About the causes of the unrest in France
(important passages emphasized by me)
Wake up, Europe, you've a war on your hands
November 6, 2005
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
Ever since 9/11, I've been gloomily predicting the European powder keg's about to go up. ''By 2010 we'll be watching burning buildings, street riots and assassinations on the news every night,'' I wrote in Canada's Western Standard back in February.
Silly me. The Eurabian civil war appears to have started some years ahead of my optimistic schedule. As Thursday's edition of the Guardian reported in London: ''French youths fired at police and burned over 300 cars last night as towns around Paris experienced their worst night of violence in a week of urban unrest.''
''French youths,'' huh? You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the "youths" are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn't take much time in les banlieus of Paris to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as ''French'': They're young men from North Africa growing ever more estranged from the broader community with each passing year and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity more implacable than anything you're likely to find in the Middle East. After four somnolent years, it turns out finally that there really is an explosive ''Arab street,'' but it's in Clichy-sous-Bois.
The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up trans-Atlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America's Europhiles, France's Arab street correctly identified Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.
The French have been here before, of course. Seven-thirty-two. Not 7:32 Paris time, which is when the nightly Citroen-torching begins, but 732 A.D. -- as in one and a third millennia ago. By then, the Muslims had advanced a thousand miles north of Gibraltar to control Spain and southern France up to the banks of the Loire. In October 732, the Moorish general Abd al-Rahman and his Muslim army were not exactly at the gates of Paris, but they were within 200 miles, just south of the great Frankish shrine of St. Martin of Tours. Somewhere on the road between Poitiers and Tours, they met a Frankish force and, unlike other Christian armies in Europe, this one held its ground ''like a wall . . . a firm glacial mass,'' as the Chronicle of Isidore puts it. A week later, Abd al-Rahman was dead, the Muslims were heading south, and the French general, Charles, had earned himself the surname ''Martel'' -- or ''the Hammer.''
Poitiers was the high-water point of the Muslim tide in western Europe. It was an opportunistic raid by the Moors, but if they'd won, they'd have found it hard to resist pushing on to Paris, to the Rhine and beyond. ''Perhaps,'' wrote Edward Gibbon in The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, ''the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.'' There would be no Christian Europe. The Anglo-Celts who settled North America would have been Muslim. Poitiers, said Gibbon, was ''an encounter which would change the history of the whole world.''
Battles are very straightforward: Side A wins, Side B loses. But the French government is way beyond anything so clarifying. Today, a fearless Muslim advance has penetrated far deeper into Europe than Abd al-Rahman. They're in Brussels, where Belgian police officers are advised not to be seen drinking coffee in public during Ramadan, and in Malmo, where Swedish ambulance drivers will not go without police escort. It's way too late to rerun the Battle of Poitiers. In the no-go suburbs, even before these current riots, 9,000 police cars had been stoned by ''French youths'' since the beginning of the year; some three dozen cars are set alight even on a quiet night. ''There's a civil war under way in Clichy-sous-Bois at the moment,'' said Michel Thooris of the gendarmes' trade union Action Police CFTC. ''We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting.''
What to do? In Paris, while ''youths'' fired on the gendarmerie, burned down a gym and disrupted commuter trains, the French Cabinet split in two, as the ''minister for social cohesion'' (a Cabinet position I hope America never requires) and other colleagues distance themselves from the interior minister, the tough-talking Nicolas Sarkozy who dismissed the rioters as ''scum.'' President Chirac seems to have come down on the side of those who feel the scum's grievances need to be addressed. He called for ''a spirit of dialogue and respect.'' As is the way with the political class, they seem to see the riots as an excellent opportunity to scuttle Sarkozy's presidential ambitions rather than as a call to save the Republic.
A few years back I was criticized for a throwaway observation to the effect that ''I find it easier to be optimistic about the futures of Iraq and Pakistan than, say, Holland or Denmark." But this is why. In defiance of traditional immigration patterns, these young men are less assimilated than their grandparents. French cynics like the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, have spent the last two years scoffing at the Bush Doctrine: Why, everyone knows Islam and democracy are incompatible. If so, that's less a problem for Iraq or Afghanistan than for France and Belgium.
