The riots in France

Too much is already out there on this topic so I’ll try to be be brief.

Nothing is more depressing than seeing those on the right jump for joy over the Muslim youths rioting in Paris. They’re thrilled because it confirms how dysfunctional and bad France is, and confirms that Muslims are animals. (For a fine example, head over to this monstrous site — a real “hate site,” and one linked to enthusiastically by InstaPuppy and Michelle Malkin.) It’s depressing because their joy is ill-founded and based on two lies: 1.) that this is part of a worldwide Islamofascist “intifada,” and 2.) that the rioting is due to France’s liberal, multicultural, Muslim-loving tendencies.

Actually, France takes a rather right-wing, Charles Johnsonesque approach to Muslims, isolating them from mainstream society, ghettoizing them and enforcing a unicultural policy.

The government has been embarrassed by its inability to quell the disturbances, which have called into question its unique integration model, which discourages recognizing ethnic, religious or cultural differences in favor of French unity. There is no affirmative action, for example, and religious symbols, like the Muslim veil, are banned in schools.

And returing to No. 1, this isn’t about Muslim terrorism. It’s about poor disaffected youth on the fringes of society, warehoused in project housing with no hope and no future. The rioting may be totally wrong and inexcusable, but at least see it for what it is. It is not a 911-like attack, but the result of many years of stigmatization and poverty. First try to understand it, then criticize it. Is that too much to ask?

LGF Watch offers an eloquent and cogent reminder of how stupid Charles and Michelle and their lemming followers are being as they decry Muslims and the French and declare it proof of the failings of liberalism.

Senior European affairs analyst Charles Johnson seems to believe that Islam, and nothing else, is the “root cause” of the gang violence that has been plaguing France for the past ten days. Does the worldwide Pajamas Media empire now include on-the-ground news gatherers in Aulnay-sois-Bois? That would account for his unflinching certainty that the car-burnings are an “intifada” whose ultimate aim is to force Brigitte Bardot into a burqa. Or something.

But as Oscar Wilde once remarked, the truth is rarely pure and never simple. Unlike Charles, I don’t claim to know why the rioters are rioting, or how to make them stop. But it’s clear that Islam is just one of several possible contributing factors, which include chronic unemployment (would Charles hire a well-qualified Muslim?); racism (the French loathe Muslim Arabs almost as much as the lizards do); inept policy decisions, such as the suspension of community policing last year; political wrangling between two monumental egos at the head of the French government (Messieurs de Villepin and Sarkozy); and the failure of the French model of “uniculturalism.”

Yes, “uniculturalism.” Contrary to the conventional wisdom among the so-called “politically incorrect” right-wing élite, France and other European countries do not practice “multiculturalism.” For decades, France’s official policy has been to deny the existence of racial and ethnic differences among its citizens. There are no hyphenated Frenchmen — at least not officially, but as we all know, Frenchmen whose skin is the wrong color, or whose parents were born in the wrong country, are likely to find themselves warehoused in high-rise ghettoes. Out of sight, out of mind, and out of work — because as there are officially no ethnic groups in France, there’s no such thing as affirmative action either.

And this is the model to which the enemies of “multiculturalism” aspire….

So the next time you see a headline that reads “Muslim Rioting,” keep in mind that “Unemployed Rioting” or “Youth Rioting” or even “Male Rioting” would all be equally accurate.

Oddly enough, Michelle Malkin — perhaps inadvertently — touched on this when she headlined the troubles as “Muslim Immigrant Gang Violence.” Gang violence is exactly what it is. And gang violence can be found pretty much everywhere. It’s not a uniquely French problem, or a uniquely European problem, and certainly not a uniquely Muslim problem (Belfast, anyone?).

As we wait to see what happens, all we can do is hope that the rioting will subside, that the epidemic of car-burnings will recede to its usual background level, and that the French government can find the political will to solve the problem of the banlieues once and for all. And not just because this would annoy the right-wing élite, which is already breathlessly anticipating the spread of the violence to other countries in Europe.

Just two words, LGF Watch: Thank you. It’s so heartbreaking to see Michelle and Mark Steyn and InstaPundit and others, who really should know better, exploit this and use it to encourage yet more racism and hatred, without ever asking for perspective, without ever wondering why it happened, without ever looking beyond what they want to believe, i.e., that the Muslims and the French are each monolithic groups of very bad people who deserve the very worst.

