Abdennour Bidar: Mohammed Merah, a monster created by Islam’s illness


A great French Muslim philosopher asks whether salafist violence – like that which killed the children of Jewish school in Toulouse – is not a symptom of something deeply wrong with the Muslim tradition. A religion that has closed in on itself. To renew Islam today, the challenge of modernity and humanism must be accepted. “Who will have that courage? Who will take this risk?”. The analysis of Fr. Samir Khalil.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Mohammed Merah, killed at age 23, is infamous as the author of the slaughter of Jewish children at the school of Toulouse (France), on March 19, and a few days earlier the killing of French paratroopers in Montauban. Besieged by police for hours in the house where he was imprisoned, he died in shoot-out on March 22.

Abdennour Bidar is a French Muslim philosopher[1], I have had the joy of knowing. On 23 March, he published an article in the newspaper “Le Monde”, entitled: “Merah, a monstre issu de la Maladie de l’Islam (Merah, a monster created by Islam’s illness).” Given its importance, I would like to present it here.

“When the killer of Toulouse and Montauban was identified as’ Salafi jihadist ‘… the declarations made by Islamic dignitaries in France were careful to avoid any’ amalgam ‘between the radicalism of this individual and the peaceful nature of France’s Muslim community to “clearly” distinguish between Islam and Islamism, Islam and violence. ”


“The challenge is much more important. Islam should come to this completely new lucidity in which to understand that it must reinvent a spiritual culture from the ashes of the material death of its traditions. But, another important problem, it can not do by itself and for itself: today it would serve no purpose to establish an “Islamic humanism” next to a “Western humanism” or “Buddhist humanism.” If the tomorrow of the twenty-first century is spiritual, this will not occur in separate modalities between the different religions and worldviews, but on the basis of a common faith in man. To be found together. ”


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