The remains of Imad Ben Ziaten, the 31 year old paratrooper who was gunned down by the "Toulouse Killer" were laid to rest in Morocco this past Tuesday. His family had requested he be burried in his hometown of Md'iq a short distance from the city of Tetouan in Northern Morocco. Imad is not the only victim of North African origin of this hate-filled killer, two other paratroopers Mohamed Legouad and Abel Chenouf, were gunned down by the same man near their army barrack, as they withdrew money from a bank machine.
The same gunman has since killed more people including a Rabbi at Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse, his toddler sons and a seven-year-old girl. The hatred harbored by this killer definitely knows no bounds.
Faced with this horrible unfolding of events, we all stand rather dazed and confused by the very thought of how something like this comes to be. How can one make sense of something so senseless? In moments like these, most reasonable people wish for a little more time to think things over and apply reason to avoid reproducing the same hatred that the gunmen expressed in his deadly ramapage.
I do not think we are going to get that much needed time for reflection as it is an election year in France and everyone is trying to score points with this or that community of voters.
It is easy in moments like these to retreat to our own communities and their ways of looking at things; I am hoping though that this moment in history could also be looked at as a chance to see that, on many levels, we are all targets of this extreme violence. By the same token, we all share in the responsiblity of how we think through this moment in time and how we move on from here.