The Discussion: 50 Comments

Difficult topic. I don’t know enough about the Frech case, i.e. their integration politics, how extreme the racism there is (a German friend of Vietnam origin just spent a year in Paris and said rascism in Germany is worse) but I think you can’t blame all on the bad imgration policies but you have to blame some problems on the worldview of a conservative islam or in case, in particular the role of women in society.

In Germany we, for example, have the problem that a lot of male muslims from Turkey who want their bride to be a good muslim wife not corrupted from western society. So they go to their old community in Turkey to marry. The brides comming to Germany don’t speak German and never have the opportunity to learn it. There exist paralel societies in the bigger German cities were it is not necesarry to speak German to live your life at all. And because the mothers don’t speak German the language skills of their children are very bad too when they start going to school. That reduces their opportunity for a good education and thus a good job.

Other groups of immigrants, for example from SE-Asia, do much better. Here is an example from Britain: (

“The BBC peddles this sociological view consistently. In 1997, for example, it stated that Muslims “continue to face discrimination,” as witness the fact that they were three times as likely to be unemployed long-term as West Indians; and this has been its line ever since. If more Muslims than any other group possess no educational qualifications whatsoever, even though the hurdles for winning such qualifications have constantly fallen, it can only be because of discrimination—though a quarter of all medical students in Britain are now of Indian subcontinental descent. It can have nothing whatever to do with the widespread—and illegal—practice of refusing to allow girls to continue at school, which the press scarcely ever mentions, and which the educational authorities rarely if ever investigate. If youth unemployment among Muslims is two and a half times the rate among whites, it can be only because of discrimination—though youth unemployment among Hindus is actually lower than among whites (and this even though many young Hindus complain of being mistaken for Muslims). And so on and so on.”

There is a problem with integration politics in all of Europe but there also is the question why other immigrant groups do much better, despite the bad immigration policies and racism that still exists.

November 7, 2005 @ 3:59 am | Comment

I would really like to see some perspective.

Specifically, I would like to hear from someone with knowledge of the student anarchist riots in the 1960s and other civil unrest in France over the last 50 years. How much damage was done, etc. Instead of shouting jihad over some (admittedly) large-scale vandalism.

I am ignorant about recent French history but I seem to recall a past situation when deGaulle was president and he had to flee to Germany once over rumors of a military coup? This situation would seem minor compared to that (if my memory is correct).

I’d also like to see a comparison with the Watts riots for scale purposes.

Basically, although rioting is there, I find calls of jihad and civil war premature, to say the least.

November 7, 2005 @ 4:06 am | Comment

These riots and that of the students revolting in the 60es have nothing in common, I would say. The students were middle class kids thinking of themselves as an avanguard to lead a communist revolution. What we see now are angry underclass kids with no political program, venting their anger.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:10 am | Comment

I was less concerned about motives than scale.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:16 am | Comment


November 7, 2005 @ 5:49 am | Comment

as I noted yesterday, if France hadn’t been so arrogant and snooty towards the United States after the riots in Los Angeles back in the 1990’s, those of us on the right probrably wouldn’t be smurking so much at seeing the shoe on the other foot:

Back in the 1990s, the French
sneered at America for the Los Angeles riots. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 1992: “the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los Angeles riots could not happen here, mainly because France is a more humane, less racist place with a much stronger commitment to social welfare
President Mitterrand, the Washington Post reported in 1992, blamed the riots on the “conservative society” that Presidents Reagan and Bush
had created and said France is different because it “is the country
where the level of social protection is the highest in the

November 7, 2005 @ 5:56 am | Comment

@Shulan: Why?

Because just saying “the suburbs are burning” without a frame of reference makes it difficult to gage the seriousness of this, making it easier for pundits to declare this is the beginning of the Great Arab Conquest of France with no evidence.

