On the 4th of April 2017, a 27-year-old Muslim immigrant from Mali broke into an apartment of his 65-year-old Jewish neighbor, Sarah Halimi, in the neighborhood of Belleville in Paris. Kobili Traore viciously assaulted the woman and threw her out of the building's 3rd floor window.
According to reports from Halimi's neighbors, Traore spent thirty minutes beating up the woman while screaming "Allahu Akbar", and "I killed the Shaitan (Satan)."
Last Thursday, The Court of Appeal of Paris ruled that Traore will not stand trial since apparently the 27-year-old was experiencing "a psychotic episode" when he committed the attack, due to the overconsumption of marijuana.
Traore, who two years before the attack harassed Halimi's daughter by calling her a "filthy Jew", didn't suffer from any mental issues prior to the murder, nor did he suffer any after the incident.
It was also noted that Traore liked to spend his days praying at France's Omar Mosque, a place deeply associated with the radical Salafi movement.
All of these arguments didn't seem to matter to the judges presiding over Traore's appeal. The court decided to send the heinous murderer to a psychiatric institution, despite three conflicting psychiatric diagnoses, from which he will probably be released in the near future as the French law prohibits the hospitalization of mentally healthy people in such places.
Halimi's murder and the ensuing verdict, marks the first time that not only media but senior officials and public figures decided to unite in order to publicly express their dissatisfaction with France's judicial system. A country that boasts quite a few laws meant to battle racism and anti-Semitism.
There's a consensus that the French authorities do all in their power to combat anti-Semitism, but there seems to be a disparity between the consensus and what is actually happening in the streets of France.
From day one, Halimi's horrible murder was pretty much silenced. It happened with just a month before the country was due to vote in a general election. A time when no one really wants to open the newspaper and read about another act of violence committed by a radical Muslim terrorist.
France's Jewish community was well aware of the murder. When I asked some of them who they intend to vote for, Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen (who many thought will use the murder for her own political gain), most told me they'll abstain from voting altogether. "Sarah Halimi's murder has been kept from the public," they said angrily.
The elections have come and gone and the horrible deed was investigated as nothing more than a regular crime.
It was thanks to the efforts of Francis Kalifat, the president of the umbrella organization for Jewish groups in France, the horrific murder was brought up to the attention of the public. President Macron even mentioned it as an example of an anti-Semitic hate crime.
All of the above failed to impress the judges at the Court of Appeals, who insisted their verdict is final (unless the lawyers representing Halimi's family will find a legal loophole to bring the case back before court).
According to the French law, almost any crime committed under the influence of drugs is judged with utmost severity, except when you throw an elderly Jewish woman out of the window in a "psychotic rage," then, apparently it's ok.
This verdict enables any murderer and terrorist to shield himself with a safety blanket labeled "momentary insanity" and go on a killing spree.