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Michel Onfray. Wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0

French author Michel Onfray tears into Sarah Halimi verdict

The criminal irresponsibility of the author of the anti-Semitic murder of Sarah Halimi is not justified. This is the view of French author Michel Onfray. He pointed out the general impunity of those who decide to no longer respect the law.

Published: April 27, 2021, 9:29 am

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    Paris

    Onfray was invited on April 25 to LCI to comment on the farcical verdict pronounced in the case of Sarah Halimi as well as that of the police officers burned alive in Viry-Châtillon.

    According to him, “smoking joints [cannabis]” cannot be considered a mitigating circumstance. Indeed, during the investigation, the psychiatric experts concluded that a “delirious episode” had befallen the murderer of Sarah Halimi, probably caused or aggravated by his heavy consumption of cannabis.

    Emphasizing the absurdity of such an argument, the essayist explained that it is as if driving “dead drunk” could be considered a mitigating circumstance.

    “He is not a madman, he is someone who is said to have had a delusional episode following a joint,” he insisted. And it was not the use of cannabis that made him anti-Semitic: “I don’t think that made this guy anti-Semitic, I think he was already anti-Semitic.”

    On April 25, demonstrations in tribute to Sarah Halimi took place in Paris and in several French cities, but also in Tel Aviv. The same day, Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti promised to present a bill at the end of May to fill this “legal vacuum”.

    Onfray also criticised the verdict of the case of the police officers burned alive in Viry-Châtillon, another sensitive issue which has surfaced in recent weeks.

    On April 17, the Paris Assize Court for minors sentenced five young people to 6 to 18 years’ imprisonment, and acquitted the other eight accused; a less severe verdict than the previous sentence.

    “There are some who have to stay behind bars for 18 years, and then there are people who are told: […] maybe you are one of those who could have killed, but there is too little proof, we’re not sure it’s you. So, you can go home. The case is over for you,” Onfray said.

    “We have only one problem in France, and that is that the law is not respected. […] If we enforced the law, if there was indeed a fear of the gendarme, of policemen, then these problems would be solved,” he continued.

    “We are now afraid of people who have decided that they will no longer respect the law, to whom we say: ‘you can, you are in the suburbs, you are Muslims, you have smoked joints,'” he remarked.

    Onfray is known in France and Germany for speaking his mind. On July 23, 2019, Michel Onfray publishes a post on climate activist Greta Thunberg after her speech in the National Assembly in which he called her a “cyborg”.

    On August 14, 2019, Michel Onfray gave an interview to the German newspaper Die Welt explaining his positions on Greta Thunberg.

    “I want us to talk about astrophysics, magnetic storms, solar cycles, that we register nature in the cosmos and the multiverse. I would like us to talk about geology and remember that there were periods of warming and cooling of our planet when men had not yet appeared there. I would like us to talk about history and that, by reading Histoire du climat depuis l’an mil by Leroy Ladurie, we see that before the invention of the engine and cars, of the airplane and of diesel, the variations climatic conditions were considerable. In addition, the anthropogenic cause is obviously to be taken into consideration, but with others.”

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