French intellectuals sign call for 'all light to be made' on brutal anti-Semitic murder of Jewish woman
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                  French intellectuals sign call for 'all light to be made' on brutal anti-Semitic murder of Jewish woman

                  French intellectuals sign call for 'all light to be made' on brutal anti-Semitic murder of Jewish woman

                  05.06.2017, Anti-Semitism

                  Seventeen French intellectuals, including Alain Finkielkraut, Pascal Bruckner and Michel Onfray, have signed a call published in daily Le Figaro for "all light to be made" on the death of Sarah Halimi, an 66-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman found dead at the foot of his building in the Belleville district of Paris.

                  In early April, Kada Traoré, a 27-year-old Muslim, a neighbor of Halimi, entered her apartment by the balcony, tortured her while reciting surahs from the Koran and shouting Allah Akbar several times.

                  Halimi was beaten severely before the suspect pushed her to her death out of the window of her apartment in the heavily Muslim 11th district of Paris, considered a crime-ridden area.

                  Local Jews said the killing was a hate crime and act of murder with anti-Semitism and torture as aggravating circumstances. Halimi’s family demanded it be considered a terror attack.

                  The case riled the Jewish community in France, with some members angry at the police for how it handled the attack and for treating the murder as a possible act of insanity.

                  The Muslim man suspected of murdering the woman may not face murder charges, as claims that he was not in his right mind when he committed the act are being considered.

                  The suspect has been hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation since his arrest for the murder.

                  Judicial experts need to determine whether the insanity claims are valid.

                  Halimi’s family and lawyers have also taken on the press for remaining largely silent on the matter, not reporting the details and appearing to treat it as another criminal murder until just recently.

                  In a press conference, a lawyer of the victim’s family revealed the tragic details of her death and the moments leading up to the murder, suggesting the suspect may have undergone radicalization while in prison for drug-related crimes and while attending a salafist mosque nearby when on probation.

                  The Halimi family lawyer, Jean-Alexandre Buchinger, recounted that the attack began at 4:25 a.m. on the morning of April 4 when the suspect, who lives with his family in a building neighboring Halimi’s, forced his way into her apartment through the residence of his neighbors, a family originally from Mali.

                  The suspect knocked on their door and forced his way in, appearing so aggressive and agitated and murmuring Koranic verses, that they all locked themselves in a bedroom and called the police. The suspect made his way to Halimi’s apartment through their balcony.

                  “He surprised her in her sleep, he beat her with fists. Her living room was full of blood, just to inform you how hard the blows were,” Buchinger told the press.

                  The suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar” and recited Quranic verses while assaulting Halimi, and trying to strangle her, the lawyer said, adding that the suspect also yelled at Halimi to “shut her mouth” and called her a “sheitan” [devil or satan in Arabic].

                  Police arrived just 3 minutes after the call, but made their way to the wrong building at first. Meanwhile, another neighbor placed a call to police at 4:45 a.m. to report the beating of Halimi. More officers arrived and congregated in the apartment of the Malian family next door, afraid they were facing a terror attack and waiting for the anti-terror squad. By the time the special unit arrived, around 5:00 a.m., Halimi had been killed.

                  The suspect returned to the apartment of the Malian family and was arrested there without resistance at 5:35 a.m., according to the report.

                  A homicide investigation was opened with police on April 14, without the anti-Semitism character. A judicial source said at the time of the arrest that “it has not yet been established that the suspect knew the victim’s religion.”

                  Another lawyer for the family said the fact that the suspect did not assault any other neighbors during the attack and made his way directly “to the only Jewish woman in the buAilding, breaking into an apartment to access hers, shows premeditation.”

                  “He has the profile of a radicalized Islamist, the psychiatry behind it is secondary,” said a lawyer of Halimi’s sister, Gilles-William Goldnadel.

                  According to Michel Gurfinkiel, a French political analyst and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute in Paris, the recent French presidential election encouraged an ‘’organized silence’’ around the Halimi murder within the media and from the authorities. “Such a story would have benefited the Right and the National Front,” Gurfinkiel said. “Everyone is convince-Sd this is why there has been such an organized silence around the story.”

                  A few days after the murder, Marine Le Pen — the leader of the far-right, anti-immigrant National Front — tweeted that Halimi’s fate made her want to “speak about Islamist anti-Semitism.” Le Pen was defeated by centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the presidential election on May 7.

                  “The Jewish community was very careful not to be suspected of siding with Marine Le Pen,” Gurfinkiel said. He also noted that state provision of security to religious buildings and institutions means that Jewish organizations are “reluctant to raise certain questions.”

                  A number of French Jewish organizations, including the Consistoire and CRIF, the umbrella representative group of French Jewish institutions, have announced their intention to join a civil suit in the Halimi case.