If Chirac isn't exactly Charles Martel, the rioters aren't doing a bad impression of the Muslim armies of 13 centuries ago: They're seizing their opportunities, testing their foe, probing his weak spots. If burning the 'burbs gets you more ''respect'' from Chirac, they'll burn 'em again, and again. In the current issue of City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple concludes a piece on British suicide bombers with this grim summation of the new Europe: ''The sweet dream of universal cultural compatibility has been replaced by the nightmare of permanent conflict.'' Which sounds an awful lot like a new Dark Ages.
I wonder, is this what happens when you fail to force immigrants to assimilate? Do we need to integrate - even those you resist it - in order to keep social cohesion? Have the conditions deteriorated to this degree because there was no integration - out of a notion of tolerance?
I had a post in my Blog a few days ago about the French Riots. I really like the Author's analysis. I think I will use this article in today's post.
another excellent article about the same topic:
Friday, November 04, 2005
Intifada in France
The northern industrial suburbs of Paris suffered the worst of eight consecutive nights of rioting on November 3-4. Disorder has now spread to dozens of provincial towns, including Dijon, the first city outside Ile-de-France (the metropolitan region) to be affected by unrest. Hundreds of cars, as well as schools, stores, and warehouses have been torched or ransacked. A disabled French woman, unable to escape from a bus set alight by the rioters in Sevran (Dept. Seine-Saint-Denis), was badly burned. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy noted “a great coordination” among rioters, hinting that the unrest was far from spontaneous.
The rioters are mainly young, French-born North African males. Last week in the Parisian banlieu of Clichy-sous-Bois—a concrete and steel high-rise monstrosity that is now over 80 percent Muslim—they rose in anger when two teenagers were accidentally electrocuted while hiding from the police in a fenced-off area housing a high-voltage pylon. Shouting “Allahu akbar!” groups of youths armed with clubs and sticks went on a rampage forcing the regular police to retreat. When the riot police came in force to reclaim the area, the protests became focused on the demand that the French police get out of the “occupied territories.” The trouble would be ended, various Muslim “community leaders” claimed, if the French authorities accepted that there were de facto no-go areas within the country which should be self-administered. “All we demand is to be left alone,” said Mouloud Dahmani, one of the local “emirs” engaged in negotiations to persuade the French to withdraw the police and allow a committee of sheiks, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate an end to the hostilities.
The demand is not new and it will be made with increasing frequency in the years to come. Many Muslims in France and elsewhere in Europe already consider themselves de facto autonomous, a community justifiably opposed to the broader society of infidels and centered on mosques and Islamic centers. The emergence of a huge diaspora of the faithful away from the heartland is seen by pious Muslims as an event archetypically linked to conquest. The demand for the predominantly Muslim areas to be granted communal self-rule will inevitably lead to the clamoring for the sharia law in a segregated Muslim France.
Assimilation is no longer a viable option in France, the country that used to pride itself on its ability to turn foreigners into Frenchmen. That was possible with the Italians, Spaniards, Poles and Russians becauyse they were culturally assimilable and because they came in tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands even (e.g., the non-French Pieds-Noirs), but not in the millions. The Muslims now account for ten percent of France’s population and for more than one-fifth of all newborns. They live in compact communities in which it is no longer possible to buy wine in a local store or to see Amelie in a cinema. Their leaders regard their faith and culture as superior to that of the host society. Those who have doubts wisely keep quiet.
Young Muslim men direct particular violence against Muslim women who try to follow French ways. Many French-born Arab girls in the ghettos resort to wearing hijab as the only protection against face-slashings and gang rapes. Not having one makes a girl fair game for both. (A knife slash across the cheek from the lip to the ear is common, and known as a “smile.”) Samira Bellil, a third-generation woman of Algerian origin, has written a book about the hell of the suburban ghettos. She was was gang raped by three people she knew, but could not say anything because her family would be dishonored. She recalls the case of a girl who was raped in a school: “Of course, everybody knew, but they’re so afraid of these young men that they prefer to close their eyes. That’s the price of peace in the ghettos.”
This reality is light years away from the desire of Gilles Kepel, President Jacques Chirac’s advisor on Islamic affairs, to create “an Andalusia” of multi-denominational tolerance in France. As French commentator Yves Charles Zarka, director of Cités, has warned, even that price cannot maintain the semblance of peace for long because the roots of “ideological Islamism” are deep and enduring among the young rioters. France is experiencing “a central phase of the more general and mutually conflicting encounter between the West and Islam, which only someone completely blind or of radical bad faith, or possibly of disconcerting naiveté, could fail to recognize.” Outside the ghettos the price of a wider societal “peace” is a complex web of lies and half-truths by which the elite class has sought to conceal the truth about what it has done to the French nation.
