Why can’t we speak plainly about migrant crime?

On Wednesday, two striking events happened in France. The first was that the President of the Republic led the nation’s mourning for Lieutenant-Colonel Beltrame, the policeman who swopped himself for a hostage at the siege at a supermarket in Trèbes last week. Elsewhere in Paris on the same day there was a silent march past the flat of Mireille Knoll. As a girl, in 1942, Mme Knoll narrowly escaped being rounded up by the French police and put on a train to Auschwitz. Last weekend, at the age of 85, the remains of her wheelchair-bound body were found in her Paris flat. Her body had been stabbed and burned. Mme Knoll, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease had apparently previously told police about a neighbour who had threatened to ‘burn her’. And so the fires that failed to catch the nine-year old Mireille in Auschwitz caught up with her seven decades later in multicultural, diverse, 21st century France.

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