November 7, 2005 @ 7:10 am | Comment

Glad to see some sanity. I was really struck by the vindictive nastiness of so many US bloggers. It is as if they have been waiting for some ‘proof’ of a global intifada and when these riots broke out they have wet themselves to make it so.
Only it aint so. These sort of riots break out worldwide regularly. An initial serious incident, poor communities alienated from the police, a lot of unemployed youth, stirring from politicians for their own ends. Then a lot of copycat action when the press reports the whole thing, overreation by politicos and the media – everyone stirs the pot.
It’s not as if France will collapse from a few isolated riots. We’ve had them here in the UK. We get them every few years. In a way, they are a natural way for the polity to let of steam and to remind the rulers that they can’t take the mob for granted. But these things don’t sustain.
Another couple of weeks and the blogger calling this as the end of France or a european intifada are going to look a bit stupid.
Hopefully, once that is done with, the French state will be forced to take a good look at the real causes of these incidents.

November 7, 2005 @ 7:23 am | Comment


Well the suburbs in France were burning for some time allready. From my point of view the serious issue are not the actuall riots -they will end- but the alienation of a huge part of the population. And this alienation will not stop when the riots are over. Here lies the problem.

November 7, 2005 @ 8:11 am | Comment

Earlier this year I remember reading some right-wing British pundits suggesting that our “multiculturalism” was “dangerous” (guess it’s that ruddy terrorist threat nonsense again) and that we should copy the French “uniculturalism” for a peaceful and harmonious society.

Somehow, I don’t think they’ll be suggesting that one again for a while.

November 7, 2005 @ 8:44 am | Comment

When the rioters start burning down Mosques and Islamic schools in France then I will beleive it has nothing to do with Muslims.

Furthermore, where are the vast Arab financial resources gained from oil when their “brethern” are emigrating to Europe. Why not emigrate to Saudi Arabia and other rich M.E. states?

I’ll tell you why. Because they all want Western Freedoms. Freedoms which are just now beginning to take root in Iraq.

November 7, 2005 @ 10:30 am | Comment

So much for the “European Social Model.” Wasn’t generous welfare supposed to prevent this sort of inequality-induced anger? (that is, if it IS based on inequality and isolation and not problems with failed assimilation of Muslims in Europe…)

November 7, 2005 @ 10:47 am | Comment

Tian Li, these aren’t immigrants, these people were born in France. And their parents or grandparents didn’t move for abstract notions of freedom, they moved for money.

November 7, 2005 @ 10:55 am | Comment

Good Lord! The conservative movement is in no way happy that the french people are suffering because of the muslim riots. We only take joy in the fact that at least France and hopefully the rest of the “peace through appeasement” crowd might get on board with the US before the fight becomes unwinnable.

And then I read your article which disputes “1.) that this is part of a worldwide Islamofascist “intifada,” and 2.) that the rioting is due to France’s liberal, multicultural, Muslim-loving tendencies.”

Your article fills me with sadness. I had no idea there were still westerners who thought we were not in WWIII. Have we lost the world to the muslim caliphate already? It looks like we have, if many more people share your view 🙁

November 7, 2005 @ 10:59 am | Comment

Someone just got killed in the riots.

Also, two churches have been attacked.

Zero mosques and counting.

Even though I know that this is in a large way motivated by poverty and alienation, to deny that the attackers identify themselves as Muslims is hopeless.

And youmakemesad, this is world war IV, not III. The Cold War was III.

November 7, 2005 @ 11:21 am | Comment

About half the rioters are thought to be Muslim. A lot are of African descent. Most are unemployed and economically marginalized. Many are in gangs.

So this has a lot to do with many things, but I think Muslim fundamentalism is down a ways on the list.

November 7, 2005 @ 11:27 am | Comment

It’s a good article, but fer god’s sake, while the Paris riots are hardly indicactive of a worldwide Islamofascist intifada-cum- “clash of civilizations” doomsday scenario, I wish the author of the article would’ve just called a spade a spade. It’s a frickin’ race riot. Likely there are many reasons for the riot, the most prominent of which are impoverishment and ostracization from French society, but to claim that “Unemployed Riot” or “Youth Riot” or whatever would be equally accurate descriptions is doing a serious case of (excuse the horrid pun) “whitewashing”. Obviously strong racial tensions come into play here.

November 7, 2005 @ 11:52 am | Comment

You know, I read Instapundit all the time, and I’ve never seen him link to I have, however seen you link there twice now.

And there’s no way you can read Instapundit and conclude that he’s gleeful about French riots.

Finally, Ivan, I can’t remember the last 2 week, 1300+ cars burned riot in the UK. When was that again?


