Anders Breivik and Kouachis: Brothers in arms

Gizem Dogan and Ahmed Merabet were European Muslims killed by fanatics; both believed in democracy; both died contributing to the European ideals of tolerance and compassion.

Anders Breivik and Kouachis: Brothers in arms
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
 Gizem Dogan was 17 years old when she was shot down by Anders Behring Breivik on the island of Utoya in Tyrifjorden Lake, 25 miles north of the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on July 22, 2011. 

The Istanbul-born Norwegian Muslim was one of Breivik’s 77 victims, killed on the Scandinavian country's bloodiest day since World War II. 

After her funeral, Turkey’s then-Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu denounced terrorism -- in all its forms -- at a joint press conference with Norway’s then-Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

“Terrorism is the enemy of all humanity,” Davutoglu said. “It is not an issue between Muslims or Christians or between Europeans and Asians, but this is a threat to all of us." 

Dogan, who had migrated to Norway when she was 7, had wanted to become a politician.

“Her life was full of democracy, tolerance and solidarity,” her cousin, Ilknur Tunc, said at the funeral. 

Store, standing beside Davutoglu, noted that Breivik was a fanatic.

“We reject and condemn and distance ourselves from any terrorism that is striking innocent civilians and that is harboring extremist theories and messages,” Store said.

Before Breivik embarked on his murderous spree, he posted on the internet a 1,500-page document that he called “compendium 2083: A European Declaration of Independence;”  2083, he hoped, would mark would mark the successful end of a civil war meant to expel from Europe those whom he deemed non-European.

But Tunc showed no fear when she told the crowd at her cousin’s funeral that Breivik had failed to reach his aim.

“Terror will not intimidate us,” she said. “It will not make us give up the path to democracy, tolerance and solidarity.” 

On Jan. 7, 2015, Paris police officer Ahmed Merabet begged for his life as his killer approached. It was mere minutes after the brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 11 people at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. 

“Non c’est bon chef!” Merabet cried – No, it’s OK, mate. "No need for more! I am already down."

His killer was one of the Kouachi brothers.

A video recorded by one of the Charlie Hebdo survivors shows the gunman first wounding Merabet and then finishing him off, execution-style, while he was on the ground groaning. 

Following the Charlie Hebdo massacre , the phrase "Je Suis Charlie" — "I am Charlie" — has become a slogan of solidarity with the 12 victims of the shooting. 

And a second hashtag campaign has been posted by Twitter users to draw attention to Merabet’s Muslim identity: #JeSuisAhmed. 

“I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop,” one user tweeted under this hashtag. “Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so.” 

The police officer’s brother, Malek, said at a news conference said that Islam was not about terrorism or madness.

"My brother was Muslim and he was killed by people who pretended to be Muslims,” Malek Merabet said. “They are terrorists; that's it". 

Three and a half years after attending Dogan’s funeral in Oslo, Davutoglu – now Turkey’s prime minister -- went to Paris on Sunday and joined a vast rally held to express solidarity with victims of the terrorist attacks in France. 

"Our participation in the Paris march is a strong message for groups that want to blame the Islamic world, especially Muslims who live in Europe," Davutoglu said at a press conference.

Breivik, clad in a fake black police uniform, joyfully cried “Woo-hoo!”after shooting each of his victims with a Glock pistol and an assault rifle, as if the whole thing were a video game. 

The Kouachi brothers, in commando-style black uniforms and masks, shouted: “God is great!” while firing AK-47s at their victims.

Breivik and the Koachis had nothing but terror in mind. 

Gizem Dogan and Ahmed Merabet were Muslim European citizens. Both were killed by fanatic gunmen. Both believed in democracy. And both made the ultimate sacrifice while contributing to the European ideals of humanism, tolerance and compassion. 

 

-  What is the religion of terror? 

A Russian member of parliament recently proposed a ban on the use of terms such as “Islamic terrorist” and “Islamist militant” in the media, saying they created a false impression of Islam and put ordinary believers at risk. 

Shamsail Saraliyev, from United Russia, presented his initiative in December 2014, at the State Duma Committee for Information Policy, according to the Izvestia daily newspaper. 

“These expressions push people towards the conclusion that the Muslim religion and terrorism are the same thing,” he told the newspaper. “Common people automatically begin to associate Muslims with bandits, murderers and terrorists.”

Saraliyev, a Muslim from Chechnya, said, in relation to terrorists who claim Muslim identity have nothing to do with Islam. 

“For them Islam is just a cloak with which they cover their evil deeds,” he said.

He also noted the injustice of associating a major religion with terrorism.

“Just as we don’t call fascists ‘Christians,’ we should stop using the term ‘Muslims’ when we describe radical militant groups who claim to be followers of Islam,” he said.

Anders Breivik, who killed 77 innocents, was sentenced to 21 years in prison. His manifesto states its author is "100 percent Christian." 

Cherif and Said Kouachi shouted a similar claim last week after killing 10 civilians and 2 security personnel.

“We avenged the Prophet,” they proclaimed, advertising their so-called Muslim identities. 

The brothers were killed by police as they emerged with guns blazing from a business establishment outside Paris.

And Amedy Coulibaly -- responsible for the murders of a policewoman and at least four hostages in a Paris kosher supermarket -- swore allegiance to the terrorist organization ISIL in a video posted posthumously on the internet. 

Coulibaly, a repeat offender for petty thefts and drugs offenses in France, is seen reading parts from Koran. He was killed when French security officers stormed the supermarket. 

More than one million people from all walks of life rallied Sunday at Place de la Republique in Paris. They held banners that read “Je suis Charlie” and “Je suis Ahmed” – I am Charlie, and I am Ahmed.

Ahmed Merabet’s brother Malek said he wanted no more attacks, in France or the rest of the world.

"Islam is a religion of peace, of love,” he said. “My brother was a Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists."

His brother, he said, was a French Muslim of Algerian origin who had been "very proud to represent the values of the French republic" – and a man who died trying to protect others from terrorists.

Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2015, 15:21
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