Missing French Student
A French national, Ihab Slimane(Fr.) one of a dozen or so still unaccounted for in London, is apparently suspected of being a terrorist bomber(Fr.) The only reason I know this is that the rector of his family mosque in Lyon has come to his defense. The rector (imam?) says that whenever a Muslim dies in an attack, people are immediately suspicious. Besides, he says, he never saw the boy in mosque anyway. The 24-year old Information Technology student was in London to improve his English. His father apparently went directly to Scotland Yard to ask about his son, and is now touring the London hospitals. The article notes that Scotland Yard had no questions for the father, but that London tabloids are speculating about Ihab’s involvement. I haven’t seen those speculations.
It is interesting to me that an official of the mosque would be so sensitive about the possibility that a well-off, highly educated 24-year old male Muslim IT student raised in France might be inclined to bomb the British. I think it’s a good sign that mainstream Muslims are sensitive to this, and I personally agree that it’s unlikely in this case. The boy’s family is originally from Tunisia, a place known generally for tolerance. In his picture, he looks like a nice kid. If Ihab is dead, it is a tragedy, and I feel for his family. If Ihab is in some way responsible for the attack, it is an even greater tragedy for his family.
7/12/2005 10:12 AM