November 7, 2005 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

In 2001, there were more than 70,000 “malicious” car fires in the UK. That’s an average of more than 1,300 a week.

I’m just sayin’.

November 7, 2005 @ 1:51 pm | Comment

Well the response in the UK has been more sympathetic, though I can’t talk about bloggers. It’s very sad.

But, you see, exactly the same thing happened over the recent Black-Asian riots. Some foreign commentators were asking “is this because Britain is racist/institutionally racist/etc?” Hehe, even our own commentators were doing that.

Yet they only lasted one night – and I can’t remember any “ethnic” disturbances that have lasted more than 24 hours or so, not for decades. So perhaps continental society isn’t as perfect as some of the self-loathing (i.e. wish they weren’t British) Socialists like to pretend it is.

To be honest I’m not sure what the French government can do. They can’t back down now things are so serious. Perhaps they could try to be a little less heavy-handed, but if things don’t calm down soon I suppose it’ll have to be martial law and time to send in the stormtroopers…..

November 7, 2005 @ 3:31 pm | Comment

I’ve blogged two posts on this issue, one on a great Wall Street Journal commentary that puts the French in their place, and points out this is really about economics and apartheid (yes, the WSJ printed a comparison of France to apartheid South Africa), and the other post is titled French Riots Really about Formal Pronouns, Bling Bling. You guys should really read the articles I cite, I reprinted them in full.

November 7, 2005 @ 3:38 pm | Comment

Insty listed Rottweiller on his blogroll two years ago, when a list was made of the hate sites he linked to. Maybe he dropped nice doggie after that. I linked to Rottweiler to make a point of how nasty his site is.

Dave, you and I sure see things similarly. Great posts!!

November 7, 2005 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

Oh, and here’s the link about Insty linking to Nice Doggie. Guess you haven’t been reading him that long, “Storminator.” 🙂

November 7, 2005 @ 4:57 pm | Comment

youmakemesad, wake up please. Most Americans wish we had never invaded Iraq and believe we are losing the war on twerror. Look at the history behind the riots and you will see, as Liswa says, “Islamofacism” is hardly the root cause; it’s unemployment and disenfranchisement. Religion is an important factor, part of the glue that binds the rioters, but they aren’t rioting to attain religious objectives. They aren’t in any way jihadists.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

What a typical article for a – the victim and the victimizer is the only script. Thinking that something else might be going on is immoral.

As stated earlier by other commenters – the right is not jumping for joy because people are suffering but because there might be hope that people wake up to reality before the price of waking up is too high.

Take a look around the world – where do you see poor Christians, Buddhists, or, even Atheists rioting where 1400 cars in a night is just an outlet for their feelings of victimization.

By choosing not to assimilate (yes, even “victims” have power) they have chosen to not be part of society while accepting society’s welfare payments and housing.

They are not victims. They are merely reaping what they have sowed.

Every other cultural (not racial) group assimilates well generally in France and everywhere else in the world.

Your analysis is incorrect and, by the way, you are calling Europeans racist now. So I guess Europe is not the model you want us to follow here.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:22 pm | Comment

where do you see poor Christians, Buddhists, or, even Atheists rioting

Alan misses the entire point; this isn’t about being muslim. No one is saying they have a right to behave this way. Just don’t call it a jihad.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:25 pm | Comment

No, Europe is not necessarily the model I want to follow, and never said I did. And you, Alan, haven’t done any examination into what the problem is about and how long it’s been festering. I’m not justifying it or siding with the vicxtims, and the rioters should be arrested. I am saying the right is wrong to call it an Intifada and a sign of the failings of French multiculturalism and liberalism. Got that?

You want to see it as affirmation of your tired, racist belief system. As another commenter said, cars are set on fire in the UK at an even higher rate, and we have seen gang and race riots throughout the world (have you been following the rural rioting in China?). You are ignorant, but thanks for commenting.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:28 pm | Comment

richard, as an American, you probably don’t know what is really causing this and you quickley tend to blaim this to socio-economic problems. In Western Europe, we have lots of North-African immigrants, especially from Morroco, Algeria and Turkey. In the UK, the Muslim immigrants are mostly Arabs. Unemployment and crime rates are high. But what are the causes and effect? Is their socio-economic situation a good excuse for causing rampage and killing an innocent man? I don’t believe any of it.

