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Marc Lepine bleg:

The perpetrator of the infamous Dec. 6, 1989 massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal was born on October 26, 1964. Does anybody know where he was born?

Lepine's father was Rachid Liass Gharbi--an alcoholic, wife-beating, child abusing Algerian Muslim who had immigrated to Canada. He often said that women's only purpose was to serve men. Lepine's mother Monique was a French-Canadian former nun. Does anyone know more about the backgrounds of either Rachid or Monique?

Please supply answers in the Comments. Thanks.

James Fulford (mail):
This source says he was born in Montreal, citing Macleans magazine, December 18, 1989, and this column from 2004 says his sister Nadia committed suicide three years before the massacre.


[DK: U R awesome. Thanks!]
3.15.2006 12:24am
James Fulford (mail):
And here's a copy of the Coroner's Report, this was written in English, I believe, but all quoted dialogue has been translated from French.
3.15.2006 12:55am
Visitor Again:
The Court TV website archives have a story on Lepine, which contains some background. Click here.
3.15.2006 1:47am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Mark Steyn had an interesting column on this incident and Canadian society.
3.15.2006 11:01am
Per Son:
alcoholic, wife-beating, child abusing Algerian Muslim who had immigrated to Canada

Alcoholic = bad
wife-beating = bad
child abusing = bad
Algerian Muslim = is that bad?
Immigrated to Canada = is that bad?

Where does the immigrant or Muslim part play into this?
3.15.2006 11:20am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Alcoholic = bad
wife-beating = bad
child abusing = bad
Algerian Muslim = is that bad?
Immigrated to Canada = is that bad?

Where does the immigrant or Muslim part play into this?
Lepine's explanation for what he did was that he hated feminists. Can you see some connection to being a Muslim?
3.15.2006 11:44am
Dionysius (mail):
"Lepine's explanation for what he did was that he hated feminists. Can you see some connection to being a Muslim?"

Brush too broad: Shouldn't include Indonesian Muslims, probably shouldn't include most home-grown US Muslims.
3.15.2006 11:47am
paul a'barge (mail):
"Brush too broad: Shouldn't include Indonesian Muslims, probably shouldn't include most home-grown US Muslims"

Wow, now who's painting with too broad a brush?

Please. Let's not be coy about the antipathy between fairness to women, nee feminism, and modern Islam. You're not fooling anyone. The existence of exceptions does not disprove the rule, and that Moslems in general treat women like dirt is the rule and beyone.
3.15.2006 12:03pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> Brush too broad: Shouldn't include Indonesian Muslims, probably shouldn't include most home-grown US Muslims.

Except that we know more about Lepine's father, namely

>> Algerian Muslim

BTW - I suspect that there is significant diversity among US Muslims.
3.15.2006 12:05pm
Per Son:
Many conservatives hate feminists, but that does not mean they want to kill them. I see the man as a violent and evil person, but I do not see why Islam made him violent and evil.
3.15.2006 12:19pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Many conservatives hate feminists, but that does not mean they want to kill them. I see the man as a violent and evil person, but I do not see why Islam made him violent and evil.
You might want to actually read a bit about the conflict between Islam and not just feminism, but the notion that women have rights. At least, if you don't want to come across as a very PC idiot.

Now, Islam was a step up in the status of women compared to traditional Bedouin culture. The rules regulating divorce certainly were better than the previous situation, where a man might divorce a wife in a fit of drunken anger, and then take her back the next day (but now down the pecking order from his other wives). But as much of an improvement as this was, Islam is still many centuries away from being as supportive of women's rights as say, Jerry Falwell.

I understand that clitordectomy is a cultural artifact not a religious one. But there's a reason that has managed to co-exist with Islam--but not with Christianity. That's because Islam is still a religion for patriarchy in a way that makes even the Catholic Church seem like the National Organization for Women.
3.15.2006 12:39pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
A few Islamic websites discuss feminism.

