Rignac. Latifa Ibn Ziaten to conference Thursday night in the André-Jarlan room

the essential
Meeting with the mother of Imad, the first victim of the terrorist Mohamed Merah, who is crossing France and the world to deliver a message of peace, and who will be a guest, on Thursday 19 May in the evening at 20.00 in the association. Rignac Citizens’ Meetings

You are in great demand, what made you accept the invitation to the Citizens’ Meetings?

We have the same approach to citizenship, tolerance, cohabitation, we defend the same values. I really have something in common with this association.

You have to meet school children from the countryside who are quite preserved, what will be your message?

I who go to the field, I say what I see. Some young people do not know what is going on in the big cities. They are afraid of the other, of the difference. We do not know each other, but we already have a verdict, that’s where racism begins. These well-protected young people need to know what is going on in the world. In schools, some tell me they have never spoken to a black or a Muslim. I talk to them about tolerance, about living together, I give them a message of openness. If you do not respect yourself, you can not respect others.

It’s 2022, it’s 10 years since your son was murdered, do you still have that much energy, or is there fatigue in carrying this word in a world that is not going well?

I have no right to be tired, I do not feel tired. I made a promise to my son and to this youth. During the health crisis, I worked less, but there I have many queries because there is a lot of suffering among these young people. So I have more courage because we need to do even more. I have to take twelve young people with me to Morocco, who have dropped out completely. We have to work at a social center in Morocco, which we make for the association Imad. I will try to educate them, to educate them in the sense of exaltation, to inculcate respect in them.

During the debates leading up to the presidential election, many people alluded to you about the headscarf … What inspired you?

I’ve been wearing a headscarf since I lost my son, but I’m against the burqa, it’s not our tradition in Islam, it’s more like the wives of the prophets who dressed like that. At least I think people should have freedom. Freedom is equality, and if there is none, there is no more humanity.

What do you think of the worrying progress of the far right?

When I saw Marine le Pen facing Emmanuel Macron, I clearly said we should wake people up and block the far right. I said, do your duty, otherwise it will be civil war. The President of the Republic may not have done well, but he has faced many difficulties such as the Covid health crisis, the yellow vests and the pension reform. It is necessary that in the next 5 years it does what is necessary.

What do you think about the appointment of Elisabeth Borne as Prime Minister?

It is fantastic! We must make room for women. She is a woman of character who can succeed. I have worked with her on several occasions, she can do good things, you have to trust her, you have to give her time. She is an extraordinary woman who does not allow herself to be pushed around.

The significance of citizen meetings

This Thursday, May 19, will be one of the most important dates for the Association of Citizens’ Meetings in Rignac, which will host Latifa Ibn Ziaten. She will be there tomorrow morning, between schoolchildren, while in the evening at 8 pm she invites the general public to meet in the André-Jarlan room, which risks finding it cramped because this woman’s aura is so great.
Recall that Latifa Ibn Ziaten was born in 1960 in Morocco, which she left at the age of 17 to join her husband, a railway worker at SNCF, in France. She is the mother of five children, a girl and four boys, including Imad Ibn Ziaten, a non-commissioned officer from the 1st Regiment of the parachute train from Francazal, killed by Mohamed Merah on March 11, 2012 in Touloue. Following the death of his son, Latifa Ibn Ziaten seeks explanations for this tragedy. She goes to Izards, a town northeast of Toulouse, where Imad’s killer and six other victims lived. She meets and exchanges with a group of young people at the foot of the towers: after describing Mohammed Merah as a “hero” and “martyr of Islam”, they learn the identity of Ibn Ziaten and apologize to him. It was after this exchange of views that she claims to have had the idea of ​​founding the IMAD Association for Youth and Peace in April 2012, the purpose of which is to help young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods. Knight of the Legion of Honor, Officer of the National Merit Order, International Prize for Women of Courage, Latifa Ibn Ziaten dedicates his efforts to promoting the values ​​of peace and living together as a bulwark against extremist discourse.
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