Je Suis Ahmed

9 January 2015

Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Ahmed Merabet is How Jihadis Lose

The horrific murders at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo included the slaying of police officer Ahmed Merabet, a Muslim with roots in Tunisia. His death was captured on video; he was the man on the ground whom the terrorists shot in the head as they made their escape. A tweet from Dyab Abou Jahjah yesterday stated, "I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so. #JesuisAhmed." The jihadis will ultimately lose because of men like Officer Merabet.

The Guardian states, "Merabet, who according to officials was 40, was called to the scene while on patrol with a female colleague in the neighbourhood, just in time to see the black Citroen used by the two killers heading towards the boulevard from Charlie Hebdo. 'He was on foot, and came nose to nose with the terrorists. He pulled out his weapon. It was his job, it was his duty,' said Rocco Contento, a colleague who was a union representative at the central police station for Paris's 11th arrondissement."

The paper adds, "Video footage, which has now been pulled from the internet, showed the two gunmen get out of the car before one shot the policeman in the groin. As he falls to the pavement groaning in pain and holding up an arm as though to protect himself, the second gunman moves forward and asks the policeman: 'Do you want to kill us?' Merabet replies: 'Non, c'est bon, chef' ('No, it's OK mate'). The terrorist then shoots him in the head."

The strategy of Al Qaeda and related jihadis is exactly the same as the anarchists of the 19th century and the Red Brigade/Bader-Meinhoff terrorists of the 20th. They believe that they can provoke the authorities into such repressive action that the people will side with the bombers to overthrow the current order. Specifically in France, the jihadis want to ensure that the French government engages in broad and brutal anti-Muslim actions that are so horrendous that non-political Muslims become radicalized and side with the jihadis.

That is why the response of the National Front, in demanding a referendum on restoring the death penalty, is so disheartening. This is exactly the kind of response the jihadis want. The real way to defeat them is to integrate the Muslim community more deeply into French society. If one looks at the inter-marriage rate between Muslims and non-Muslims in France, which is a reliable measure of integration, it is on the rise.

As the American experience shows, fully integrating an immigrant family into the broader society can take three generations. The first comes to the new country as adults, largely set in their ways. The second (first generation born in the new country) speaks the old language as well as the new and grows up with a two culture childhood. The third rarely keeps the old language and tends to be slightly embarrassed by the old country's customs. France is not America, of course, and the path to integration may vary, but the point is, even in the great melting pot, it takes time.

That is where men like Officer Merabet come in. It is hard to imagine a profession that speaks more to being desirous of integrating than being a police officer unless one joins the military. A police officer's role is to enforce the laws of the state, to uphold the existing system, to die defending it and his fellow citizens if need be. In this regard, Officer Merabet was a French as De Gaulle.

In the end, Al Qaeda and its fellow travelers will discover the same thing the terrorists of previous centuries did. When they set off their bombs and kill innocents, the very people they wish to radicalize tend to become their opponents. Their approach is counter-productive in the long term.

Voltaire, another Frenchman, is inaccurately credited with saying "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Officer Merabet did just that. Martyrdom cuts both ways.

© Copyright 2015 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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