6
   

first european muslim state?

 
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 11:14 am
Merry Andrew wrote:
I said this on another thread and will repeat it here. Not all North Africans are Muslims. (For that matter, even all Arabs aren't Muslims.) In France, especially, there is a large number of Algerians and Moroccans who poisitively bridle at being called Muslims. They identify themselves as atheists quite proudly. There's even a sprinkling of Christians. We Americans -- and others in the West, also -- are so eager to identify this as a kind of religion-based conflict that we fail to recognize the ethnic injustices which occur, quite apart from any religious sensibilities. A person of Algerian descent, who thinks of himself as a French citizen, fails to get a job because his name is Mustaf, not Marcel, and the resentments grow.


Well said, Andrew.

Not just atheists and Christians. Gad Elmaleh, a very funny North African comedian, is a Jew who was brought up in a mixed quarter of Casablanca. He speaks Arabic and is very popular amongst French North Africans as well as being generally liked.

I was recently in Perpignan, where there had been some inter-ethnic tension between Maghrebin (N. African) and Gitane (Gipsy) youths. A Moroccan guy was stabbed, and a few days later a Gipsy guy was shot. Some rioting ensued (in May) and while I was there, Sarko (Nicola Sarkozy) arrived by helicopter. (Jack Lang sarcastically calls him "Zorro".) He gave a speech in which he mentioned the "mussulman" (Muslim) population of Perpignan. This caused immediate and widespread offence, not surprising given that most of the Maghrebins in Perpignan are atheists. Many are descendants of members of the Algerian Communist Party who fled to France to avoid persecution by... guess who? ... Muslim fanatics.

It is estimated that out of a Maghrebin population of 10,000, about 50 to 100 are "pratiquant". (practising Muslims)
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 11:37 am
Did anyone say all North Africans are Muslims? I didn't see that. It seems when people make statements of fact about what's going on with this story, other people make a lot of stereotypical assumptions about them. Its counterproductive.
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daniellejean
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 11:43 am
Thank you Lash.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 12:25 pm
Is this the start of a general European Islamic intafada?

no
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 07:43 pm
Hopefully not, Steve. But, I think this habit of governments to appease groups, who refuse to allow police to enter their neighborhoods is biting them on the ass, right about now.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 05:33 am
It is very interesting to watch the French government in action re this.

(Incidentally, given that hating the French is as fashionable in far right circles as hating Muslims, I have been chuckling to myself wondering whether there was a terrible conflict in our right friends as they came to this thread..would it be "Evil prone to violence Muslims attack poor French" or "Lovely people hailing originally from Africa and the Middle East take righteous revenge upon evil racist Frogs"?)

Anyhoo.......I note the French government is reluctant, as yet to use the military, presumably hoping to avoid sparking the ongoing desire for revenge, hatred, and bitterness that sparks so many stupid and tragic ongoing cycles of violence.


I would hate to be the French leadership at this point.......balanced between restoring order and showing that the violence will not be tolerated, and maintaining the possibility of reasonable relationships.

I also note that Muslim leaders have been calling for an end to the violence.


