English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Why All The Hatred In France? 

On February 23, 2006, the body of a young Moroccan Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, 23, was found dead near railroad tracks South of Paris, his body beaten, burned and naked. The group that had kidnaped him, was a large Anti-Semitic group that had been gaining power in France over the last few months. The French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy states that the culprits behind this kidnaping and killing are barbarians and dirty criminals. He also states that although the person kidnaped was of the Jewish religion, he believes that the assailants had no idea of the victim's religion or nationality, and urges the French public not to draw racist conclusions about this crime. The French Interior Minister does, however believe that this crime was also motivated for a sense of power and respect over the French police. The kidnap/murderer, Youssof Fofana, 25, of Paris, was located and captured in the Ivory Coast by French Special Servicemen. He was taken into custody based on charges placing him as the leader of the terrorist group that kidnaped and murdered Halimi.

The French Interior Minister is firmly convinced that this killing had nothing to do with hatred against the Jewish religion, but was strongly motivated by the lust for money. He stressed the point that religion played no part in this, as a warning to the French people to prevent blaming France's Muslim community. He was afraid of this happening again, due to a long string of Anti- Jewish killings in France. He made a statement which said, "I congratulate the French Authorities for capturing this notorious criminal, and believe me when I say that Youssof Fofana and the members of his terrorist organization will receive just punishment for their intolerable actions. I also strongly believe that there was no Anti-Semitism in the motive of this crime, only greed, and a desire for money."

In a later hearing the Minister made a statement saying, "These criminals were not motivated by, power, but by greed and money." He later explained this by saying, "They told me that they kidnaped a Jew because "The Jews have all the money". To me, that sounds like those crooks were motivated by hatred for a religion because they stereotyped the Jews to "have a lot of money" which is the same thing as saying that one's religion is better or worse than one's own.

There were three huge motives in this terrible crime: money, desire for power and Anti- Semitism, because, after reviewing the testimonies and the press conferences, many different statements given by French government officials stated that four of the six kidnapings committed by this group, were in fact Jewish men. The two motives tie together because the leader of the group said that the only reason we kidnaped Jews, is because they, meaning Jews, have all the money, which is a religious stereotype.

This crime is closely tied in with British Literature by the play Macbeth. It is related to this play because Shakespeare quotes many times with Anti-Semitic remarks in his play. It also relates to this play because it has to do with beliefs against the Jews and hatred towards the Jewish religion, because Shakespeare say line that relate to blaming the Jews for the death of Christ.

In my conclusion of this essay, some facts that I want to address are the statements made to the French public by the Interior Minister. I don't believe that he was being entirely truthful to the people, but he only said that he did not believe there to be any Anti-Semitism involved because he didn't want an uprising against the Muslim population in France. I believe that he should have bee truthful in his statements to the public because that is the job of a French Interior Minister; to keep the public informed of exactly what is happening in their country at all times.