- Title: Muslim family stigmatised after Nice attack fights against radicalisation
- Date: 11th July 2017
- Summary: NICE, FRANCE (FILE - APRIL 27, 2017) (REUTERS) PEOPLE IN OPEN AIR MARKET VEILED WOMEN SHOPPING PEOPLE INCLUDING VEILED WOMEN SHOPPING
- Embargoed: 25th July 2017 16:11
- Keywords: Nice attacks one year Muslims Islamophobia radicalism
- Location: PARIS AND NICE, FRANCE
- City: PARIS AND NICE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA0086P9TZ5Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: EDIT 2004-EUROPE-ATTACKS/NICE-ANNIVERSARY-FILE CONTAINS FILE IMAGES OF THE AFTERMATH OF THE ATTACK
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
One year on, Nice will be remembering the Bastille Day attack, when a truck driver rammed into revellers and killed 86 people, on Friday (July 14).
Ali Charrihi's mother, Fatima, was out celebrating with her family, when the truck ran over her in plain sight of her daughter-in-law. She was the first to die on the Promenade des Anglais.
The attack was carried out by Tunisian-born Frenchman Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel and claimed by Islamic State.
At least 30 of the victims were Muslims, a regional association said, yet the Charrihi family said anti-Muslim sentiment was rife after the attack.
"Our family is still in pain, still in limbo, since July 14. We're slowly trying to climb back up, we're drawing strength from our children, from the struggle for life that we're having right now, against radicalisation and the rest of these phenomena which are pollute our lives," Ali said.
The Islamophobia experienced by their family has become the subject of a book by Hanane Charrihi, Ali's sister.
As their mother's body lay on the ground, one woman remarked "Band of terrorists, well done, you. It's your turn."
Upon visiting the promenade for the first time with her family, Hanane Charrihi said, a man by a cafe said "That's well and good, you're going out in a pack".
"What hurt most was... The cafe was jam-packed, and not a single person came to our defence -- I think it was this lack of fraternity, because it's one of France's values," Charrihi said.
She stresses in her book that the perpetrator of the Nice attack, who had a record for petty crime and was described by neighbours as having "smelled of alcohol in the middle of Ramadan", had nothing to do with Islam.
Charrihi said it is Muslims like her mother, whom she portrayed as loving and charitable to the poor, who were the true face of their religion.
Fatima's death left her husband Ahmed living alone in their hilltop family home, where they settled after migrating from Morocco and brought up six children, having lost a daughter in their native land.
In an interview with Reuters TV last September, he scoffed at insults made towards his family.
"People can say what they want, we can't do anything about it. We were affected too," he said.
After the Nice tragedy, the Charrihi siblings founded an association which seeks to reach out to people who may be vulnerable to radicalisation. The truck driver, Bouhlel, himself was treated for psychological issues, his family had said.
Ali said they are pinning their hopes on the new young president, Emmanuel Macron, who will be in Nice on July 14 to honour the victims, to find solutions to extremism.
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