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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Darwin Alive and Well In France

Second night of rioting in Paris.
PARIS, France (Reuters) -- Hundreds of French youths fought with police and set cars ablaze in a suburb of Paris early Saturday in a second night of rioting which media said was triggered when two teenagers died fleeing police.

The two teenagers were killed and a third seriously injured on Thursday night when they were electrocuted in an electricity sub station as they fled from police investigating a break-in, media reported.

Firefighters intervened around 40 times on Friday night in the northeastern suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois where many of the 28,000 residents are immigrants, mainly from Africa, police and fire officers said.
Yup. Immigrants are rioting because of two kids who ran from the cops. Here in the U.S., we would write it off as unfortunate, and - if they weren't underaged - see the story in the next video of "World's Dumbest Criminals". In France, they riot.

"There's a civil war underway in Clichy-Sous-Bois at the moment," Michel Thooris, an official of police trade union Action Police CFTC, said .

"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," he said.

I guess the French don't know what to do when they can't surrender.*Snicker*

But seriously, France does have some serious immigration issues, as Dr. Soner Cagaptay notes:

Here is the picture: percentage-wise as well as in cumulative terms, France has the largest Muslim community in the EU. There are no official figures, since France does not collect numbers on religious affiliation, but according to official estimates, there are 6 million Muslims in France, that is 10 percent of the population. Unofficial estimates point at an even higher figure, suggesting as many as 8-9 million Muslims. What is more, given the low birth rate in the general French society, and the continuing immigration of Muslims from North Africa, this number is bound to increase.

The issue I would like to raise in this context is not that we should be concerned that there are so many Muslims in France, rather it is that the Muslims in France see themselves at the margins of the society and resent that fact. The Muslims in France are the worst integrated Muslim community in any EU country. Mass Muslim immigration to France is a post-WWII development. Many came from North Africa, especially Algeria, to look for jobs. However, France has done a terrible job in integrating them. The benign founding myth of the French state, that there are no differences between the citizens, has worked against the integration of the Muslims. On the one hand, from the very beginning, Muslims in France, already from a background of conservative--rural Islam, had few avenues towards assimilation into the metropolitan French society, and on the other, the society has acted as if these barriers do no exist.

The end result is that vast segments of the Muslim population in France have little to do with the rest of the society. There are for instance no Muslims in the French parliament, and when is the last time anyone met a Muslim diplomat representing France? The banlieus of Paris, Marseilles, and other major French cities are full of disgruntled and poor North African Muslims today, who feel discriminated in the school system, in the public sector and in access to government services. The bottom line is that elite institutions, means of upward mobility, as well as quality government services are in accessible to most Muslims in France. What is more, with the rise of radicalism in the 1990s, these neighborhoods are now under the effective control of fundamentalist Muslims. If I were French, I would be very worried.

Right now, more than any other time in history, you could not pay me enough to be French.