This one
is actually one of the relatively calm sites:
Feminism is an unnatural, artificial and abnormal product of contemporary social disintegration, which in turn is the inevitable result of the rejection of all trans­cendental, absolute moral and spiritual values. The student of anthropology and history can be certain of the abnormality of the Feminist movement because all human cultures that we know of throughout prehistorically and historic times make a definite clear-cut distinction between “masculinity” and “femininity” and pattern the social roles of men and women accordingly. The disintegration of the home and family, the loss of the authoritarian role of the father and sexual promiscuity have been directly responsible for the decline and fall of every nation which these evils become prevalent.

Some may argue that if this is so, why is Western civilization so extraordinarily vigorous and dynamic and despite its decadence and moral corruption, still unchallenged in its world-domination?
Here's a website at the University of Georgia that is just awash in PC terminology, and I'm sure Per Son will just love:
While it is generally agreed that the rights granted to women in the Qur'an and by the prophet Muhammad were a vast improvement in comparison to the situation of women in Arabia prior to the advent of Islam, after the Prophet's death the condition of women in Islam began to decline and revert back to pre-Islamic norms. Yet just as the women's movement in the West began to pick up steam in the twentieth century, the same thing occured, although to a lesser extent, in the Muslim world at this time. Feminists in the Muslim world in the twentieth century (until the 1980's) were generally upper class women whose feminism was modeled after feminists in the West. But just as modern socio-political models in the Muslim world after the colonial period began, in the 20th century, to shift from Western models of society and government to "Islamic" models, feminism in the Muslim world began to take on Islamic forms rather than aping the Western feminist form. This has been true not merely for Muslim women but for women throughout the entire third world. Having thrown off the schackles of colonial imperialism, women of the third world are increasingly growing resistant to the cultural imperialism marketed by the West, even in the form of feminism. Hence, third world women, like women of color in the West, are realizing that while they have certain things in common with the struggle of Euro-American feminists, what is best for Euro-American women is not necessarily going to be best for them. Consequently Muslim women have been developing a distinctly "Islamic" feminism, just as women of color in the West have been developing "womanism" in contrast to feminism, which primarily was shaped by the concerns of upper-class Euro-American women. One example of the differences between Western feminism and Islamic feminism concerns the issue of "veiling." The hijab (often translated as "veil") is the form of scarf or hair covering commonly worn by Muslim women. It has always been seen by the Western feminist as oppressive and as a symbol of a Muslim woman's subservience to men. As a result, it often comes as a surprise to Western feminists that the veil has become increasingly common in the Muslim world and is often worn proudly by college girls as a symbol of an Islamic identity, freeing them symbolically from neo-colonial Western cultural imperialism and domination.
3.15.2006 1:02pm
Walk It (mail):

"I understand that clitordectomy is a cultural artifact not a religious one. "

What about circumcision -- surgically altering the male genitals by slicing off the foreskin? And sucking the blood out of the boy by mouth?

I'm always wary of men who are acting just "to protect women." What's in it for them?
3.15.2006 1:16pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

"I understand that clitordectomy is a cultural artifact not a religious one. "

What about circumcision -- surgically altering the male genitals by slicing off the foreskin? And sucking the blood out of the boy by mouth?
In case you haven't noticed, one procedure doesn't preclude enjoying sex. The other does.

When my son was born, this question came up. The pediatrician indicated that there was some evidence suggesting that circumcision might provide some slight advantage in preventing infections in tropical climates. It was not a clear advantage, but there was little argument against it.

Clitordectomy, on the other hand, has very clear medical evidence against it. A friend teaches in Boise schools--and the severe infection and cramping problems associated with clitordectomy (remember, we have a large Muslim immigrant population now) puts the girls at an enormous disadvantage.

I am aware that some Jews still engage in the circumcision practices you mention. I suspect this is pretty exceptional.