I believe the problem is more ethnic-cultural-religion. Richard, these young Muslims are outright antisemites. They don’t just hate Israel, no, they just hate Jews. That’s why some people call them Islam-fascists. They hate atheists, as we are nothing more than pigs or fuel for hell. So the combination is an extremely conservative, extremist and backward practicing of Islam combined with pure gangster like crime. They want to own and control the streets. They terrorize the local population by intimidation and pure violence. You can be nice and tolerant to these people, but the problem is that they aren’t and will abuse that kindness. Often these areas are called no-go areas, as even the police are afraid to go there. Often they organize themselves as groups and outnumber other people. I believe this is derived from their culture, as men and women are separated. Did you know that many of these immigrants marry within the family, often with causins and nieces. That’s causing bad genes and could explain criminal behavior, although this is a controversial theory. That’s why support for anti-immigrant parties in Europe are rising. There is a reason why Front National has its support.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:35 pm | Comment

ZHJ, I’ve lived in Western Europe (Germany) and know all about it, so you’re starting with false assumptions. I know about the anti-Semitism (and believe me, a good number of the French themselves are often just as guilty of this as their Moslem guests).

They terrorize the local population by intimidation and pure violence.

Were they doing this before they were warehoused in projects or afterward? I know that in Germany I never saw this occur, and the Muslims I met were hardworking and decent people. I’m sure there are complex factors behind the situation. What I worry about is the false assumption that, because they are Muslim, this must be part of an Islamofascist-generated jihad. It’s not.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:47 pm | Comment

Is their socio-economic situation a good excuse for causing rampage and killing an innocent man? I don’t believe any of it.

Nothing is a good excuse for a rampage, ZHJ. But people have rioted, burned, looted and generally lost it long before the advent of Islam, and plenty still pull it off successfully without it. Most of the rioters are around 16, and they aren’t organized by adults – yet. They’re too young to have any political agenda, but old enough to form a gang and enjoy breaking stuff and scaring people. That’s what being a disillusioned urban 16 year old is all about.

Maybe as an American Richard tends to place the blame on socio-economics, but as a Western European ZHJ, you seem inclined to pin the entire thing on Islam. And that attitude, ZHJ, directly contributes to the problem to begin with. When you alienate young men with no hope, they go extreme. When Europeans make careless, prejudiced and dismissive remarks about the faith that gives hope back to some of these kids, you fall right into the hands of the relatively few evil would-be spiritual leaders who use both Islam and the kids solely for the sake of power.

And that bad genes theory you mention? That makes them dangerous? After all the years Europe has dismissed its own inbred royals as harmless?

November 7, 2005 @ 7:18 pm | Comment

Oh and ZHJ, I suggest you read up on the American race riots of the 60s. Watts. Detroit. Newark. Harlem. Philadephia. DC.

In all of them blacks living in ghettos with high unemployment and racist police let loose their rage, in some cases over events that never occurred. Many of the rioters hated white people. They burned things. People died (white and black). White Americans for the first time realized that they couldn’t ignore the other half of the country. Movements like the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam were seen as threats to the country, determined to absolutely destroy us. Turned out some total paranoid freaks like J. Edgar Hoover were really the problem. Yknow, kinda like Le Pen.

November 7, 2005 @ 7:57 pm | Comment

I’ve linked a variety of views on the Paris riots, but none from NiceDoggie. I think he’s still on my blogroll, but it’s not very selective. I even link Oliver Willis.

At any rate, you seem to be going out of your way to score points. Fine, but it certainly colors my attitude toward your blog.

November 7, 2005 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

I never said you linked to Nice Doggie in regard to the Paris riots, but that you have linked to his site, a true classic hate site. That’s a far cry from linking to Oliver Willis, al iberal but in no way a hater or extremist, in no way a basher of entire religions.

