The stabbing of four tiny children, all of them three years old or less, and two adults, at a playground in at the normally quiet lakeside city of Annecy in eastern France has horrified the French. Their attacker was a Syrian migrant. He is reported to have shouted, as he went on his stabbing spree, “In the name of Jesus Christ.” His first name has been reported as “Abdalmasih,” which in Arabic means “Slave of Christ.” The media have assumed that he must, therefore, given his name and his reference to Jesus, be a Christian. But there is reason to believe that he may have been deliberately trying to be taken for a Christian.
First, there is nothing in Christian doctrine that would allow such behavior, whereas Islam repeatedly calls for violence against Infidels, and that violence is very often accompanied by the frenzied shout of “Allahu akbar,” which means “our God is greater [than yours].” Second, in order to be given asylum in European countries, Muslims have learned to feign to be Christians, ostensibly fleeing persecution in Muslim lands. The stabber was wearing a Christian cross around his neck, which he kept fingering when apprehended, as if to draw attention to it “ostentatiously” (as Robert Spencer notes). The stabber’s first name, “Abdalmasih (“Slave of Christ”), is quite unusual. A Christian living in a Muslim country, like Syria, would not be given such a name, as it would immediately draw the attention of hostile Muslims, as Raymond Ibrahim points out here.
If, however, you are a Muslim trying to be admitted into Europe as a persecuted Christian, you might well give yourself such a name. Ibrahim notes that a Christian living in the Muslim lands would be most unlikely to give his children such a name as “Abdalmasih.” He writes that “it would be like putting a bull’s eye on their backs for any would-be Christian-hater, which are many in the Muslim world, to identify them with. Rather, Christians tend to give their children who are born in the Mideast very neutral Arabic names — names that both Muslims and Christians use, such as Ibrahim or Yusuf. Some Christians have even been known to give their children distinctly Islamic names, such as Ahmed. So, in telling immigration officials that his name is ‘Slave of Christ,’ this man seems to have overplayed his hand.”
Another observation made by Ibrahim is that the stabber has both a beard and a mustache, but “his mustache appears significantly clipped in comparison to his beard. A long beard and short or no mustache is, of course, the trademark look of Salafi (‘radical’) Muslims. This is to say nothing of his all-black ISIS-looking outfit and the flowing keffiyeh around his head — all of which make him look like the typical Islamic terrorist.”
Finally, while Muslims engage in shouting “Allahu akbar,” meaning “Allah is greater [than your God], when attacking Infidels, there are no known incidents of Christians attacking non-Christian children while shouting “in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Furthermore, growing up in Muslim-majority Syria, even if he were indeed a Christian, Abdalmasih would have been influenced by the culture of extreme violence that characterize many Muslim societies (see, for example, the 100 Arabs killed, in Arab towns, by other Arabs so far this year in Israel).
All of these observations should make us most wary of concluding that Abdalmasih is a Christian, as he has tried so hard to make us believe. More likely, he wanted both to kill very small Christians – they, after all, were incapable of defending themselves – and at the same time, to deflect attention from Islam and to make sure that the blame would fall on a Christian and, presumably, on Christian teachings. It will be interesting to see if the French police investigate whether, while in France (and before that, while living in Sweden), Abdalmasih ever attended either a church or a mosque, and whether, in Syria, there are records of his attendance at a church.
There is, then, considerable reason to doubt that Abdalmasih is a Christian. Yet no one in the mainstream media, in France or elsewhere in Europe, has considered this possibility.
Just a few days before the stabbings at the playground in Annecy, the mayor of the town was all aglow with how splendid was his town’s commitment to “inclusivity and diversity.” More on his misguided enthusiasm can be found here: “Annecy mayor described town as ‘refuge for those fleeing war’ days before Syrian migrant knife attack on toddlers,” by Thomas Brooke, Remix News, June 9, 2023:
François Astorg, the mayor of the town that was the site of one of the most heinous crimes in Europe’s recent history on Thursday, waxed lyrical about the town’s dedication to inclusivity and diversity just days before a Syrian migrant embarked on a stabbing spree targeting toddlers.
Annecy is a land of resistance to fascism, a land of solidarity, a city of refuge for those fleeing war, misery and misfortune in the world,” Astorg tweeted on May 23, describing it as his administration’s “duty” and “honor” to receive new arrivals to Europe.