I'm always wary of men who are acting just "to protect women." What's in it for them?
Concern for their wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers?
3.15.2006 1:41pm
Per Son:
Clayton:

Clitorectomy is somewhat common among Saharan and Subsaharan Christians, Muslims, and Animists.
3.15.2006 2:21pm
Nony Mouse:
I understand that, at least among Christian groups, there have been all kinds of projects to put a stop to female genital mulitlation. Is there something similar in other groups of which I was not aware?
3.15.2006 3:03pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Clayton:

Clitorectomy is somewhat common among Saharan and Subsaharan Christians, Muslims, and Animists.
There's a map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_Circumcision showing geographic distribution, and yes, you will find this practice among non-Muslim populations. But look at that map--and do you notice anything interesting aobut where this practice is most widespread? Yup! By far the highest concentrations are in the Muslim areas.
3.15.2006 3:25pm
Cornellian (mail):
In case you haven't noticed, one procedure doesn't preclude enjoying sex. The other does.

Actually male circumcision greatly impairs the sensitivity of the male genitalia. I am at a loss to explain the persistence in the United States of what is nothing more or less than male genital mutilation. What body part could you cut off a newborn girl without incurring criminal prosecution? What other body part could you cut off a newborn boy without incurring criminal prosecution? Would you have a defense on esthetic grounds? On the argument that he didn't really need his appendix anyway?
3.15.2006 3:48pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Mr. Cramer provides a somewhat useful discussion of some Islamic attitudes toward women. He notes that Lepine had a Muslim father, perhaps even a proto-Islamist father. He then proceeds to connect the dots linking Lepine's murder of women to Islam.

There are a lot of dots missing, however, that are necessary to draw a connecting line, not just a few data points.

We know--from the links in earlier comments--that Lepine's father was brutally violent toward his wife and children.

This is not unknown among some Muslims, particularly the "traditionalists" and those following the Taleban/Deobandi school of Islam. But it was also true of my Roman Catholic, French-Canadian grandfather.

We know that Lepine held great animus toward women, particularly "feminists". It is suggested that he held feminists largely responsible for his academic failures and saw women in the engineering school as manifestations of feminism. He also listed a number of noted feminists he wished to kill.

We know that Lepine's sister died of a drug overdose, possibly a suicide and possibly due to her father's abuse,

We know that Lepine was seen by family and acquaintences as anti-social, and that a post-massacre pyschiatric assessment of him, which did not find him to be "psychotic," did believe he was overcompensating for a "feeling of powerlessness and incompetence".

What we don't know is:

· Was Lepine raised a Muslim?
· Was Lepine a practicing Muslim?
· Did Lepine profess Islamic justification for his view or acts? (His "suicide note" carries no Islamic discourse.)
· Were he an Islamist, would he have shaved his beard before committing the massacre?
· Was his father strongly Muslim?
· Were Islamic--or even traditional Mediterranean--views about women's "place" in society inculcated in Lepine?
· Were Lepine's acts motivated by what he saw as a direct relationship between women's success and his own failure to matriculate at the polytechnic?
· Does the fact that Lepine also shot (but only wounded) four men have any bearing to this discussion?

Seems there are a lot of dots that need to be discovered before we make his acts an early manifestation of Islam gone amuck.
3.15.2006 4:45pm
Walk It (mail):
I agree with Cornellian about the sexual pleasure part and the overpractice of circumcision among non-Jews. Hygiene is easy in the 21st century.

Cramer answered the question: "I'm always wary of men who are acting just "to protect women. What's in it for them?" Concern for their wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers?

I don't buy it. Your wife, daughter, sister and mother is not at risk for clitorectomy from a knife wielding muslim. You know it and I know it.
3.15.2006 4:48pm
Walk It (mail):
"Seems there are a lot of dots that need to be discovered before we make his acts an early manifestation of Islam gone amuck."

