Friday, 9 January 2015

Je suis Ahmed

Ahmed Merabet was a Muslim cop who was assassinated as the last victim in the Charlie Hebdo massacre who seems to have had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the right time, on patrol when the gunmen burst out of the Hebdo building, shot down then shot in the head for good measure.

There seems to be a whole lot of self-righteous indignation on all sides with very little cause for admiration.

Ahmed Merabet probably did not want to die, but he did not die needlessly—in fact, he died in the line of duty. He died a hero, and, unlike his killers, a martyr for the French Republic and all the noble ideals so often abused in the country itself and the other like-minded countries in the West.

Rather than focusing on the negative, normative edicts, bulls and fatwas that come out so easily in these times of on-going religious and ideological crises I'd like to focus upon the so-called cardinal virtues to honour Ahmed Merabet's sacrifice.

This is taken from Wikipedia:

  • Prudence (φρόνησις, phronēsis): also described as wisdom, the ability to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time.
  • Justice (δικαιοσύνη, dikaiosynē): also considered as fairness, the most extensive and most important virtue.
  • Temperance (σωφροσύνη, sōphrosynē): also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, and moderation tempering the appetition.
  • Courage (ἀνδρεία, andreia): also named fortitude, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation. (
It is said of the mu'min that two testimonies are required of them that believe:

O you who believe with the tongue! Believe through your deeds. (Quran 4: 136)

Unlike his selfish killers, Ahmed did not force upon the circumstances perversion of his faith; his life was taken as ultimate payment for the protection of innocents, as a symbol of the noble ideals that so few of us appreciate let alone would die for.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysberg Address)

Je suis Ahmed Merabet
Je suis Patrice Vincent
Je suis Nathan Cirrilo

We, the living, salute you.

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