November 7, 2005 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

Here is a guy, who has a lot of great questions but doesn’t pretend to have the answers. A must read:

“Any foreigner who visited French cities like Paris, Lyon or Strassbourg but also many smaller places in recent years with his eyes open, was aware that trouble was brewing And if foreign tourists saw it, French observer were even more acutely aware. I have among my books a whole shelf of studies on the subject, including reports by government committees stating in details and quite emphatically that the integration of new immigrants had failed. And my collection is by necessity a tiny fraction of the existing literature.
And yet, the present wave of attacks came as a surprise and while it possible that with the coming of the rains and the winter the riots will die down, this is not certain and in any case the problem will not go away.
But what is the problem? There is a great deal of confusion. The standard explanation is povery and unemployment. And it is of course true that the attacks came not on Boulevard St.Germain, nor in the 1th and 8th and 16th arrondissements but in the banlieue, “ la zone”—the outer suburbs. But it did not necessarily happen in the poorest places either. Evry, for instance, where a man was killed and a bomb factory was found, prides itself of its many parks, has a university, a botanical garden and claims to be one of the greenest new city in France.
Then it is said that it is all the fault of the government ( or governments), of many years of neglect. But in truth billions were invested in these suburbs and many of today’s slums were reasonable, if not very beautiful, housing estates not that long ago.,. The governments, left and right, built kindergarten, swimming pools, playing grounds. youth clubs, and in some places there are as many social workers as juvenile delinquents, which is to say a great many. Children were sent on holidays to far away places. Perhaps the government should have spent twice as much, or even three times, but it is by no means certain whether this would have brought about radical change.
Others say that it is all the result of unemployment and there is no denying that unemployment, especially of the young is very high, up to 40%. But—a curious fact:—Arab and African young women have no particular difficulty to find work, it is the problem of young males. Why? Is it because French institutions and society have deliberately excluded young males and kept them down , not given them opportunities to learn a profession or are there other reasons? If so what are the reasons?
How to explain that a great many of the Molotov cocktail throwers are thirteen and fourteen years old and for them the issue of unemployment cannot possibly be the decisive one.
Is it the negative impact of Islam? But many of the rioters are of West African origin and are not Muslims, and the young Muslims are not particularly religious, do not keep the religious commandments. They are sans foi et sans loi, as one of them put it—without respect for religion and the law. Muslim religious leaders even published a ban against participation in the riots. We do not know how energetically they have acted in this respect, but it seem clear that Islamist slogans for once did not play a central role.
Were the attacks systematic, planned and coordinated or were they spontaneous? This is not clear at all. There is no doubt that the “echo effect” played a role , that once attacks had taken place in the suburbs of Paris, young people elsewhere began to copy them. In some place they went out of their way not to clash with the police, elsewhere they deliberately were looking for confrontation.
But some form of organization must have existed for even the production of the most primitive Molotov cocktails involves a certain amount of technical knowledge.
Why the concentration on cars and trucks? Well, the psychologists explain , a car is a status symbol , bombing a car expresses defiance of the establishment as well as envy.
This is all very well, except that they bombed also a great many schools , kindergarten, youth clubs and similar such places. According to observers not a few militants arrived on the scene on powerful motor bikes to carry out the torching—motor bikes which cost about as much as a second hand car.
Or was it perhaps the desire to have some fun and excitement with an admixture of the wish to cause destruction, which some philosophers have told us is a creative instinct?
These are only some of the questions and I have no doubt that a number of committees will soon deal with them and in two years or three we shall have their authoritative reports. But in the meantime action is needed and the question arises—what are the most effective means to do so? The French government is in the position of a physician who has to treat a patient who is seriously ill. The diagnosis may not be clear, but everyone rightly expect the doctor to do something. I shall return to this subject in a day or two..”

Walter Laqueur


November 8, 2005 @ 1:52 am | Comment

In the UK, the Muslim immigrants are mostly Arabs.

In fact, ZHJ, most Muslims in the UK are of South Asian (Pakistani and Bangladeshi) origin. Since you can’t even get a basic fact like that right, I’m not inclined to pay any attention to the rest of your remarks.

November 8, 2005 @ 4:34 am | Comment

ZHJ does this all the time, starting with a big false supposition and then building complex theories on them. Pity, all that efort could have been saved if the initial facts were based on reality.

November 8, 2005 @ 5:20 am | Comment

“Nothing is more depressing than seeing those on the right jump for joy over the Muslim youths rioting in Paris. ”

You’ve fallen into the right wing trap. The Paris riots aren’t Muslim riots. Some of the people in them are Muslims, yes, but Islam is neither the cause nor a contributing factor, it’s just a comonality to some of the rioters.