Haven't you guessed it yet?
It's not about connecting dots and using reason and logic. It's about winning against the monster muslims.
(do I have to draw you a cartoon or something?)
3.15.2006 4:51pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Per Son:

Immigrated to Canada = is that bad?

Perhaps an indicator of poor judgement. :)
3.15.2006 4:56pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Mr. Cramer provides a somewhat useful discussion of some Islamic attitudes toward women. He notes that Lepine had a Muslim father, perhaps even a proto-Islamist father. He then proceeds to connect the dots linking Lepine's murder of women to Islam.

There are a lot of dots missing, however, that are necessary to draw a connecting line, not just a few data points.
Pretty obviously, Lepine's problems were a bit larger than just having an Islamic father. I don't think anyone claimed otherwise. Anyone that looks for a single explanation for a complex social problem is usually a fanatic.

Walk It, proceeding to defend clitorectomy:

Cramer answered the question: "I'm always wary of men who are acting just "to protect women. What's in it for them?" Concern for their wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers?

I don't buy it. Your wife, daughter, sister and mother is not at risk for clitorectomy from a knife wielding muslim. You know it and I know it.
This may be a surprise to you, but the notion that children are slaves to their parents is contrary to our laws. There are a quite a few areas where governments step in and protect children from abuse. This is no different.

Corneillan writes:


Actually male circumcision greatly impairs the sensitivity of the male genitalia.
Uh, how do you know? Most men don't remember what it was like before hand.


I am at a loss to explain the persistence in the United States of what is nothing more or less than male genital mutilation.
It has become far more common in the 20th century. I understand that as late as the 1920s, it was rare for Gentile males in the U.S. to be circumcised. Perhaps you can blame it (along with 9/11, the state of the Middle East, global warming, and everything you don't like) on JEWS!

For the most part, parents are taking the advice of their pediatricians on this. We certainly did. Maybe they are are all in on the conspiracy!
3.15.2006 5:29pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Walk It writes:


Haven't you guessed it yet?
It's not about connecting dots and using reason and logic. It's about winning against the monster muslims.
(do I have to draw you a cartoon or something?)
In case you haven't noticed, we are at war with a faction (small, but very dangerous) of Islam that insists on:

1. Capital punishment for homosexuals.

2. Suppression of differing religions.

3. Death for Muslims who leave the faith.

4. Death for those who draw images of Mohammed.

5. Bans on education for girls.

Now, most Muslims don't share these views (although many are remarkably silent in opposition). It may make you feel like a good liberal to assert that Islam is no different from any other religion--but this is simply NOT true. Throughout the world, most of the wars that are being fought involve Islamic extremists on one side--and just about every other culture or religion on the other.
3.15.2006 5:35pm
Anon_Anon_Anon:
"Actually male circumcision greatly impairs the sensitivity of the male genitalia."

If that's true, I can only say that I'm glad I'm circumcised.
3.15.2006 5:39pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

"Actually male circumcision greatly impairs the sensitivity of the male genitalia."

If that's true, I can only say that I'm glad I'm circumcised.
Yeah, I have to use a 16 ounce hammer, swung very hard, before I can get those nerve endings to respond. :-)

I think it may say more about the sexual confusion of the original poster of that claim than anything else.
3.15.2006 6:41pm
Barry P. (mail):
I am surprised that this has not been mentioned:

Lepine wanted to get into engineering school. He was not able to, presumably because of a lack of academic qualifications. He saw the women in engineering schools as the reason why he was not able to get in. In contrast, most of us in engineering faculties liked the presence of women in the classroom - they were a far better source of help on homework :-)

As an aside, the Montreal Massacre resulted in a wave of PC policies at engineering schools across Canada. I began my engineering education at Alberta in 88, before the event, and ended it in 93; the school was a very changed place over that interval.
3.16.2006 5:15am
Walk It (mail):
Cramer says: In case you haven't noticed, we are at war with a faction (small, but very dangerous) of Islam that insists on:
1. Capital punishment for homosexuals.
2. Suppression of differing religions.
3. Death for Muslims who leave the faith.
4. Death for those who draw images of Mohammed.
5. Bans on education for girls.


