Libération (leftist daily) describes how a real tragedy is given broader meaning and symbolism. The risks of political recuperation or instrumentalisation by racists and extremists are highlighted. So this is not really about Ahmed himself, but more about how his death is being felt by his dear ones and understood or seen in society.
Ahmed Merabet, «French, police officer, Muslim»
Libération, Pierre Benetti, January 13, 2015
A few hours before the large demonstration in Paris, on the other side of the ring road, nearly 3 000 people paid tribute to one of the victims of January 7, police officer Ahmed Merabet, 42, who lived in the town.
Under applause, Ahmed's mother, a small, frail veiled woman, very tired, walks in and sits on a chair, surrounded by all the family. She is supported by her son Malek, who the day before had held a press conference in tears [when he said]:
"I appeal to all the racists, the Islamophobics and the anti-Semitics: do not confuse extremists and Muslims. [...] Stop the amalgam, stop starting wars, burning mosques and synagogues. Stop attacking people. It will not bring back our dead and it does not soothe our pain."[/i]
The President of the National Assembly, Claude Bartolone, [is present at the funeral and] welcomes "a prestigious name, exemplary," "a child of the Seine-Saint-Denis who became the very face of the Republic." [...] After the minute of silence, the group sings the Marseillaise and holds hands. There are probably as many tears here and contemplation as on the Place de la République [in the CH march], but more veiled women, more youth from the boroughs, more old immigrants.
After the speeches, the family concludes simply with: "Thank you. We ask you all to please remain calm."
A SYMBOL DESPITE HIMSELF
"French, policeman, Muslim: this is the best example, says Mohamed, who lived in Livry. I am 54 years old and this is the first time I participate in demonstrations." In a few minutes, Wednesday, January 7, this son of Algerians immigrants became a symbol despite himself. One of the many symbols for the history [or story] of January 7, the story of a Republic that saw her children kill and die.
And as the survivors of Charlie Hebdo, Ahmed's relatives are not in control of the "Je suis Ahmed" movement that followed his assassination. "It's not like the other victims, says Salem Haidoudi, deputy mayor of Livry-Gargan. They are still shocked to have seen their child die."