The "living-together made in Créteil" to the test of a fire

Home"TO THE ONE"The "living-together made in Créteil" to the test of a fire
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Le « vivre-ensemble made in Créteil » à l’épreuve d’un incendie
The debris of the Kosher Promo & Destock after the fire, in Creteil, January 9. MICHEL EULER / AP

On the night of January 9, a Kosher grocery store run by a Muslim was completely ravaged by the flames.

Never had Aziz imagined such a tragedy. Not in Créteil. "Here, there is no tension," he insists, preferring to keep his family name. The 44-year-old Moslem shopkeeper has owned a Kosher grocery store for several years, housed on the ground floor of the small Kennedy shopping center in the popular Mont-Mesly neighborhood.

"A Muslim who sells kosher products in a suburban city is not trivial, says he. But everything was going very well. " Until his supermarket is burned in the night of 9 January, three years to the day after the attack of the Hyper Hide of the Porte de Vincennes. And just a few days after the inscription of red swastikas on his iron curtain and that of the neighboring hiding sign.

From Promo & Destock, nothing remains. The flames have completely ravaged the place, now condemned by large panels of chipboard. Beyond the material damage, it is a symbol that has just been reduced to ashes. It had been eight years since Aziz went every morning to this shopping gallery of another age, "Except Saturday, Shabbat day", says he.

Before starting his own business in 2013, he was the director of the adjacent Hyper Cacher for four years. "Like me, the founder was of Algerian origin, he hired me after ten minutes of interview, he recalls. He did not care if I was a Muslim. " Customers too, he says. It is even they who encouraged him to embark on the discount hide, shortly after the opening of his grocery store. "They were asking me for products that the supermarket next door was not distributing, says Aziz. At first, I sold everything, in a few months, I specialized in hiding it. " A success.

As proof, the economic performance of Promo & Destock, which earned him to be shortlisted for a competition of 500 companies whose growth in turnover is the most spectacular. "He supplied the synagogue and the fourteen oratories of the commune, says Albert Elharrar, the president of the Jewish community of Créteil. Aziz is the proof of the symbiosis that exists in Creteil between Jews and Muslims. This fire will not break this agreement. "

"Rare acts of delinquency"

At the national level, representative institutions of the Jewish community have denounced an anti-Semitic act. "Even in Créteil, a city where people live rather well, such an event inevitably causes trouble," comments Sammy Ghozlan, President of the National Office of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA). Especially since it follows two other attacks of families of Jewish faith: a burglary and rape in a couple in 2014, then the fire of the car and the doormat of another in 2017. Both were produced in the Port district.

"Jewish businesses have closed," says the president of the BNVCA. In fact, there are still some, including a newcomer installed four years ago, The Flavors of the World, which offers customers exotic products, hide and halal. "No one here is surprised that we sell both", says Georges Devecioglu, 28, the manager. The young man says: "I would never have chosen to open this type of business in the" 9-3 ". But here we knew it was going pretty well. "

At the local level, we remain cautious. The city of 92,000 souls located in the south-east of Paris counts more than 20 000 inhabitants of Jewish confession. With Sarcelles (Val-d'Oise), it is the largest community in Ile-de-France. Karim Benaïssa, president of the Union of Muslim Associations in Créteil, talks about "Rare acts of delinquency that destabilize a little balance" ; Albert Elharrar mentions packages committed by "Some isolated elements looking to put the disorder".

"There is an intense Jewish life here"

The two men and the town hall play the same score, that of the "Very good living-together made in Créteil"as Karim Benaïssa calls it. Out of the question to be associated with some suburbs whose tensions push Jewish communities to leave. "There has been no departure of Jewish families in recent years," we assure the mayor.

The gatehouse built five years ago at the entrance of the synagogue and the Digicode set up two years ago? The results "Unhappy" a "General atmosphere", says Albert Elharrar, in no way the reflection of a local malaise. "There is an intense Jewish life here with many reception facilities", He added.

"This agreement between the representatives of the different communities must be public", stresses Karim Benaïssa, referring to her "Recipe" of "Very good living together". Thus he goes to events organized by Jews or Catholics accompanied by several tens, sometimes even several hundred, faithful.

Second "Essential ingredient", he insists: the Sahaba mosque. Inaugurated in 2008 thanks to financial assistance from the municipality "For cultural activities" and an emphyteutic lease, it is now owned by the Muslim community, which bought it in November 2017. "To have a decent place of worship gives the faithful the feeling of being recognized and extinguishes all feelings of frustration and anger," says Karim Benaïssa.

The "criminal track" privileged

Like the two representatives of the communities, Aziz advances another hypothesis to explain the fire of his grocery store: it could be the work of dealers, very active in the Kennedy shopping center. Leaning on the railing of the first floor, near the bar PMU, they are a few to make their business in the eyes of all.

"For a year and a half, their activity has intensified, is sad about Aziz. I took my head with them shortly before the graffiti and the fire: I asked them to stop breaking my iron curtain by trapping their goods. "

This same metal curtain that was broken and partly raised before firing the inside of the store, "In a radius where there was no power cable", says one to the floor of Créteil. The prosecutor stated that she favored "Criminal track". The investigation, opened for voluntary degradation by fire, was entrusted to the judicial police of Val-de-Marne. It promises to be difficult: "There are few exploitable clues or video surveillance camera", indicates the parquet floor.

"Minorities who try to fuck hatred"

As for the letter of threat sent five days later to the Jewish community center La Varenne-Saint-Hilaire, in Saint-Maur (Val-de-Marne) - "Dirty bastard Jews Hitler will defeat. After Créteil it's you band of batarts that will burn in the neighborhood », is it written in capital letters - the prosecutor said that "Nothing, as it stands, allows[Ted] to make the link with the case of Créteil ".

"These are small minorities who try to make hate between communities," Judge Aziz, "Worse than hurt" by the rumor that has been circulating since the fire. This Tuesday morning, the fire had not yet finished devouring its grocery store that bad languages ​​were already expressed: "Scam with insurance! " yelled an inhabitant present on the scene.

Some even claim to have seen two insurance experts the same afternoon. "It's dishonest," Sammy Ghozlan gets carried away. "Indigne", adds Albert Elharrar. "It is certain that if the Hyper Hide was the target, no one would have asked the question, says Aziz. It's like being slaughtered a second time. "

Source: ©  The "living-together made in Créteil" to the test of a fire

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