toulouse has catapulted the question of social inequalities and the integration of minorities in France back onto centre stage….Some said the social alienation and discrimination felt by second and third generation, ethnic minority French youths must be addressed...

Not to be outdone, the Guardian’s Associate Editor Seumas Milne, in an essay on April 3 praising the dictator-loving George Galloway (whose political infatuations have included Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh) wrote the following:

Since last month’s atrocities in ToulousePresident Nicolas Sarkozy has improved his poll ratings a bit, pandering to xenophobes and Islamophobes and posturing as a security champion

Yes, clearly: The lesson of the Toulouse massacre is the danger of Islamophobia and xenophobia, but certainly NOT Islamist antisemitism!

Three official editorials, and a prominent feature report by their France correspondent, and not even a cursory attempt to address the disturbing dynamics of a malign Islamist ideology which would prompt a 23-year-old man, raised in France, to murder three innocent Jewish children.

In a refreshing bit of political lucidity French Interior Minister Claude Gueant, commenting on the recent arrests of 30 radical Muslims by French police, who were tracked on Islamist forums preparing to travel to areas including Afghanistan, Pakistan and West Africa to wage Jihad, said the following:

“There will be no respite in France’s pursuit of militants…The pressure on radical Islam and the threats it represents will not stop.”

That such an intuitive understanding of the moral and political lessons of the Toulouse massacre – the need to face the threats posed by radical Islam in Europe, and not the problem of Islamophobia, second generation immigrant “alienation”, poverty or poor schooling – is even remotely controversial at the Guardian is another commentary on their editors’ supreme political pathos.

The Guardian group continues to be defined by this morally perverse and intellectually unintelligible understanding of what a modern liberal political sensibility demands.

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