April 12, 2012


Who Gets to Be French? (KARL E. MEYER, 4/11/12, NY Times)

THE French language is justly renowned for its clarity and precision. Yet on a seemingly simple matter its speakers stumble into a fog -- who or what can be defined as French? The question arose afresh in the wake of the Toulouse killings. No one doubted that the perpetrator was 23-year-old Mohammed Merah, a native son of Algerian descent. But was Mr. Merah French?

Impossible, declared four members of Parliament belonging to President Nicolas Sarkozy's center-right party. In a joint statement, they insisted that Mr. Merah "had nothing French about him but his identity papers."

Nonsense, retorted the left-wing journal LibĂ©ration: "Merah is certainly a monster, but he was a French monster." 

Posted by at April 12, 2012 6:41 AM

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