The real cause of the French intifada is the enormous growth, dysfunctionality, and arrogant self-confidence of the Muslim immigrant community within France, coupled with the cultural enfeeblement and demographic decline of the French nation. The mix is dangerous. Its result has been stated with haughty arrogance by Tariq Ramadan, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and a grandson of Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ramadan proposes through his teachings and writings that Muslims in the West should conduct themselves not as hyphenated citizens seeking to live by “common values” but as though they were already living in a Muslim-majority society and were exempt on that account from having to make concessions to the faith of others. Muslims in non-Muslim countries should feel themselves entitled to live on their own terms—while, under the terms of Western liberal tolerance, society as a whole should feel obliged to respect that choice.
That “liberal tolerance” and the accompanying “societal obligation,” is the true enemy. “No other race subscribes to these moral principles… because they are weapons of self-annihilation.” They need to be understood for what they are, and discarded, if France is to survive.
see also http://www.watchblog.com/republicans...es/002896.html
for a just slightly different explanation, that still centers around self-rule of the not-assimilated:
One of the more nuanced conservative criticisms of communism was that it misunderstood human nature, by reducing all human differences to economics. The Soviet system would end social conflict, we were told, by abolishing private property and attending to man’s material needs. Not only did the Soviet system fail in large measure to keep up with the West materially, but this spiritually impoverished view failed to account for the religious, tribal, ethnic, and linguistic identities of the various subject peoples within and without the Soviet Union who chafed under its authoritarianism and requirements of uniformity.
Similarly, pro-capitalist westerners are wrong to believe that all people everywhere are the same, and that they only need to be free, economically active, and wealthy in order to flourish. People everywhere also want to be subject to self-rule by members of their community. This was the major engine of the decolonialization drive in the 20th Century. This is driving now the anti-globalization movement, which feeds off of perceptions that foreigners are influencing the economic destinies of the third world. The anomoly of France is that immigrants are revolting against an unavoidable condition of being immigrants: rule by Frenchmen. French hospitality has been perceived as weakness and decadence. Arab and Muslim leaders in France want their own schools, their own modes of dress, their own language. In other words, they want to live in France but not be "of France."
well maybe during the first night there was a so called "political cause", but know its more " Trittbrettfahrer" ( sorry I really dont know the english Term for that). For this people its more about violence and destraction for their own entertainment....
I think you mean "copycat" (crimes)... ?
France suspends 8 police officers for beating youth
PARIS, Nov 10 (Reuters) - France has suspended eight police officers after two of them beat a young man they had detained during rioting in a suburb north of Paris and the other six looked on, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.
A police inquiry showed the beating took place on Monday in Seine-Saint-Denis, the area north of Paris where the accidental electrocution of two youths apparently fleeing police triggered the unrest, the ministry said in a statement.
The youth beaten by police had been detained "in the context of the recent urban violence". He suffered superficial injuries to the forehead and foot, the ministry said.
President Jacques Chirac called earlier on Thursday for a swift response to problems faced by residents of riot-torn suburbs, many of whom are of North African and African origin.
But a police chief said he feared the rioters were planning violent protests in central Paris. Many youngsters in the Paris suburbs say heavy-handed police tactics provoke violence, although Chirac has praised the police handling of the unrest.
Chirac has vowed to restore public order and his conservative government has imposed rarely used emergency laws so that riot-torn areas can be placed under curfew.
The violence in urban areas has eased following the adoption of the emergency powers aimed at halting the two weeks' of unrest over racism, poverty and unemployment.
This guy is a dope. After all the heartbreak and insults he's hurled across the Ocean, he sitting on a ticking Muslim Extremist Time Bomb. I guess what goes around... comes around. I am suprised the French haven't yet surrendured to the Rioters. Seems their police are putting up more of a fight than their whole army did in WWII. And the cops are actually BEATING people? Wow, I'm impressed. I was always under the impression that the only beatings in France were the ones that the military would get on a regular basis.
TOULOUSE, France (CNN) -- Violence in France appeared to be on the decline as officials toughened their stance against rioters and threatened to deport any foreigners convicted of involvement.
