Here is the latest from Professor Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University:
Religion was not Mohamed Merah’s problem ; nor is politics. A French citizen frustrated at being unable to find his place, to give his life dignity and meaning in his own country, he would find two political causes through which he could articulate his distress : Afghanistan and Palestine. He attacks symbols : the army, and kills Jews, Christians and Muslims without distinction. His political thought is that of a young man adrift, imbued neither with the values of Islam, or driven by racism and anti-Semitism. Young, disoriented, he shoots at targets whose prominence and meaning seem to have been chosen based on little more than their visibility. A pathetic young man, guilty and condemnable beyond the shadow of a doubt, even though he himself was the victim of a social order that had already doomed him, and millions of others like him, to a marginal existence, and to the non-recognition of his status as a citizen equal in rights and opportunities.
I would say that Ramadan is almost 180 degrees wrong, on this. Mon Dieu!
Oh, and by the way, if you think that there’s wiggle-room in the use of the word “or” in the English version, here’s the French:
Il exprime une pensée politique d’un jeune adulte dérouté qui n’est habité ni par les valeurs de l’islam, ni par des pensées racistes ou antisémites.
Much will be said of integration, of Islamism, of Islam, of anti-Semitism, of security, of immigration, or the lost banlieues, of international relations—but it will not be the speech of democrats in tune with the people’s aspirations but populists exploiting events and mocking people’s emotions. The President plays at being the President, and his opponents seek only to prove that they are worthy pretenders. Where we might have hoped for a true debate on political issues, we must now be content with trapeze artists and jugglers, with illusionists, and with clever and cynical attempts to exploit a tragedy.
In Toulouse, France now beholds its own mirror image. The crisis has revealed that the candidates have long ago ceased to engage in politics, not simply for two days in tribute to the victims of a terrorist act, but for years. For years, in fact, real social and economic problems have been pushed aside ; a substantial number of French citizens are treated as second-class citizens. Mohamed Merah was French (whose behavior was as remote from the Quranic message as it was from Voltaire’s texts). Is it so difficult to conceive and acknowledge this fact ? Is it hurting so much ? There indeed lies the French problem.
Blah blah bleutch!
I do not think I have ever read more obnoxious pseudry in my life.
This deserves a wider audience.