What does Mayor Astorg mean by “resistance to fascism”? He means that we must oppose the ordinary people of France, 70% of whom declare themselves now opposed to more Muslim immigration and worry about “the Great Replacement.” For only “fascists” can harbor such thoughts. He has those opponents of Muslim migration all wrong. These are ordinary French people (whom Mayor Astorg no doubt will describe as “right-wing nationalists”) who have now had their own deeply distressing encounters with a burgeoning population of aggressive Muslims, and have drawn conclusions that the mayor-astorgs of this world do not like. Their quite reasonable desire is that France remain France and not turn into Algeria, and that the French people be able to resist being colonized by those who, while pocketing all the benefits made available by the French state, excoriate the French as Infidels who “are the most vile of created beings.”
To oppose all that is not fascism; it’s common sense. It is not xenophobic to want limits placed on immigration by Muslims who, experience has shown the French, have no desire to integrate into French society, little desire to seek gainful employment, but a very great desire to live off the French taxpayer, by receiving free or greatly subsidized housing, free medical care, free education, family allowances, unemployment benefits even for those who have never worked in France, and more.
Mayor Astorg claims that Annecy is a “land of solidarity.” He means one thing: the big-hearted citizens of the town are “in solidarity” with Muslim migrants to their city. Is it true? How does he know? Are the Anneçois quite different from the rest of the French, 70% of whom now say they want a halt to Muslim immigration? And after this stabbing attack by a Syrian who may well be a Muslim trying to cast blame on Christianity, or if he is a Christian, he has been affected by the culture of violence that plagues so many Muslim lands, including Syria, won’t there be a lot less “solidarity” felt for those Astorg celebrates as people whom “it is our duty and honor” to welcome? Might the terminally naive Mayor Astorg lose the next election, voted out by those fed up with his diseased sympathy?
Astorg had sent his tweet [two weeks before the stabbing] in condemnation of a nationalist march that had taken place in the town on the evening of May 16 as activists carried torches and French flags through the streets before stopping in front of the Notre Dame church.
Last night our city council unanimously adopted a Republican wish condemning the demonstration that took place last Tuesday evening. Xenophobic, ultra-nationalist values will never have a place in our city,” Astorg said in response to the march.
It is not “xenophobic” nor “ultra-nationalist” to be opposed — not to all immigration from abroad, but specifically to Muslim immigration, which has proved to be nightmarish in its consequences for so many French, as for so many indigenous non-Muslims elsewhere in Europe. The essential distinction between “immigration” and “Muslim immigration” is one that Mayor Astorg, like so many others bleating about how “diversity is our strength,” refuses to recognize.
Fast-forward a fortnight, and the Annecy mayor was leading the tributes to four young children — the eldest of whom was just three years old — and two adults who were stabbed by a 31-year-old Syrian refugee at a park in the town.
At least Astorg has had the decency not to keep inveighing against “xenophobia” or praising the wonders of “diversity” in the aftermath of this atrocity. Let him wait, before commenting further, to find out more about Abdalmasih H., about whether he attended a church or a mosque, either in France or Sweden, or for that matter, back in his home country of Syria. The police interrogation could also determine quite quickly the extent of his knowledge of Christian doctrine.
French media reported the attacker, known only as Abdalmasih H., is understood to have been living in Sweden since 2013 where he had been granted asylum and is married to a Swedish woman with whom he has a three-year-old daughter.
He had also claimed asylum in France and a number of other European countries, but his application was rejected a few days prior to the attack on the basis that he already had the rights he was applying for due to his refugee status in Sweden.
“His request in France was therefore pointless. He was legal from the point of view of EU law,” a source close to the investigation told the French newspaper Libération….
But perhaps he was set off by the rejection of his (quite unnecessary) application for asylum in France. The French didn’t see why he needed asylum in France; he’d already been granted asylum in Sweden, and the rights that went with that asylum status. For some reason he got it into his head that he wanted to be granted the asylum status by France. Perhaps he was preparing to leave his wife and three-year-old daughter in Sweden. At this point, we know only that he was most unhappy. Perhaps a little bloodletting would cheer him up.
Some – including Robert Spencer and Raymond Ibrahim — suggest that Abdalmasih H. may be a Muslim who has been passing himself off as a Christian, in order to more convincingly claim asylum status. His Christian cross, his cry of “In the name of Jesus Christ” as he went on his stabbing spree, replacing the Muslim takbir of “Allahu akbar,” his most implausible uber-Christian first name of Abdalmasih (“Slave of Christ”) that his Syrian Christian parents supposedly gave him – should all give us pause. And let’s wait to find out what the French investigators discover about his church or mosque attendance, in Syria, in Sweden, and in France, before we identify him, much too quickly, as a Christian. “War is deceit,” said Muhammad. Caution is called for.