La Croix: How do you react to the violent reactions in Nanterre since the death of Nahel killed by a policeman?
Missoum Chaoui: I understand the anger and dismay of those close to him and of all those who feel concerned by the death of the young man. However, this morning (Thursday, June 29), I was amazed to discover all the broken furniture in my neighborhood of the Pablo-Picasso estate. It is disproportionate to attack cars, schools, nurseries.
The pain experienced in the neighborhoods is so intense that it reminds us of the events of 2005 which affected all of France. This must not be repeated. The problem is not security but social and educational. Who do young people listen to: parents? National education? Muslim institutions? Everyone has their role.
How do you get out of this climate of violence?
CM: I appeal to the responsibility of parents. Even if their children are grown – Nahel was 17 – they must educate them to respect the forces of order and to obey. A life was lost because of it. It must not happen again. Parents must instill in their children the values of the Republic and respect for others.
What do these riots say about the relationship between young people from working-class neighborhoods and the police?
CM: The violence of recent days is a wake-up call. The indignation aroused after the gesture of a policeman reflects on an entire institution. We must review the methods of the national police because nothing justifies such a gesture. An exemplary sanction is expected, but also the strengthening of the training of the police.
The issue of racial profiling and racism in the police should also be tackled. The police are peace officers and must protect the public. I think community policing could be reinstated. She circulates in the districts and discusses with the young people. They need to be listened to. Mediation must be strengthened between young people and the police. The reactions of the public authorities prove the will of the President of the Republic and the government to learn lessons from this affair.
Nahel died on the first day of Eid-el-Adha: how do you connect these events?
CM: Eid-el-Adha is a good time to call for calm. It is a day of peace and mercy. We must show the sense of forgiveness that is in our Muslim religion. Let’s come to our senses and let justice do its job.
The imams of the mosques of Nanterre took the floor to call for calm and serenity. There is no particular action or support at the level of the mosques, but the imams are available to the faithful to answer their questions.