Toulouse Slaughter Enflames Europe’s Immigration Tensions
In the aftermath of France’s biggest terror spree since the mid-1990s, some European leaders are being galvanized to fight back against Islam’s push.
In mid-March, Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah strapped a video camera to his chest and shot a French soldier in what he later said was a protest against France’s foreign military interventions. In the following days, the Frenchman of Algerian origin killed two more French soldiers, and murdered four Jews outside of a school—a teacher and three young children. Merah’s carnage injured six others.
As Islamists continue to push against Europe in various ways, more and more Europeans wish to combat the rising Islamic tide.
On March 31, far-right groups from across Europe will assemble in Denmark to work toward building a Europe-wide anti-Muslim alliance. The meeting was planned months before the Toulouse killings, but analysts expect it to be significantly more successful in the wake of the murders. Previous attempts by Europe’s far-right factions to join forces have failed because of differences in ideology, but coordinators on Saturday will be able to harness the revulsion at the Toulouse slayings to build unprecedented cohesion among right-wing groups.
It’s a “counter-jihad meeting” designed to be a public discussion of “the continuing Islamification of Europe,” said Stephen Lennon, head of the English Defense League, which will be participating in the summit. Lennon predicted that attacks like those by Merah will become more frequent in the coming years across Europe unless Europeans join forces and stand up against Islam.
Charlotte Knoblauch, former head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the killings should be seen as a “warning signal for Germany.” The problem of Islamism has been “played down, misjudged and underestimated,” she said. Coming from a Jewish leader, such remarks are unsurprising. But a few days after the Toulouse killings, a German court ruled that, in order to prevent illegal immigration, police are now permitted to conduct spot checks on Germany’s train lines based on people’s skin color.
In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has made headlines for refusing to distance himself from an anti-immigrant website launched recently by Geert Wilder’s far-right Party for Freedom. The site’s message is that the Netherlands is not obliged to treat all of the country’s citizens equally. Wilders and his party believe that opening up the Netherlands’ borders is a major error, and that “new arrivals” will never truly be part of Dutch society. Analysts say Rutte’s silence about the new website reveals deep-rooted political division in the Netherlands and an uptick in anti-Islamic sentiment among the Dutch.
The response appears strongest, unsurprisingly, in the nation where the killings took place.
On one hand, France prides itself on sensitivity to the plight of Jews since it saw so many deported from occupied France to Nazi camps during the World War ii era. On the other hand, many French feel guilty and embarrassed about the country’s colonization of North African territories from the 17th to 20th centuries. This guilt has prompted France to virtually open up its borders to residents of its former colonies—many of whom are Muslims. As a result, France is home not only to Europe’s largest Jewish community—just over half a million—but also the continent’s largest Muslim population, around 5 million.
But the recent massacre is prompting some in France to reevaluate the country’s tolerance of Islamism. On March 21, French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Mohamed Merah’s attacks showed it was time to “wage war” on Islamist groups that have flourished in Europe due to lax government policies.
“It is time to wage war on these fundamentalist political religious groups who are killing our children,” said Le Pen, who is in third place in polls for France’s April 22 election. “The fundamentalist threat has been underestimated.”
“[Merah’s killing spree] is not the matter of one man’s madness; what happened is the beginning of the forward march of green fascism in our country,” Le Pen said, referring to radical Islam. “How many Mohammed Merahs are there in the boats, the planes that arrive each day in France, full of immigrants?”
Le Pen isn’t the only French leader reacting to the killings. On March 26, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that some radical Muslim clerics will be banned from entering France for a conference next month. Those barred include Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has defended Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel, calling their deaths “martyrdom in the name of God.”
In recent years, more and more French Jews have been buying homes in Israel amid a rising tide of anti-Semitism in France, saying the country is no longer a safe place to raise Jewish children. After Merah’s murderous rampage, Israeli Member of the Knesset Ya’akov Katz called on all Jews to leave France: “There is no Jewish future in France,” Katz said, adding that Jews should not trust their fate to Sarkozy.
Will “tolerant” France allow Islamists to give the nation an anti-Semitic reputation?
A Lone Gunman?
Columnist Caroline Glick said the camera Merah wore provides sobering evidence that he “was not a lone gunman,” or even “one of the lone jihadists” that often make the news (Jerusalem Post).
The exhibitionism common to [Merah and other Islamist murderers’] behavior makes it obvious that that their attacks were not the random actions of isolated crazy people or lone extremists. All of these killers were certain that they were part of a global movement that seeks the annihilation of the Jews, the subjugation of the Western world and the supremacy of jihadist Islam. And they were convinced that their actions served the interests of this movement and that they would be viewed as heroes by millions of their fellow Muslims for their killing of innocents.
The Friday after Merah was killed, Imam Mamadou Daffé addressed hundreds of Muslim worshipers at Toulouse’s Mosque of Mirail. Some wore white djellabas and thick beards. Most wore jeans or suits. Daffé spoke heatedly of the “injustices” being brought upon France’s Muslims, especially in the wake of the killings. He said the same French politicians who have called for restraint have caused the very hatred they now say they must restrain.
Regular readers of the Trumpet will be well acquainted with the words of Daniel 11:40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind ….” For two decades, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has explained that this key scripture foretells an end-time clash between radical Islamic forces (the “king of the south”) and a European superpower (the “king of the north”). When Mr. Flurry began delivering that forecast in the early 1990s, the tension between Islam and Europe was almost nonexistent.
Today it’s off the charts.
As Islam’s push against Europe intensifies, more Europeans will wake up to the threat and demand that their politicians take action. This decisive action will culminate in a clash that will be a precursor to the return of Jesus Christ. To understand how today’s headlines are rapidly leading to this astounding future, study our free booklet The King of the South.