of Ilan Halimi in France has been reported by the BBC here.
In fairness to the BBC, I must point out that my colleague Laban was mistaken in thinking this murder had not been reported as of yesterday. A search for “Halimi” would not have found the earlier report that the BBC did make (on 17 February), as only the first name of the victim was mentioned at that time.
So let us look at the more recent BBC report, which appears to have been posted at ten minutes to midnight yesterday evening.
Reported: that the victim was Jewish, that there is a strong suspicion that he was killed because he was a Jew, and that the gang leader for whom a warrant has been issued is called Yussef Fofana. All these facts are relevant.
Not reported: that the kidnap gang recited verses from the Koran in their calls to Malini’s family.
Not reported: that Ilan’s mother, Ruth Halimi, has accused the French police of ignoring the anti-semitic motives of the murder in order not to alienate Muslim opinion in France.
Not reported: that the photos that the kidnappers sent Malini’s family to show them what was being done to their son, and the tortures and humiliations themselves, bore a strong “impregnation” (according to the authorities) of resemblances to the Abu Ghraib photos and the photos issued by Iraqi kidnappers of Western hostages.
Not reported: that Yussef (sometimes spelled Youssef or Yossef) Fofana has fled to his country of origin, the Ivory Coast. That would have involved saying that his country of origin was the Ivory Coast.
[UPDATE: the Ivorian angle has now been mentioned. Still no mention of the Muslim angle.]
If the religion of the victim is relevant to understanding the crime, then so is the religion of the perpetrator. The BBC would not dream of leaving it unmentioned when a religious or religious/political hate crime is carried out by a Jew. The BBC had no trouble saying Asher Weisgan was Jewish, and no trouble quoting the view of a commenter that Weisgan’s murder of four Arabs was the “wild grapes produced by Israel’s extreme right.” The BBC had no trouble mentioning the Jewish skullcap worn by Eden Nathan Zaada as he killed Israeli Arabs on a bus, and no trouble reporting on his extremist political views.
Yet all that the BBC gives us about Yussef Fofana is his name.
The BBC’s longstanding reluctance to even mention that most modern European anti-Jewish violence is carried out by Muslims, let alone discuss it, has made a small but dishonourable contribution to the legitimisation and normalisation of such violence.