Zidane is not a son of a Harki

What did you say?Harki is Algerian for collaborator. Zenedine Zindane has publically refutted the accusation before.
“Zizou” Zidane could not even speak the word on TV when asked what taunt had provoked his now infamous headbutt in the last ten minutes of the World Cup. He would only say that Materazzi had insulted his mother and sister, three times.

The western press has suggested that the term was “terrorist” whore. Doesn’t make sense, does it? What kind of traction do your mother’s combat boots have anymore? Zidane is the son of Algerian parents who emigrated to France after Algeria gained its independence.

But there’s a word in France that still burns every Frenchman. Collaborator. Use your imagination what it means to insinuate that your mother and sisters were collaborators.

While it still raises a Frenchman’s blood pressure to accuse his family of having collaborated with the Nazi occupation. There is sympathy as well for those accused. Quite a few French families did collaborate or had no choice.

The term that Zidane refuses to repeat, even in defending his action, was in his words, “a grave insult.” His parents speculated that the term might have been Harki. (If you Google: algeria +grave +insult, you get Wikidedia’s definition of Harki.) Harki is the name for Algerians who collaborated with the French against Algeria’s fight for independence. It is a term with which Zidane has a history.

Boy oh boy do I imagine the western press does not like to deal with insults being thrown at colonial sympathizers. At a time when the Iraqi people are trying to fight their American invaders, and Palestinians are trying to throw off their Israeli occupiers, and each repressive government is trying to recruit turncoats for their cause. There on television we’re shown the profund visceral resentment of being accused of betraying your own people.

At the World Cup Final on TV we saw that a person could forego the unblemished legacy of his sports career, even jeopardize the World Cup match for his team, just to repudiate the suggestion that his family slept with the enemy. The enemy being the West.

Ironically, the western press chose to translate Harki as “terrorist.” It wouldn’t seem to be much of an insult at all, unless it accurately referred to the French paratroupers use of state-sponsored terror to thwart the Algerian struggle.

Just as Iraqi resistance fighters are being called insurgents and terrorists. There will be a word to describe those Iraqis who collaborate with the brutal US occupation. Maybe that word will mean “terrorist” after all.

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