Malek Merabet (C), the brother of slain policeman Ahmed Merabet talks during a press conference in Livry-Gargan, northern Paris suburb, on Jan. 10, 2015 with Ahmed's brother-in-law Lotfi Mabrouk (L), and Ahmed's partner Morgane.
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty

‘My brother was Muslim; he was killed by false Muslims’

On Twitter, Rupert Murdoch argued over the weekend, “Maybe most Moslems [are] peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.”
 
In that sentence, the word “they” seems to refer to roughly 1.5 billion people – about a fifth of the world’s population – who Murdoch believes bear some “responsibility” for the actions of a group of violent lunatics. The News Corp. chief didn’t specify how, exactly, these 1.5 billion people would be “held responsible,” though the ambiguity is itself unsettling.
 
Meanwhile, in the real world, details like diversity and nuance still matter.
The brother of the Muslim policeman killed in a terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo called for tolerance Saturday among people of all faiths – and condemned the men who murdered his brother as “false Muslims.”
 
“I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes and anti-Semites that one must not confuse extremists with Muslims,” the brother of slain officer Ahmed Merabet said during a news conference. “Mad people have neither color nor religion.”
Some may not realize that when terrorists struck in Paris last week, one of their victims was Ahmed Merabet, a police officer who was also Muslim. The remarks offered yesterday by his brother, Malek Merabet, sent an important message.
 
“It’s not two terrorists, two madmen who are going to represent all Muslims. We have nothing to do with that,” he said. “My brother was Muslim – he was killed by false Muslims.”
 
The story of Lassana Bathily is just as powerful.
 
BuzzFeed had this report over the weekend:
Four people were killed Friday when the terrorist Amedy Coulibaly took several hostages inside a Kosher market in Paris, but that number may well have been higher were it not for a quick-thinking employee of the market named Lassana Bathily.
 
Bathily, a 24-year-old Muslim from Mali, was working in the store in the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood when the Islamist gunman burst in.
 
As panic ensued, up to 15 customers in the store hurried down to the store basement, when Bathily had an idea.
It was the young Muslim working in the Kosher market who hid the customers in the freezer and turned off the light so the gunmen wouldn’t know they were there.
 
According to Time’s report, police initially thought Bathily was a co-conspirator – he was handcuffed and detained for an hour and a half – before it was clear he may have actually saved many lives.
 
I suppose the question for Rupert Murdoch and those who agree with him is simple: in what way should Lassana Bathily and Malek Merabet “be held responsible”?
 

Islam, Paris and War On Terror

'My brother was Muslim; he was killed by false Muslims'