A reader, T.B., provides us with a much better rendering of Mr. Ramadan’s thoughts –
“I am able to offer a somewhat more idiomatic translation into English of Tariq Ramadan's French. Ramadan's French is the abstract French of post-structuralism and post-modernism, full of obfuscations. English readers should be aware that the French word "citizen" (citoyen) is freighted with meaning in the language of its origin.”
Here is T.B.'s version:
The problem of Mohamed Merah is neither religion nor politics. A French citizen frustrated by not finding his place, his dignity, and the sense of life in his own country, he will find two political causes for expressing his rancor: the Afghan and Palestinian peoples. He attacks certain symbols, the army, and kills Jews, Christians, and Muslims without distinction. He expresses the political thinking of a wayward young adult within whom dwell neither the values of Islam, nor the thoughts of racists or anti-Semites. Young, disoriented, he has fired at targets who had above all the power and meaning of their visibility. Neither more nor less. A poor boy, culpable and to be condemned, without the shadow of a doubt, quite as if he was himself the victim of a social order that had already condemned him and millions of others to marginality, to non-acknowledgment of his civic equality of right and opportunity [son statut de citoyen à égalité de droit et de chance]. Mohamed, characterized now by his name, was a French citizen by way of immigration before he became a terrorist of immigrant origin. His destiny was quite closely tied to the perception that one had of his origins. In the provocation of it, he had closed his own circle: he had freed himself of the image, previously deformed and degrading, by become the definitive “other.” For the French people of France, there is nothing less French than the Arab-Muslim Mohamed.
[As all of our essay contributors and many of our readers know, I don't find long paragraphs like Mr. Ramadan's conducive to online comprehension. In fact, his sixth grade English teacher would've marked him down on this one simply based on the concept of paragraphs having cohesion.
That's why I broke it up earlier, hoping to have it appear less dense and more accessible. Perhaps someone could suggest the same to Tariq. The boy does go on...]
Merci to T.B. for taking the time to do this. I am most grateful.
Well, I said the chattering class would be all over this. So here’s Mr. Ramadan, like white on rice, with his predictable formulations about root causes.
Below is the Google-translated rendering -- not bad for a machine version. The words in brackets were added for clarity. My guess is about eighty percent accuracy on this. But maybe some of our French readers will provide a better translation:
.... “The problem of Mohamed Merah was neither religion nor politics. [A] French citizen frustrated not to find his place, his dignity, and sense of life in his country, he will find two political causes to express his anger: Afghan and Palestinian peoples.So the French pay for their sins, eh, Tariq? And an adult is not responsible for his actions because his identity limits his choices? If I were a Muslim woman, then, I would be entitled…oh, wait, I forgot. Muslim women are only half-human, so I wouldn’t be entitled to anything. Not to mention that my status as an infidel entitles me only to a place in Hell.
[He] attacks the symbols, the army, and kill Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. [This] expresses a political thought of a young adult who is confused or inhabited by the values of Islam, not by racist or anti-Semitic thoughts.
Young, disoriented, he shot marks which were mainly the strength and direction of their visibility, neither more nor less. A poor boy, guilty and condemned, without doubt, though he was himself the victim of a social order that had already convicted him and millions of others to marginality, [to] non-recognition of his citizenship status or equal rights and opportunity.
Mohamed, whose name was so characterized, was a French citizen from an immigrant family before becoming a terrorist with an immigrant background. His fate was soon chained to the perception …[of] origins . In provocation, he has come full circle: he was lost in this picture, distorted [and] degrading, to become the “other” final[ly].
For the French of France, there is nothing French in the “Arab-Muslim Mohamed”.
What a wonderfully closed system. Full of grievances and rage, pushing people like this one over the edge instead of taking responsibility for your fellow Muslim’s behavior. This is not compassion; it is the cynical use of another person.
On Tariq’s page, there is a comment section. Here’s one of my favorite responses to his sophistries:
It seems to me that the doctrine of Islam contained in the Koran has widespread support violent behavior!The original French is below the fold, followed by some real information:
I think of the suras, for example, asking to kill Jews, Christians and Atheists.