Clayton, that's great that you have concerns for others outside your own interests. Unfortunately, you need to look at the numbers. America can no longer afford to be "foster parents" to the world's children. We have to prioritize our concerns, or organize and work privately to combat such evils. Many times, government military intervention is not the most effective or efficient solution. Preventing immediate deaths of innocents (Sudan, Palestine) should take priority over pushing other countries to educate girls, in my opinion, and I am a woman, an educated woman at that.

"I think it may say more about the sexual confusion of the original poster of that claim than anything else." Cheap shot buster. Read up a bit. Lots of nerve endings in the penis head; leaving the foreskin intact vs. cutting it off does have different implications for sexual pleasure. Talk to your friends, if you haven't been around or with both types. My point is: some people might say our practices our inhumane too. I say, let the families/societies decide or better yet, work privately if you must to change opinions if you really do care so much. I still believe you have seized on issues like this to demonize muslims, rather than any true concern for individuals' lives. If that were it, where is the humanitarian outpouring for the Sudanese or Palestinians? Butter, not guns.
3.16.2006 6:47am
Cornellian (mail):
"Actually male circumcision greatly impairs the sensitivity of the male genitalia." If that's true, I can only say that I'm glad I'm circumcised. Yeah, I have to use a 16 ounce hammer, swung very hard, before I can get those nerve endings to respond. :-) I think it may say more about the sexual confusion of the original poster of that claim than anything else.

As another poster suggests, read up on it. Circumcision destroys something like a third of all the nerve endings in the male genitalia. You don't think that has any effect? Certainly the equipment still functions, but then so does female equipment after female circumcision.

I used to wonder why female circumcision had so little opposition in the countries where it was practiced, particularly from women. I think part of the answer is that it's simply so widespread people just assume there couldn't be anything terribly wrong with it. You see a similar effect over here with male circumcision. People just assume it must be ok because it's a widespread practice, without even inquiring why it's a widespread practice here but not in Europe, let alone its actual effects or lack of justification.
3.16.2006 8:13am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Walk It:


Cramer says: In case you haven't noticed, we are at war with a faction (small, but very dangerous) of Islam that insists on:
1. Capital punishment for homosexuals.
2. Suppression of differing religions.
3. Death for Muslims who leave the faith.
4. Death for those who draw images of Mohammed.
5. Bans on education for girls.


Clayton, that's great that you have concerns for others outside your own interests. Unfortunately, you need to look at the numbers. America can no longer afford to be "foster parents" to the world's children. We have to prioritize our concerns, or organize and work privately to combat such evils. Many times, government military intervention is not the most effective or efficient solution. Preventing immediate deaths of innocents (Sudan, Palestine) should take priority over pushing other countries to educate girls, in my opinion, and I am a woman, an educated woman at that.
And what relevance does this have to the subject originally under discussion--Lepine's Islamic hatred of women?
3.16.2006 11:02am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Whoa! We just made that leap into conclusions without adequate dot-linkage!

My point was that while there may be a suggestion of Islamist attitude in Lepine's acts, that was far from being demonstrated, even at the most basic level.

On the basis of the data available, my French-Canadian, Roman Catholic grandfather should be suspected of hidden Islamist intent. Taqiyya, I guess... Who knew?
3.16.2006 12:20pm
Abandon:
Barry P. brought in the key to the matter. Lépine's frustration towards rejection is notorious: not only was he an average-poor student and his application rejected by the Polytechnique, but he also suffered from being rejected by his female peers. His antisocial behaviour seems to have been the source of most his problems, love, let alone friendship, seemed impossible for him to reach. His madness would have been triggered by a movie (on a school shootout) he saw on tv shortly before the events.

