Islam. the elephant in the room of European politicians on both the Left and the Right, recently became a concern again when French President Nicolas Sarkozy angered the family of Abel Chennouf -- a 25-year old corporal of the French army, who murdered by the terrorist Mohammed Merah because he was wearing a French army uniform -- by suggesting that Chennouf, a Catholic, was murdered because he "appeared to be a Muslim."
Chennouf and a colleague were shot by the Islamic jihadist,Mohammed Merah, in Montauban on March 15, four days before Merah assassinated a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse. In an attempt to absolve Islam from having inspired Merah to commit his terrorist acts, Sarkozy tried to emphasize that some of Merah's victims were killed because they "looked like" Muslims.
In a radio interview on March 26, Sarkozy said: "I remind you that two of our soldiers were, how shall I put it, Muslims, in any case by appearance, as one of them was a Catholic, but by appearance [a Muslim]. One calls it 'visible diversity,'" presumably meaning that whoever does not look "French" or "European" must be Muslim.
Chennouf's family said they were appalled that the President had confounded religion with appearance. The President clearly knew that Abel Chennouf was not a Muslim, but a Christian of Moroccan origin. He implied nevertheless that Merah had killed Chennouf in an attempt to kill Muslims -- rather than French military personnel. In reality, Chennouf and his Muslim colleague, Mohammed Legouade, were killed because they were wearing French army uniforms and hence were perceived by Mohammed Merah as being at war with Islam.
The President deliberately presented Abel Chennouf as a Muslim victim of so-called Islamist violence to lend credibility to the claim that Islamism differs from Islam and is even inimical to Islam. Since 2008, when the British government decided to rename Islamic terrorism "anti-Islamic activity" to create the impression that Islamic jihadists are behaving contrary to Islam, rather than acting in the name of it, many European politicians have adopted this policy.
In truth, however, jihadists' actions are based on the admonitions found in the Koran and the Hadiths. The true face of Islam can also be seen in Morocco, the Chennouf family's country of origin. Both Christians and Jews are oppressed minorities in this supposedly pro-Western country. Today, only an estimated 50,000 Christians and 6,000 Jews are left in Morocco, which is but a tiny fraction of what their number used to be. In 1948, Morocco still boasted the highest number of Jews – over 250,000 – of the entire Arab world.
While the number of Muslims in France expanded from 200,000 in the 1940s to almost 5 million today, the Christian and Jewish populations in Northern Africa dwindled to near extinction. "Diversity" is clearly a one-way street. It increases in the West, but disappears in the Muslim world.
Islamic countries have become more exclusively Islamic because of a deliberate policy that drives the non-Muslims out; non-Islamic countries have also become more Islamic because of a policy that invites Muslims in and ensures that they feel in no way hindered or upset, even if entails that the President of France has to tell white lies on the radio. The Trojan horse of Islamization has been rolled into Europe, which is now revering it as the sacred cow of "diversity."
Immediately after Merah committed his crimes, at a moment when the identity of the culprit had not yet been revealed, the French media and leftist organizations speculated that the assassin was an indigenous blue-eyed French racist. The slogan of a multi-party protest demonstration against Merah's killings in Montauban and Toulouse read, "In France, they murder Jews, Blacks and Arabs." The Blacks and Arabs, however, like the Catholic Abel Chennouf, were murdered because they were wearing French army uniforms. To be correct the slogan would have read: "In France, jihadists murder Jews and Frenchmen." This, however, is considered so politically incorrect that no-one dares to utter it for fear of upsetting Muslims.
As everywhere in Western Europe, the French establishment adheres to a semi-official ideology which equates "Islamophobia" (as criticism of Islam is called) with "racism." Sarkozy's remark that Abel Chennouf, a French Catholic of Moroccan origin, was murdered because he was "a Muslim by appearance," and, hence, as an act of Islamphobia and racism, is in line with this ideology. For politicians such as Nicolas Sarkozy, the concept that Islam is at war with the West is simply inconceivable or too disturbing to address.
Nevertheless, Sarkozy is aware that the French electorate is worried about the open-border policies of the past decades which have allowed people like Merah to enter France. Instead of blaming the French political class for this open-border policies towards Islamic immigration, Sarkozy is blaming Europe.
On May 6, France will elect a new President. Sarkozy, who is running for reelection, has made the Schengen Agreement into a major campaign topic. The 1985 Schengen Agreement, named after the Franco-German-Luxembourgian border town where it was signed, created a European area, currently consisting of 26 countries, where people can travel freely with no internal border controls. It is the most tangible realization of the European Union's unification process.
Last week, Sarkozy's Foreign Minister Alain Juppé told The Financial Times that France considers pulling out of the Schengen zone in order to reclaim control over its own borders. Juppé said this was "an intellectual revolution" which had to be made. In the same move he said that the EU had to close its markets to countries which do not allow free access to European companies in return. Hans-Peter Friedrich, the German Interior Minister, also advocated amending the Schengen Treaty to be able to reinstall border controls between EU member states.
The whole debate is now focusing on Schengen -- restricting the free movement of people and goods between European states, hence on rolling back the whole process of European integration, rather than on confroting the danger of of large-scale Islamic immigration and the folly of promoting "diversity."
Mohammed Merah, however, did not enter France from Germany, Belgium, Greece or any other Schengen-zone country. He was the son of immigrants who entered France directly from Algeria. If France wishes to prevent atrocities like the killings committed by Mohammed Merah from happening again, France would do well to focus on the intolerant nature of Islam instead of focusing on its European borders and the concept of intra-European free travel and free trade. If it did so, it would realize that the richness of France's true diversity – which is apparent from indigenous secular, Christian or Jewish Frenchmen serving in the French Army alongside Blacks, Catholics of Moroccan origin and even people of Muslim origin – is being threatened by an ideology of "visible diversity" which lumps everyone who does not look "visibly French" or "European," into the Muslim category.
Sarkozy's gaffe reminds one of what happened to the son of the Peruvian-born, very Catholic cleaning lady. The boy, whose name was Emmanuel, was placed in the Muslim religious class at his primary school: the schoolmaster reckoned that as he was dark-skinned he must be a Muslim. Emmanuel's mother discovered this when her son came home with stories of Muhammad killing the infidels, rather than with Jesus Christ's message of love. She was appalled, just as Abel Chennouf's pregnant widow, Catherine, was when, according to President Sarkozy, the supreme commander of the French army, she heard that her husband had been killed not for proudly wearing the French uniform, but because he… looked like a Muslim. The blindness of Europe's leaders is an insult to its people.