This is about social exclusion among minority groups, not Islam.

November 8, 2005 @ 7:11 am | Comment

ACB, did you read my entire post??

November 8, 2005 @ 7:14 am | Comment

Some people just need this saying twice.

November 8, 2005 @ 9:50 am | Comment

Curfews now….

What’s going on in France is mostly linked to the economy and cultural ghettos that have been forming. The French have been pushing for cultural integration more than most European nations, Britain included. But due to poverty many immigrants, such as these people of North African descent, have become isolated from the main community. They have 30-40% unemployment in some of these areas.

Perhaps France has been in denial about this culture/wealth-divide. But it can’t be blamed purely on the “European dream” vrs the “American dream” – there are similar divides all over the world. The question, when where one lives is so closely linked to how much money one earns/has, is how to stop segregation occuring.

And that’s a never easy one to address.

November 8, 2005 @ 10:24 am | Comment

This is a link to a Dutch TV station’s report on the riots. Interviews in French with Dutch subtitles.

At about 8:37, you can hear and see the rioters yelling “Allahu Akbar,” helpfully subtitled in Dutch.

November 8, 2005 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

Ok, I have been busy and unable to repond. About Arabs being a majority of Muslims in Great Britain, sorry I was confused. What I meant to say was that contrary to mainland Western Europe, GB has a relatively larger population of Arabs, in comparison with Morrocans, Algerians or Turks (these groups are not seen as Arabs). This was the only factual mistake I made, because of confusion and I stand by the rest. Ok, socio-economic conditions may be a cause, but it’s certainly not the only cause. That’s too easy and a way to marginalize the problem and playing it down. Often people try to “understand” the problem by looking at social and economic environment only, but you cannot possibly deny that culture/religion has something to do about it. And richard, I do not make great and false assumptions “all the time”. Please do not close your eyes.

November 8, 2005 @ 2:41 pm | Comment

Bild, does that make them al Qaeda? Islam is part of the equation, but definitely not the “root cause.”

November 8, 2005 @ 3:59 pm | Comment

Actually. they have this one about right. This is primarily the damn Muslims fault and no amount of perceived injustice justifies this kind of violence. If the Africans and Arabians want to be a part of France than they need to assimilate into French society, not try to be a seperate enitity just because the worship an apostate religion…….

November 8, 2005 @ 5:39 pm | Comment

There’s some truth to that – some. But I believe it’s more complex. Economics was at the heart of this, not religion. If they’d had jobs and a future, I don’t believe they’d be torching cars.

November 8, 2005 @ 5:46 pm | Comment

Richard, I agree with you if you say that Islam is part of the problem but not the root cause.

Owing to ideology, France refuses to collect the relevant statistics, but the UK data suggest that Islam is a bad influence even after controlling for ethnic background and immigrant status (even as the interpreters bend over backward to deny that implication):

“Cultural or religious attributes may also influence the labour market position of ethnic minorities, although quantitative data in this field is limited. The relationship between religious groups and employment outcomes is not simple and it should not be assumed that a “religious effect” necessarily exists. Religion may simply be a proxy for other factors determining employment, such as education and fluency in English. However, it has been found that unemployment risk does vary significantly by religion. Even after controlling for a range of factors, Sikhs and Indian Muslims remain almost twice as likely to be unemployed as Hindus. Pakistani Muslims are more than three times as likely as Hindus to be unemployed.

“There is also evidence of divergent experiences between religious groups in terms of employment profiles and income differentials. Sikhs, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims experience particular under-representation in professional employment, with this area showing higher concentrations of Hindus and Indian Muslims. In terms of earnings, Muslim men and women are over-represented in the lowest income band. Almost a quarter earned less than £115 per week, compared to around one in ten Sikhs and Hindus. Yet despite over-representation among low earners, Indian Muslims actually record the highest share within the highest income band.

“Judging whether religion is a factor that affects the employment chances of a given individual is complex. It is clear that Indian Muslims are strikingly different from Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims in their labour market achievements, suggesting that far more is at play than just religious effects: problems might well be linked rather more to specific group circumstances, for which religion is a proxy, than to religion itself.”

