Readers comment on the Toulouse shootings

Tiberge of Galliawatch writes:

For now they don’t know who did it. The theories are basically three in number: a madman, like the one in Norway, a “neo-nazi” racist who hates everybody, or an Islamist who first killed Muslim soldiers who had fought in Afghanistan, and then went further and killed Jewish children.

It does not appear to be aimed at the National Front, but it can always be used against Marine Le Pen, as they did years ago in Carpentras where Jewish graves were dug up and Jean-Marie Le Pen was blamed.

According to one writer, it is easy to foresee how the killer will be treated: if he is white, there will be a media frenzy of recriminations against white racism. If he is a Muslim, he will be forgiven, excused, and gotten off the hook.

That’s all I know now.

Philip M. in England writes:

I don’t know if you have noticed the ongoing story in Toulouse, where there have been two separate shootings of French soldiers in the last few days, and now this: the shooting and killing of three Jewish children and a teacher at a Jewish school.

When I first heard about the shootings of the soldiers, my first thought was, of course, that this was probably (although not certainly) Muslims. The BBC News I have just been listening to takes a different approach, pointing out that all the soldiers killed were nonwhite. So, along with the attacks on Jews, the culprits could either be far-right racists or “Islamists.”

When I first heard this I wondered whether this was a reasonable assessment. It occurred to me that if the BBC really believed that the shootings of the soldiers had likely been committed by white racists on racial minorities, this story would have been all over the front pages from the beginning—and not just at the BBC but in all media outlets. The fact that this story has received so little coverage until they could no longer ignore it suggests to me that the media and establishment themselves think that these attacks are being carried out by Muslims.

Actually, as I write this, it is starting to seem absurd to think that white racists could drive around on mopeds with guns just hoping to run into non-white soldiers. Some of the victims were using a cashpoint machine with their backs turned and were in uniform. How could the gunmen have been sure the victims were non-white? So in fact the BBC are clutching at straws. They want it to be racists, but sadly for them, it will almost certainly not be.

So, if and when the gunmen are found, a new approach will be needed. Perhaps these Muslims were driven to their actions by the vicious anti-Islamic rhetoric of Marine Le Pen?

A reader writes:

While speculating on the motives/beliefs of the Toulouse murderer at the BBC:

The problem with this theory is that it is not yet established that the killer deliberately targeted Muslim soldiers.

He met his first victim after answering an online advertisement for a motorcycle in which the seller identified himself as a soldier, but did not give his (Arabic-sounding) name.

The two subsequent victims were in uniform, and though of North African origin, physically indistinguishable.

Physically indistinguishable from who or what? The BBC can’t bear to suggest any group in particular.

Nik S. writes:

Apparently the Christian Science Monitor can’t understand why an extremist Muslim might target Arabs working in French military garb.

Like, oh-my-god!—the CS Monitor, and apparently the French, are “confounded.” They, like, totally don’t get it.

It just makes no sense. Who would want to Kill jews, French military officers, and French-Arab military officers?

What a confounding set of circumstances. What a confusing article.

Daniel S. writes:

My suspicion concerning the identity of the shooter is that he is a Muslim (it is also possible that there is more than one person involved here) who is motivated by the expected grievances: France’s military involvement in Afghanistan (hence the targeting of French soldiers) and a hatred of Israel which is then extended to all Jews (hence the shooting at the Jewish school). The fact that the French soldiers were of North African extraction is likely a coincidence rather than the reason they were targeted. Upon hearing of the soldier shootings I assumed a Muslim was behind it (as I did with the Fort Hood shootings), and when I heard about the Jewish school shooting this morning I took it for granted that they were connected, which now seems to be the case. Now I suppose a right-wing nihilist in the mold of Andres Breivik could be behind the shootings, but that seems unlikely given the choice of targets and the widespread nature of Islamic extremism in France.

This comes in the wake of Muslim violence in Belgium, where a radical Sunni Muslim firebombed a Shi’ite mosque, killing the imam. That same day a motorcade escorting a delegation from Qatar that was meeting with the Belgian was attacked by a “suicidal” driver. The Belgians never released the driver’s name, but according to radical Islamic websites the driver was an Algerian Muslim known for his jihadist sympathies.

Tiberge writes:

Your reader Philip M. comments:

So, if and when the gunmen are found, a new approach will be needed. Perhaps these Muslims were driven to their actions by the vicious anti-Islamic rhetoric of Marine Le Pen?

I appreciate Philips’s humor. Indeed, far from engaging in vicious anti-Islamic rhetoric, for a long while Marine Le Pen never referred to Islam by name. But as the campaign progressed, she began to say openly that she would restrict immigration and attempt to deport criminals provided their homeland agreed to take them back. She insists that she will not allow minority religions to dictate policies to the French State. But she has not denigrated Islam, except to say it is alien and cannot integrate, and is taking over the country, particularly through the spread of halal food and the building of mosques. She opposes public funds for mosques, but she did not even say she opposed mosques themselves. [LA replies: By contemporary standards, to say that Islam is alien and cannot integrate is certainly to denigrate Islam.]

Also, regarding the new governments that have resulted from the “Arab Spring,” she said:

As for me, as a candidate for the presidency of France, I do not want these political parties or these governments to have an influence on my country. I do not want them to form religious parties, I do not want them to strengthen fundamentalism which is rising in France, or to find sources of financing, I do not want them to have the slightest influence that aims to advance the formation of religious political groups in France. I will oppose that with the greatest firmness.

The National Front, whether Marine Le Pen or her father, has always been partial to Islam, provided it could be contained. This has been one of the major failings of the party. Jean-Marie Le Pen has a high regard for Islam and a low regard for those who denounce the religion as a religion. Marine has inherited a difficult if not impossible task. While official figures say there are five to six million Muslims in France, the truth is quite different. There are at least nine to ten million. Some insist there are 15 million. In France, of course, statistics on race are not allowed. The person who decides to rid French soil of Islam may have no choice but all-out war. And I don’t think she is up to that. So she will make compromises.

Marine has many detractors. Those who prefer her father dislike her. Those who want a more deeply-rooted, traditional brand of patriotism dislike her more modern outlook. Those who are traditional Catholics dislike her because she is not Catholic enough. There is no way of knowing what direction she would take if elected. There is no way of knowing if she is up to the task. We only know that the other two are awful, Sarkozy a sort of manic-depressive with a million projects and a million promises he can’t and won’t keep, and Fran├žois Hollande, the heir to the Stalinist tradition. Recently Hollande said he would eradicate the word “race” from the French Constitution.

P.S. Here is what one right-wing Israeli writer said about the shootings:

The spate of recent motorcycle shootings in France, which culminated in an attack on a Jewish school, cannot be a work of individual Muslim or a homegrown cell. Despite its seeming simplicity, an attack of this type actually takes much planning, if only to ensure the perpetrators’ escape.

The logical suspect would be Algeria, but in the current situation Iran or Syria have much more interest in striking at the soft targets of the European underbelly. Iran is unlikely to risk such an escalation. Assad, on the other hand, who has by now lost touch with reality, might well be the culprit.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 19, 2012 07:29 PM | Send

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