French Muslims fear repercussions after attack

The repercussions from Paris attacks have been staggering since the attack on Friday night. French Muslims, a minority in the country, have condemned the attacks

French Muslims fear repercussions after attack

World Bulletin / News Desk

Helene Lagoutte had earlier brought her four-year-old daughter Jeanette to the Place de la Republique to watch people light candles and write messages at the foot of the giant statute of Marianne, the female figure who embodies the secular values of the French republic.

"I have explained to my daughter that people who were angry with France came and killed people and that it was wrong. I wanted to talk to her first because kids talk at school. 

"I have tried to talk to my older boys too about Islam, and what happened inAlgeria (a former French colony) because a lot of my 12-year-old's friends are Muslim and I didn't want him to think that they were to blame."

She said France was more traumatised by these killings not just because more people had died than in January, but because the jihadists had targeted "all of us", not just the Jewish community or journalists who had angered them.

"That is why we must stand together, and why I would appeal to the Muslims ofFrance and to their leaders to speak out and to demonstrate in the streets against this, to show that this is not them. They must. If not, I am afraid to think what will happen."

Half overhearing what was being said, Mehdi, 43, a Paris binman, began to cry. "I am so ashamed. I don't know how I am going look my colleagues in the eyes. But they must know this is not what it is to be a Muslim. I just want to hold them and to say I feel the same" as them.

'We are French too'  

He said he was afraid of what these attacks would do to the France in which his children were growing up as third-generation immigrants. "We are French too, we are," he insisted.

He said neither he nor his wife had slept more than an hour since Friday. "I couldn't put off the television and I am so upset and angry. My wife was crying in the bed beside me, saying she is going mad. I just had to get out of the house."

This will not be the end of the bloodshed, Meir, an Orthodox Jew whose family survived Auschwitz, warned, as heads turned at the sound of police sirens.

"This will not be the last (attack). They will keep on attacking us," he said.

Benedicte Joffre, who said she was the great grand niece of France's World War I military leader, General Joffre, said the nation's democratic values were worth fighting for. "It is what our ancestors did and we have to, too."

But she was afraid that reaction to the attacks might deepen social division inFrance by "helping the extremes in our country. It is manna from heaven for the (far-right) National Front. It is easy to say it is their (Muslims') fault.

"Although the attacks are an act of war, we are not at war," she insisted. 


Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Kasım 2015, 11:11