Brother of Muslim Policeman Killed in Parisian Shooting Speaks Out
Ahmed Merabet was the police officer killed in the shocking Charlie Hebdo shooting, his brother Malek condemned the attack committed by “false Muslims” and called for unity and tolerance. Speaking on behalf of relatives in an emotional tribute Malek claimed the terrorists, who shot his brother despite his pleas for mercy, may have shared his Algerian roots but had nothing else in common with him.
“My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims,” he said. “Islam is a religion of peace and love. As far as my brother’s death is concerned it was a waste. He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity.”
Malek also emphasised that France was in conflict with extremism, not it’s Muslim citizens, “I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes and antisemites. One must not confuse extremists with Muslims. Mad people have neither colour or religion,” he said.
“I want to make another point: don’t tar everybody with the same brush, don’t burn mosques – or synagogues. You are attacking people. It won’t bring our dead back and it won’t appease the families.”
Since the attack there have been violent attacks against Muslims in France including a including a grenade attack on a mosque, an explosion in a kebab shop beside a mosque and gunfire aimed at a Muslim family in a car, although there have been no casualties.
Ahmed was wounded from a shot in the groin as seen in video footage, the second gunman moved forward and asked the policeman, “Do you want to kill us?” Merabet replied, “No, it’s OK mate,” before he was shot in the head.
The images and footage were shared online, one even published on the front page of a national newspaper, Malek criticised the media for this action, “How dare you take this video and broadcast it? I heard his voice, I recognised him, I saw him being killed and I continue to hear him every day.”
Another member of the family appealed for calm, “What the family and I want is for everyone to be united, we want everyone to be able to demonstrate in peace, we want to show respect for all the victims and that the demonstration should be peaceful,” she said.
Ahmed was a pillar of the family since his father died 20 years earlier, Malek explained. The 42-year-old grew up in Livry-Gargan, in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris, and graduated from the local lycée in 1995. He ran a cleaning company before joining the police force eight years ago, and worked hard for a promotion.
“Through his determination, he had just got his judicial police officer [detective] diploma and was shortly due to leave fieldwork. His colleagues describe him as a man of action who was passionate about his job,” Malek said.
Ahmed was called to the scene of the attack while on a bicycle patrol and arrived just as the killers were escaping, he was the next victim in their attack.
“He was on foot, and came nose to nose with the terrorists. He pulled out his weapon. It was his job, it was his duty,” said Rocco Contento, a colleague who described him as a quiet and conscientious officer who was always smiling and very popular on the force.
In the wake of the incident the hastag #JeSuisAhmed trended on Twitter alongside #JeSuisCharlie, one user, identified as @Aboujahjah, tweeted, “I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so.”