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15 mars 2006 / 01h56
- France's Illan Halimi and the Arabic Muslim Mind: When Telling the Truth is Racist

by Laurence Thomas on Mon 27 Feb 2006
If racism is the unwarranted belief in the inferiority of another, whether the inferiority be moral or intellectual: then there is nothing whatsoever that conceptually precludes blacks or Muslim Arabs from being racist. Indeed, the belief that all whites are racist is, itself, manifestly racist, since the view that all whites are racists is no more tenable than the view that all blacks are just. Again, the belief that the life of a white person or a Jew is, in virtue of being such, less valuable is manifestly a form of racism. If this is right, then racism is rampant both among blacks and Muslim Arabs.

If liberals, I dare suggest, have been unwilling to name the behavior for what it is. Or, more charitably, liberals initially allowed misplaced compassion to get in the way of naming the racism of blacks and Muslim Arabs for what it is. And now we have blacks and Muslim Arabs holding the observed view that they cannot be racist. But even if we conceded that, they most certainly can be murderers; and that, last time I checked, is a much worse moral wrong.

My reflections on the murder of Illan Halimi in France starts with a poignant truth, namely that the term “racist” has come to be one of the most invidious expressions in modern times. Whereas the term once signaled genuine wrongdoing, it has essentially become an excuse for wrongdoing. Blacks in the United States and Muslim Arabs in France use the term as a noose around neck of whites. A white person who disagrees with a black or Muslim Arab or who criticizes one or the other is automatically deemed a racist.

I do not know how long this modus operandi will continue. But one thing that I do know is that this strategy ensures that there will be a lack of respect between blacks and whites or Muslim Arab and whites. It is just a matter of time before whites simply conclude that enough is enough. In the absence of mutual respect, there can be no genuine social equality. And both in France and in the United States, I can sense the resentment growing. I turn now to France.

A great many Jews in France are Sephardic Jews who hail from North Africa. Many, in fact, actually speak Arabic. I am personally acquainted with many Jews who, in terms of appearance, could just as easily Arabic. For more than a dozen years, I have been close friends with a Jewish family that lives in a neighborhood that has a considerable Muslim Arabic population. Notwithstanding all of many conversations Jews in France, I have never heard a Jews speak ill of Muslim Arabs. The only exception has been in the context of fear on the part of Jews for their safety. Indeed, some members of the French Jewish community, with whom I have a strong friendship, did not seem to think that anti-semitism was on the rise in France, although there appeared to be palpable evidence to that effect all over the place just a few years ago.

What people say when they feel entirely free to speak their mind is a very clear indication of their feelings, fears, and concerns—even their hopes. So it is hardly trivial that I cannot recall any hostility on the part of Jews towards Muslim Arabs. The only exception has been the concern on the part of Jews for their safety; and as I have indicated not every Jews expressed that concern, though from where I stood every Jews in France was justified in having that concern a year or so ago.

Now, the truth of the matter is this. Were French Jews to express their hostility towards Muslim Arabs, using whatever means available to them to demonize Muslim Arabs, such behavior on the part of Jews would be immediately characterized by Muslim Arabs as racism against Arabic Muslims. And, of course, if as of tomorrow gangs of Jews were to circulate about in Paris and target single Muslim Arabs, and then torture and kill them, just as the gang of Arabic Muslims tortured and killed Illan Halimi, the outcry of racism would be utterly deafening.

Illan Halimi was tortured over a period of several days, and then left tied naked to a tree. A ransom fee of more than 300,000 euros was demanded of his family, and then of Jews in general. Why? Because the hoodlums held that Jews by nature have money.

I have no interest in denying that Muslim Arabs in France have known injustice at the hands of the French people. What I despise, though, is the use of this as an excuse to wrong innocent people. Likewise, I despise the absence of outrage on the part of the Muslim Arabic community in France. Enough is enough.

Moral maturity and decency require that we not use the wrongs against us as an excuse to perpetuate evil. And the failure to be mindful of this truth will not result in a world of greater justice for blacks and Muslim Arabs. Quite the contrary, it will result in a world that is ever more vicious.

Evil is rapacious. And when there are no more whites and no more Jews to murder, then evil will turn on members of the very communities who could not see (that is, who failed to acknowledge) the evil done to whites and Jews.

We must distinguish between the reality that war can give rise to people and the quite different reality that violence for the sake of violence will not, because it cannot, give rise to peace.

The real problem to moral progress is not the evil of the past, but the invidious moral profiteering of the present by those whose claims to insidious racism is a more a function of their imagination than their reality. The cloth of goodwill is continually being torn asunder. The murder of Illan Halimi is a reminder of something very profound. One is that evil never just goes away. Nor is it ever appeased. The other is that misplaced compassion is but a footstool of evil.

Many blacks in the United States and many Arabic Muslims in France (and Europe generally) want equality without accountability. That is rather like wanting to swim without getting wet.

Haut de page article written by Y.M - Source :

- Rama Yade
The following is a guest post by Eloi Laurent, a French economist. Eloi has proposed a series of biographies of "visible minorities" in power in various walks of French life. This first contribution focuses on Rama Yade.

The Jews and Blacks Alliance of Friendship has joined the joy of millions of men and women because of the election last night of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

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