It may be that, as the Imam of the Paris Mosque observed, 99% of French Muslims are not like the killer of Toulouse, they are peaceful. But, even 1% can do a lot of damage. A strict interpretation of the Koran requires one to admit that the killer of Toulouse may be right, it is required of a dedicated Muslim to kill all “infidels.” This is the word of Allah as revealed to his faithful messenger Mohammed, and Mohammed realized that this was the only policy that could persuade the vast majority of Arabs, who were pagan in his time, to convert to the one true faith.
Soon after the success of Mohammed’s message, when Islam had already conquered vast swathes of land, it was realized that this policy was even then, a bit drastic. So in the 9th century the Caliph Omar introduced an alternative interpretation, yes, pagans should be killed, but “the peoples of the books,” namely Jews and Christians could be spared. Under Islamic sharia law they would be given protected or “dhimmi” status, a permanent inferior status, and would have to pay a special tax called “jizya” for this privilege. However, from that time to today, many Muslims prefer the original interpretation, namely that all infidels must be killed and even especially Jews or traitorous Muslims who ally with the Christian infidels.
It is the failure of the French and others to recognize the reality of this interpretation for the “fundamentalists” or Muslim extremists in our midst that led to the recent massacre in Toulouse. In any Muslim country Mohamed Merah could not be prosecuted for his “crime” because he would argue that what he did was a religious obligation. Merah was on the watch list of the French secret police, he had been to Pakistan and Afghanistan, whether he had received training or not, and he was known to be violent. How was it that 4 days went by between the first murders of three French soldiers and the murders of the Jewish children and their Rabbi, without him having been arrested or even located. Surely they keep tabs on the people on their watch list, he was living “in the open,” surely they had his address. It is this lax attitude towards the very real threat of death and destruction that results in these terrorist incidents.
After the event, when the bodies were still warm, the French reaction was exemplary. Yes, President Sarkozy expressed the whole country’s remorse, yes, lots of police flooded the area, and there were suitable sentiments of sympathy and support. But, the damage was already done. The problem is that the French regard everyone with French citizenship as being equal, whatever their religion, beliefs or sex. But, this is diametrically opposed to the strict interpretation of Islam. Do the French get it now?