Vehicle torchings continued overnight as the unrest stretched into a 14th night. But the number of arson attacks dropped again, with 482 vehicles burned compared with 617 the night before, police said.
The reduction "is an encouraging sign that does not, however, diminish the police effort," The Associated Press quoted national police spokesman Patrick Hamon as saying.
The number of vehicles destroyed has fallen each night since Sunday's high of 1,408.
Police held 203 people overnight, and one police officer was injured, Hamon told AP. More than 2,000 people have been detained since the violence broke out.
Vandals set several cars on fire in Toulouse, including one they pushed into a school courtyard, setting the facility on fire.
Another school was torched in the eastern city of Belfort, and vandalism at power stations in Lyon, France's second-largest city, caused blackouts. The night before, Lyon's subway system was shut down after a petrol bomb was thrown in a train station, French media reported.
A 12-day state of emergency went into effect Wednesday, giving local officials in Paris, its suburbs and more than 30 other cities and towns across the country the power to impose curfews.
By Wednesday evening, only a few areas had imposed them, including the Riviera resorts of Cannes and Nice, AP reported.
The unrest broke out following the October 27 deaths of two young men of North African descent, who were electrocuted when they hid from police in an electricity sub-station in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.
During a discussion Wednesday in the National Assembly, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said he had told local officials that they could deport 120 foreigners who had been arrested and convicted in connection with the rioting.
Sarkozy previously inflamed passions by referring to suburban troublemakers as "scum."
In Toulouse, one policeman ruefully noted that the streets were bare Wednesday night because the French national soccer team was playing a match against Ivory Coast.
He noted that most of the rioters are teenagers -- many of them French-born descendants of Muslim North African immigrants -- and that their desire to watch football rather than riot was a demonstration of their lack of political sophistication.
On Thursday, President Jacques Chirac said "restoring public order and respect of the law" was still his priority, but he acknowledged the problems in the suburbs where rioting began.
"There is an undeniable problem faced by many residents of underprivileged neighborhoods around our cities," AP quoted him as saying.
"No matter our origins, we are all children of the Republic, and we can claim the same rights, while accepting the same duties. Everyone has a right to respect and to equal opportunities," he said.
Chirac also pointed the finger at parents, saying "too many minors" have taken part in the violence, some of them "pushed to the fore by their elders," AP reported.
De Villepin reacts
On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced a sweeping package of reforms aimed at stopping the violence, as well as treating the social ills it stems from.
De Villepin said the rioting was the result of France's failure to provide hope to thousands of youths, most French citizens and the children of Muslim immigrants from northern Africa. (Full story)
In addition, de Villepin said the government would take a firm hand in stopping the rioting, which has spread to more than 200 French towns and cities.
De Villepin said 9,500 police, including reserves, had been called up to deal with the unrest. Of the 1,500 people arrested, 600 have been placed in temporary detention and 100 have been jailed, he said.
Some of the rioting had been organized through Internet blogs that have now been shut down, de Villepin said. (Full story)
More is being done to strengthen the intelligence-gathering capability of French authorities.
In order for French society to provide the same changes and opportunities to all its citizens, said de Villepin, 30 billion euros ($35.28 billion) will be spent in France's riot zones, with the focus primarily on helping young people.
The French employment agency will focus on 239 hot zones, he said, to help provide jobs for 1.5 million people.
Although France's national unemployment rate is about 10 percent, in areas hit by rioting the level is nearer 40 percent.
France has no affirmative action; an official French study found that youths with Arab-sounding names have their job applications rejected up to five times as often as those with traditional French names.
There were fears the unrest could take hold elsewhere in Europe. Cars have been torched in Brussels, and police said they were investigating if they were copycat attacks. (Full story)
The spreading violence has shocked national leaders and community residents into action, with mediators and religious leaders talking to the youths in an effort to stop the violence.
French Muslim groups also issued a fatwa against the violence, Reuters reported. (Full story)
The Union of French Islamic Organizations condemned the disorder and destruction the riots had caused.
Australia, Austria, Britain, Germany and Hungary advised their citizens to exercise care in France, joining the United States and Russia in warning tourists to stay away from violence-hit areas.
After all the abuse that President Bush got in the International Media because of civil unrest and lawlessness in the aftermath of Katrina...
Can't we abuse this guy (Chirac) even a LITTLE?
C'mon...fair is fair!
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