Ads Top

65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman murdered by her Muslim neighbor: he is declared insane

A ruling by the French Court of Cassation on Wednesday renewed discussions as to whether France is taking anti-Semitism seriously enough. The country is always in focus when violence against Jews comes from the Muslim side.

In 2017, the 65-year-old Orthodox Jew Sarah Halimi was first brutally attacked by her Muslim and Malian neighbor Kobili Traore and then thrown out of the window of her Paris apartment while he shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) and quoted verses from the Koran. The elderly woman died of the serious injuries.

When the police arrested Traore the next day, they did not assume that there was any anti-Jewish motive. They assumed that the perpetrator was drugged and admitted him to a clinic. The French public prosecutor's office also made no mention of an anti-Semitic hate crime in its complaint and portrayed the murder as the result of a drug-induced mental disorder.

The perpetrator was declared insane
This approach has been criticized by French Jewish intellectuals, who have criticized both the French government and the media for covering up what they believe to be the real motive behind the murder, namely anti-Semitism. On December 19, 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal decided, based on three expert opinions, that Traore was not criminally responsible for the offense and that he could not be tried.

The justification given by the judges was that at the time of the crime, Traore, who was heavily dependent on drugs, was considered to be insane due to the consumption of cannabis and had committed the act in a “psychotic state of madness”. In addition, Traore has been sent to psychiatric treatment for at least 20 years and is forbidden from any contact with the Halimis family and their relatives. Although the court referred several times in its decision to a possibly anti-Semitic motive of Traore, the focus is on his insanity caused by cannabis use.

Hallucinations at the sight of Jewish ritual objects
The perpetrator is said to have testified in court that he did not act out of anti-Semitic motives. However, the sight of Jewish ritual objects would have triggered hallucinations in him and worsened his mental state.

The Halimis family appealed the judgment. On Wednesday, however, the French Court of Cassation rejected this and upheld the judgments of the lower instances, which state that Traore will not be tried.

French President Emmanuel Macron had already criticized the finding of insanity in the lower instances in January 2020. This criticism was sharply rejected by the chief judges in France, who invoked the separation of powers.

"This is a devastating blow!"
Dealing with Halimi's murder was a turning point for many French Jews, as it once again clearly underlined the failure of the French state to deal with anti-Semitism. The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) and Francis Caliphate, President of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF), sharply criticized Wednesday's ruling.

Shimon Samuels, director of international relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was also shocked by the verdict: “After a harrowing three-year debate in the courtroom about the criminal liability of a murderer, presumably under the influence of cannabis - which basically led to it that he was interned in a psychiatric clinic instead of being sentenced and sent to prison - the family waited eagerly for the verdict to be pronounced. This is a devastating blow! "

The murder of Halimi is not the first anti-Semitic motivated case with a fatal outcome. On March 19, 2012, an Islamist shot rabbi Jonatan Sandler, his two sons, and the daughter of the headmaster of the Jewish Orthodox college in Toulouse.

Growing anti-Semitism through immigration
Less than three years later, on January 7, 2015, two assassins stormed the editorial offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on behalf of al-Qaida. They wanted to retaliate against the Mohammed cartoons. The eleven murdered included Jews, including the author Elsa Cayat, who had received Islamist death threats for years.

Two days later, Islamists broke into a kosher supermarket in Paris and took hostages. Four of the Jewish hostages were murdered before the police even arrived.

The case of the Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, which has parallels to the killing of Sarah Halimi, also made a name for itself. Born in Paris, Knoll was murdered with eleven stab wounds. Yacine M. and Alex C. were arrested as suspects who accused each other.

Alain Finkielkraut, the French philosopher and himself the child of a Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivor, had already warned of rising anti-Semitism in Europe. He sees the cause of the mass immigration of recent years as well as the multicultural society, which lead to a mixture of expansive Islam, left-wing ideology and the transformation of Europe into multicultural societies.

The lawyers of Halimi's family have now said they want to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Powered by Blogger.