One must also understand the 1980's Quebec and, more precisely, the "liberalized" urban Montreal Lépine lived in. Although John Burgess justly mentioned the Catholic French Canadian's antifeminism, the conservative and machoist male domination had not been the norm for a while. The Quiet Revolution, and its sexual liberalization, occurred in the 60's and feminism aggressively took over Quebec's society in the 70's and 80's.

This can be viewed through a short look at Quebec's popular culture: most, if not all, of the television serials (or soap operas) in the 80's depicted women as strongly emancipated. In opposition, the male characters were either portrayed as feeble and lazy or as dominant predators. French Canadians as myself will remember Peau de Banane, Chop Suey, Les Dames de Coeur and movies such as Cruising Bar or Le Déclin de l'Empire Américain (the two greatest movie classics for this decade) as examples. The only exceptions I can think of are the epoch serials (Entre Chien et Loup, Le Temps d'Une Paix, etc.), for which action took place in past decades...

The first Canadian regulations on salarial equity and many other feminist national policies, such as the case for abortion, originated from Quebec in the 80's. Most young adults who now have both their father and mother's name as family name (e.g. Gagnon-Tremblay, Godin-Riendeau, etc.) were in fact born in the 80's.

Outsiders may not clearly understand the meaning of the 70's, 80's and 90's feminism in Quebec, but it bears consequences many men still have problems to cope with until now. Had Marc Lépine been misogynist, I can easily understand he would have felt discumforted to see a traditionally male environment (Polytechnique) being 'invaded' by feminists. All accounts state he was a misogynist. There was no 'macho' last stand for him to be in...

Although we can not conclude Islam had no influence at all on his decision to go on with the massacre, other parameters such as those mentioned above should be taken in greater consideration, in my humble opinion, to explain Lépine's madness. I clearly remember, from a French Canadian documentary on the massacre, Lépine's friends, neighbors and relatives stating he was considered an atheist. Had he not a muslim background and education? That, I can't tell. Neither do I know if his Catholic mother had converted to Islam. Is it really that important? Every Dec. 6th since then, in Quebec, is dedicated to fight violence on women. Every single year. Not once have I heard that dec. 6th should be commemorated as a muslim-watch day...
3.16.2006 2:20pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Tying this into Randy's Big Love post: I find it quite interesting that so many Mormons, and others, are so strident in proclaiming that the Henrickson's ARE NOT MORMONS! Well, that is as absurd as a claim that all non-Catholics are not Christians. The fact is, they are Mormons - a splinter sect, to be sure, but still Mormons.

In the same vein, many here are steadfast in their position that Lepine's misogyny was not principally rooted in popular Islamic teaching (which, incidentally, includes polygamy), despite the abundance of evidence that it was. In fact, total emancipation of women is such a rare attitude in the Islamic world, that one might safely claim that those Muslims who feel that way are a splinter sect.
3.16.2006 2:36pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

My point was that while there may be a suggestion of Islamist attitude in Lepine's acts, that was far from being demonstrated, even at the most basic level.

On the basis of the data available, my French-Canadian, Roman Catholic grandfather should be suspected of hidden Islamist intent. Taqiyya, I guess... Who knew?
so, you grandfather went around murdering women while giving diatribes against feminism?

To suggest that Lepine's acts were driven by Islam, and that alone, would be absurd--and no one has made any such claim. But to argue that someone whose father grew up in a culture that is fiercely hostile to even 1950s American notions of women's rights, and one might guess would have passed some of those values to his son--could not possibly have been influenced by Islamic values to those acts--that's really bizarre.

If your father, raised by your Catholic grandfather, ended up bombing an abortion clinic, would it be considered bizarre or unreasonable to wonder if there might have been a connection there?
3.16.2006 5:56pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Big Bill:

All religious are not equal. Some are evil. Which ones are evil?

Perhaps all of them are.
3.17.2006 11:05am