Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Toulouse Killer's Childhood: One Time, Mohamed Merah Spent the Night Beating His Mother

As the AFP reports that Mohamed Merah felt betrayed by his best friend, a fellow Jihadist who turned out to be "working for the French secret services" ("Go to Hell, you traitor!" the Islamist assassin says in a videotape, "I will never forgive you!"); and as Reuters and the BBC report that the
father of Mohamed Merah, the Islamist gunman killed by French police after shooting seven people, has formally sued over his son's "murder";
Le Monde's Emeline Cazi has a double spread article on a terrorist's childhood.
All the documents [in the Merah case] tell the story of a family and witness to the climate of violence and the lack of love in which the scooter killer grew up. … But the family environment does not explain everything. Nor do the decaying neighborhoods of Toulouse. For the story of Mohamed Merah is also that of a kid's eternal search who never managed to find his bearings.
Follow stories of violence and brutality, Mohamed's father beating his mother and later, after the parents have separated, Mohamed's elder brother terrorizing his mother and beating him, with his (brother Abdelkader's) pit bulls destroying their apartment and Mohamed's homework ("he went berserk and kicked Mohamed's back violently three times"). After 'Kader leaves home, Mohamed takes his place, terrorizing his mother.
"He hit me, bit me, emptied the contents of the fridge on the floor, broke everything" admits the mother to a courthouse psychologist. "I cannot speak to him severely, otherwise he runs away or insults me in front of everybody, and I feel ashamed."
One morning, Zoulikha Aziri arrives with wounds to the face and bites on her arms: her son has beat her all night long.
Un vendredi matin de janvier 2002, Zoulikha Aziri est arrivée avec des marques au visage et des traces de morsures sur les bras. Son fils l'a frappée toute la nuit.
This was two weeks after she had been hit with a broom and had rocks thrown in her face.
Quinze jours plus tôt, elle avait déjà reçu des coups de balai et des pierres au visage.
Mohamed's father goes to jail for drug dealing, a sister attempts suicide, Mohamed attempts suicide, brother 'Kader stabs an elder brother (who falls into a coma), Mohamed complains of "a life of shit" (une "vie de merde"), Mohamed is sentenced to jail, one might think that it is As the World Turns.
Les parents sont démunis. Il terrorise sa mère, laquelle a par ailleurs d'autres soucis. Son propriétaire menace de l'expulser, l'une de ses filles a tenté de se suicider, ses deux autres garçons ne se supportent pas. De rage, Abdelkader a poignardé son aîné, resté plusieurs jours dans le coma.
And then, of course, Mohamed meets extremists in prison, converts to Islam, and emerges as Abu Yusuf, going on to marry a 17-year-old Hizia, but not before traveling to Baghdad, to join Al Qaeda.