Collision of Islamic Fundamentalism
Rennes-le-Château Fantasies

Paul Smith

28 October 2017
Put online at: 6:40 PM GMT

Indeed, it is still mistakenly believed today in 2017 that the statue of the devil in Rennes-le-Château is called Asmodeus…a claim only dating from 1967, first made by Gérard de Sède

25 April 2017

AUDE. A young woman in a white veil attacks the stoup and altar of the church. In her car, parked nearby, a can of petrol and some electrical wires.

Rennes-le-Château: woman decapitates the statue of the devil inside the church

On Sunday morning around 9.00 am a young woman aged in her twenties, alone, and dressed in a black cloak [chador], turned up at the Tourism Office in Rennes-le-Château to ask about the opening hours of the church there. She said she wanted to visit it. The lady on duty in the Tourism Office told her the opening hours. The lady visitor then decided to have a coffee before going for a walk though the lanes of the village. Around 11.15 am she asked a restaurateur if she could wash her hands. A few minutes later she reappeared dressed in a long white cape with a veil on her head and a Venetian-style mask on her face. Needless to say, dressed like this the young woman did not pass unnoticed in the village where about 60 people live all the year round.

Even if this centre of historical mysteries is used to seeing strange visitors walking around in search of buried treasure, this was different, as one of the locals attests: “I rapidly came to the conclusion that this had nothing at all to do with the treasure of the Abbé Saunière.” In front of some startled tourists the young woman hid herself in the grotto named after the Blessed Virgin which is close to the church and made a long telephone call in Arabic before returning calmly to the church, where she took out an axe and started hitting at the famous stoup, which is supported by an image of Asmodeus. She decapitated the famous red devil, chopped off his arm and placed a copy of the Koran beside it, then slashed the bas-relief of the altar and made a hole in the head of Mary Magdalene right next to some dumbfounded visitors, who raised the alarm. The Mayor arrived on the scene, established how much damage had been caused, and called the gendarmerie.

Originally from Quillan?
Faced with this young woman, who was astonishingly calm given the circumstances, he asked her why she had done these things. She replied calmly, “Today it’s a Presidential Election day here, while in Syria the West is bombarding and killing children. You are all criminals! My husband is down there fighting in the ranks of Daech [Islamic State].” The gendarmes arrived quickly and arrested the young woman, who did not resist. A security zone was established around the village and a bomb-disposal unit arrived at the end of the afternoon. The gendarmes obviously feared some sort of sequel to this very unusual act of vandalism. They sealed off a large part of the vulnerable areas, especially the car-park where the woman’s car was parked, near the belvedere. They stripped the car down and found inside a Koran, a can of petrol and some electrical wires, but without a detonator. In her testimony, which she tirelessly repeated to whoever in the village was willing to listen to her, the young woman said she was from Quillan: “I have a Bac+3 [roughly equivalent to a BA or BSc], you understand? I work for a lawyer in Toulouse”, statements which for the time being are not verifiable. The Mayor, Alexandre Painco, still can’t believe it: “This woman was very determined, and what she did was premeditated. She chose this Election Day and this exact spot so that it would have a major media impact and so harm the image of the French Republic.” The testimonies of the shopkeepers who questioned the young woman about what they called “her crazy action in the church” are overwhelming. When they suggested that she “push off to Syria and fight” she replied without batting an eyelid that “the criminals of the West must be punished and that was only the beginning.” According to the Public Prosecutor’s office the suspect is not in custody but in hospital. Enquiries continue.

by F. P.

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