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It was not the imams, but his mother who radicalized the children.
Blaze readers will likely recall the deadly shooting spree that took place at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France, this past March. Islamic gunman, Mohamed Merah, murdered three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers. Ultimately, he died in a 32-hour stand-off with police after leaping from his apartment window. Now his brother, Abdelghani, is speaking out with claims that his mother, not mullhas, was the first to radicalize the children in his family.
For reference, Mohamed Merah claimed links to al-Qaeda and said he had received training at an Islamist paramilitary camp in Pakistan, according to the Associated Press. His other brother, Abdelkader Merah, was also charged with helping Mohamed coordinate the attack and remains in custody. Abdelghani, however, seems to be taking a stand against the hate he and his brothers were brought up with in a new book and documentary slated for release this week that claims to reveal the genesis of his brothers' radicalization.
Abdelghani maintains that his siblings anti-Semitism did not begin at madrassas, but rather at home under the tutelage of their mother, who proudly told the youngsters that "Arabs were born to hate Jews."
According to excerpts of the book, "My Brother, That Terrorist," published in the French daily, Le Figaro, Abdelghani vowed on the day of Mohamed's funeral to speak out and tell the world how he and his siblings were weaned on hatred and anti-Semitism.
"I will explain how my parents raised you in an atmosphere of racism and hate before the Salafis could douse you in religious extremism," he writes.
In an interview with Belgian media, Abdelghani said he hoped to explain “how our parents educated us in an atmosphere of racism and hatred, and how the Salafists converted Mohammed to become a terrorist."
“My mother always used to tell us that 'we Arabs were born to hate the Jews.'”
He added that while he strongly condemned the attack, other family members are proud of Mohamed.
The documentary, meanwhile, is slated to be released on Sunday and features interviews with Abdelghani and his sister, Souad, who unlike her brother, is "proud" of Mohamed's shooting rampage.
The Associated Press reports that the Merahs' mother was even held for questioning at one point but has since been released. While their father left the family for Algeria years prior, he has since sued the French state for Mohamed's death.
Last week, French President Francois Hollande and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Toulouse to visit the school and meet with the families of the victims. Both leaders pledged to fight anti-Semitism in France and globally.
During the visit, Netanyahu said, "The fact that we are standing here together, the French President and Prime Minister of Israel, says everything about our partnership in the war against terrorism, against racism and against violence."
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