Last week Aissa Dermouche’s car was blown up. This week a school he used to head was bombed. Why? Reports on the car bombing suggested that it is all because Dermouche, a Muslim, supports France’s headscarf ban. Now evidently that explanation has gone down the memory hole. In any case, welcome to the new France. This from AP:
An explosion early Sunday damaged a business school formerly headed by a Muslim who was recently appointed a top administrator in France. The man’s car was bombed a week ago.
Police immediately cordoned off the area around the Audencia school and opened an investigation. The explosion damaged a door and some windows of the school.
Prosecutor Jean-Marie Huet said on LCI television that authorities were looking into whether the two blasts were linked. Lab experts were sent to this western city from Paris to determine whether material used in the 6:15 a.m. blast was the same as that used to destroy the car of Aissa Dermouche.
Dermouche, 57, born in Algeria, was named to the prestigious post of prefect, the state’s highest representative of a region, on Jan. 14 by President Jacques Chirac. He is the first person of Muslim origin to be appointed to the post.
Four days later, his car, parked on a street near his home, was blown up.
Dermouche’s appointment was a major event in France, which is struggling to integrate its Muslim citizens, a population estimated at some 5 million “” the largest in Western Europe.
Investigators have not discovered yet who blew up Dermouche’s car. They explored the possibility of personal revenge, detaining three people connected to Dermouche’s ex-wife. However, the three were released on Thursday.
Ziad Khoury, a deputy prefect of the Loire Atlantique, the western France region where Nantes is located, said that there apparently were no witnesses to the explosion at Audencia, a well known business school headed by Dermouche until he was named a prefect.