.... " Le problème de Mohamed Merah n’était ni la religion ni la politique. Citoyen français frustré de ne pas trouver sa place, sa dignité, et le sens de la vie dans son pays, il va trouver deux causes politiques pour exprimer son dépit : les peuples afghan et palestinien. Il s’attaque à des symboles, l’armée, et tue juifs, chrétiens, musulmans sans distinction. Il exprime une pensée politique d’un jeune adulte dérouté qui n’est habité ni par les valeurs de l’islam, ni par des pensées racistes ou antisémites. Jeune, désorienté, il a tiré sur des repères qui avaient surtout la force et le sens de leur visibilité. Ni plus ni moins. Un pauvre garçon, coupable et à condamner, sans l’ombre d’un doute, même s’il fut lui-même la victime d’un ordre social qui l’avait déjà condamné, lui et des millions d’autres, à la marginalité, à la non reconnaissance de son statut de citoyen à égalité de droit et de chance. Mohamed, au nom si caractérisé, fut un citoyen français issu de l’immigration avant de devenir un terroriste d’origine immigrée. Son destin fut très tôt enchaîné à la perception que l’on avait de ses origines. Dans la provocation, il a bouclé la boucle : il s’est perdu dans cette image, autant déformée que dégradante, pour devenir « l’autre » définitif. Pour les Français de France, il n’y a plus rien de français chez l’Arabo-musulman Mohamed."
And in the comment thread of another post comes some background on this Mohammed and his associates, his salafist associates. It deserves wide attention:
“The latest about the murderer of Toulouse. He had links with spanish salafist circles. I’ve just translated this stuff”:
KILLING OF TOULOUSE.
“Lone wolves” like Mohamed Merah attended the Salafist summit in Tarragona: the CNI suspects that terrorist attacks were planned in several countries, including Spain.
Spanish intelligence services suspect that the salafist meeting held in Tarragona in 2011, which was attended by the murderer of Toulouse, was attended by more “lone wolves”. There are security alert for the possible existence of similar plans in other countries, including Spain.
The killings committed by Mohamed Merah, the murderer of Toulouse fit, according to analysts consulted by the ECD, to the terrorist pattern of “Lone Wolf”, a concept that experts define as acting independently, choosing he himself his objectives and carrying out the attack without aid.
This type of modus operandi makes it extremely difficult to detect in advance any plan and abort it.
The gunman from Sarajevo
The Toulouse attacks have put in alert the special security forces in Europe, which have had for months been analyzing warnings of possible similar actions across the continent since the case of the so-called ‘gunman’ in Sarajevo.
Now, according to informations coming from intelligence services, it is suspected that there might be more Salafist groups preparing similar attacks to those that occurred in France these days, that is, attacks carried out by lone individuals.
And Spain could not be spared from these plans, so special warnings have been raised.
According to this information, the intensification of actions by ‘lone wolves’ could have emerged from the meeting of some radical elements in Catalonia in 2011.
The ECD informed on wednesday that a group of agents from the CNCA and the Special Central Unit of the Guardia Civil conducted a follow-up operation and identification in Tarragona, in April 2011.
Several suspected members of jihadist circles with violent motivations belonging to the group Salafia Jihadia met there, simulating to belong to cultural associations.
As part of that, according to the intelligence sources, “legal” conference, there were some more confidential encounters among Salafists. Among these there was a young French national of Algerian origin, not filed by the Spanish security services. He was identified as Mohamed Merah, and a warning was sent to France.
Spain sent a dossier on Merah about his participation in these meetings to the General Directorate of External Security (DGSE), an organization equivalent to the CNI. The information was added to the french records of Merah, who had for years been filed because of maintaining links with radical islamic circles in Southern France, and making some trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it is assumed he could receive military training.
That warning from the Guardia Civil did put Merah’s name in the list of suspects handled by the french police, which eventually led them to the murderer’s home in Toulouse.
The spanish ideologue released
Moreover, last January was reported the release of Mustafa Setmarian in Syria, who has spanish passport and is married to a spanish woman. Setmarian is considered one of the most influential figures of Al Qaeda.
The Syrian is author of “The Call to Global Islamic Resistance”, which
sets out the main bases to continue to carry out “lone wolf”-like attacks. However, consulted sources rule Setmarian out of having any connection with the recent attacks.
Now let's see how long it takes the talking heads to hear about this. I don't mean Tariq; he's not interested. And who can tell? Maybe he already knows.
The French probably already know this. Just as they know the brother (that fellow pictured in the news with the cute pink towel over his head). Let us hope they can act with more alacrity regarding the sib.
Thanks to Hermes for that excellent translation and source.