November 9, 2005 @ 6:01 am | Comment

Deadly Denial

The rioters who have terrorized Paris for 11 days now have been called many things by the mainstream media: poor, disaffected, disenfranchised, mostly immigrants or children of. But one label applied to them in passing, if at all, is one that is certainly not unimportant or irrelevant: “Muslim.”

Anyone reading the accounts of perhaps the most respected news organization on earth, the Associated Press, would have no clue that Muslims were primarily behind the riots. Ditto for those consuming the BBC, though at least that is a little less surprising. And while Reuters, the New York Times, and the LA Times each feel compelled to mention that many rioters are Muslim, they treat that fact as, at most, incidental. The situation in the French media is no different.

Perhaps this is by the design of the French government.

But it is self-evident that the violence is largely unique to Muslims. That’s why even the AP and the BBC, both of whom otherwise pretend to be blind to the religion of those destroying whole towns, mention that it is Muslim leaders urging calm.

The role Islam—whether as opportunistic rallying cry, through hateful teachings in the name of the religion, or otherwise—played in the riots is something we might not know for some time. If ever. But it is certainly relevant. So why do so many in the mainstream media consider it not even worth mentioning?

U.S. Lawmakers Told of Saudi-Funded Anti-West Rhetoric

The government of Saudi Arabia is distributing books and pamphlets across the United States in an effort to recruit American Muslims to an international struggle against Christians and Jews, the director of a religious freedom organization told the Senate Judiciary Committee Nov. 8.

In one instance, a booklet distributed by the Saudi Embassy in Washington offers instructions on how to “build a wall of resentment” between Muslims and infidels, said Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom.

Among the book’s directives: “Never greet the Christian or Jew first. Never congratulate the infidel on his holiday. Never befriend an infidel unless it is to convert him. Never imitate the infidel. Never work for an infidel,” Shea quoted during a committee hearing.

The booklet and more than 200 others containing similar anti-Western diatribes “demonstrate the ongoing efforts by Saudi Arabia to indoctrinate Muslims in the United States in the hostility and belligerence of Saudi Arabia’s hard-line Wahhabi sect of Islam,” Shea said.

She said hate literature, booklets, text books and other material was gathered from mosques and Islamic centers in cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Washington and New York. Some of the material was published by the Saudi Education Ministry, Shea said.

November 9, 2005 @ 9:23 am | Comment

Tian Li, I would prefer if you not quote scummy rags like frontpage on my blog. To do say instantly demolishes your credibility and sullies my site. Really, it’s impossible to respect anyone who cites them as proof of anything.

From a more reliable source, here are some facts that demolish your feeble arguments:

The French youth who are burning automobiles are as French as Jennifer Lopez and Christopher Walken are American. Perhaps the Steyns came before the Revolutionary War [they’re actually Canadian -ed.], but a very large number of us have not. The US brings 10 million immigrants every decade and one in 10 Americans is now foreign-born. Their children, born and bred here, have never known another home. All US citizens are Americans, including the present governor of California. “The immigrant” is always a political category. Proud Californio families (think “Zorro”) who can trace themselves back to the 18th century Spanish empire in California are often coded as “Mexican immigrants” by “white” Californians whose parents were Okies.

A lot of the persons living in the urban outer cities (a better translation of cite than “suburb”) are from subsaharan Africa. And there are lots of Eastern European immigrants. The riots were sparked by the deaths of African youths, not Muslims. Singling out the persons of Muslim heritage is just a form of bigotry. Moreover, French youth of European heritage rioted quite extensively in 1968. As they had in 1789. Rioting in the streets is not a foreign custom. It has a French genealogy and context.

The young people from North African societies such as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are mostly only nominal Muslims. They frequently do not speak much Arabic, and don’t have “proper” French, either. They frequently do not know much about Islam and most of them certainly don’t practice it– much less being more virulent about it than Middle Easterners.

If you really want to learn, go read the entire thing – lots of facts and historical perspective and no racist nonsense. Read the comments too.

November 9, 2005 @ 4:52 pm | Comment

Let’s face it. These foreign intruders invade our Western countries, get our financial advantages, and then go and throw it all back in our faces. They saturate our society with their foreign tradition, such as wearing a veil, and destroy our towns.

November 10, 2005 @ 4:40 am | Comment

Let’s face it: racists like you suck ass.

November 10, 2005 @ 4:59 am | Comment

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