So far, it seems that youth, anger whether justified or not, emotional drunkenness and testosterone (as well as there being lots of non Musimsd amongst the rioters!) are winning.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 05:39 am
After having a look at images of Aulny-sous-Bois at Google.fr, and reading several articles in French language sources, it is obvious to me that the underlying cause is economic. Our rightwingnut friends will be disappointed in attributing this to some vast, evil Muslim plot to take over Europe. Not that such a circumstance will stop them making such a silly charge anyway. One image which i posted shows what look like nothing more than the government housing projects in American cities which breed the same sorts of crimes of economic desparation and sometimes simple boredom--which crimes can escalate quickly into rioting if given a spark. The deaths of the two boys in the electric substation were the spark there. A principle difference is that in France, the police responded with riot formations (shields, helmets, moving in line, etc.) and rubber bullets, whereas American police would send in armored vehicles, and use tear gas and live ammunition.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 05:52 am
There is no doubt it is a serious situation, and not just for France. But the test of whether it is a pan European Islamic conspiracy, or something peculiar to France will be if Muslims in other countries join in the civil disorder. This is not happening as far as I am aware.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 06:06 am
Even were there to be rioting in other countries, there is sufficient economic and political greivance elsewhere to make charges of Muslim conspiracy doubtful. I have no doubt that conservatives will find the evidence they want, or manufacture it--but i agree that there currently is no evidence of a "Muslim insurrection."
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 06:29 am
Setanta wrote:
After having a look at images of Aulny-sous-Bois at Google.fr, and reading several articles in French language sources, it is obvious to me that the underlying cause is economic. Our rightwingnut friends will be disappointed in attributing this to some vast, evil Muslim plot to take over Europe. Not that such a circumstance will stop them making such a silly charge anyway. One image which i posted shows what look like nothing more than the government housing projects in American cities which breed the same sorts of crimes of economic desparation and sometimes simple boredom--which crimes can escalate quickly into rioting if given a spark. The deaths of the two boys in the electric substation were the spark there. A principle difference is that in France, the police responded with riot formations (shields, helmets, moving in line, etc.) and rubber bullets, whereas American police would send in armored vehicles, and use tear gas and live ammunition.


Yep...this looks a lot like what happened in Redfern in Sydney a year or so ago....when two Aboriginal youths were killed in a horrible accident when running from a police patrol.

It also looks a lot like the Brixton riots in London, and other riots which happened in other Briotish cities, what, a couple of decades ago?



Of course, this is on a much larger and more terrifying scale than Redfern!.


WOULD the US use live ammunition in such a situation? At this point?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 06:37 am
I suspect so--police here have rarely been squeamish about using live ammunition, and it is not to be forgotten that the country is awash in fire arms. They are subject to incoming live fire. The image i posted of a gang member (which Francis suggests may originally have come from the US--i need to check that out) shows him using what appears to be a shotgun. It is hard to get handguns in France, but not hunting weapons, which i think explains why two police officers were wounded with buckshot. The gun which Sirhan Sirhan used to kill Robert Kennedy had been stolen from the legal owner at the time of the Watts riots in Los Angeles (1965), and passed through many hands thereafter before Sirhan got it. If police officers in the US use live ammo, it's not to be wondered at--their opponents don't hesitate to shoot at them.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 07:00 am
Hmmmm...here rioters use sticks and home made molotov cocktails (usually very badly made) and throw bottles and such.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 08:26 am
Points to ponder---

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.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 Replies
 
kosmos-SErbia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 08:21 am
i think bosnia and herzegovina is the right answer...
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 04:26 pm
Quote for thought from the above article:

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.
____________________

kosmos--

Would you expand your comment? I'm interested in your view.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 04:33 pm
Lash wrote:
Quote for thought from the above article:

Why, everyone knows Islam and democracy are incompatible.


Lash, would you expand your comment? I'm interested in your view why you think this doesn't oblige to Turkey, which you favour to enter the EU?
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 04:37 pm
You's have to ask DeVillipin and the liberals who keep making that statement. That's attributed to HIS way of thinking.

I most definitely and strongly disagree with it. I think it's racist, actually.

READ the rest of the post. That bodes worse for France than Iraq....because they are LOADED with Muslims.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 04:38 pm
Lash wrote:
You's have to ask DeVillipin and the liberals who keep making that statement.


DeVillipin, the French government and the French president are conservatives,
The liberals are in opposition.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 04:41 pm
That makes no difference. His view is what was stated, and from the vantage point, he is a liberal.

You wanted to call me on it---yet, now that you discover you read incorrectly, you attempt to dodge your error and the substance behind it...?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 04:46 pm
Lash wrote:
That makes no difference. His view is what was stated, and from the vantage point, he is a liberal.

You wanted to call me on it---yet, now that you discover you read incorrectly, you attempt to dodge your error and the substance behind it...?



Question

Quote:
from the vantage point, he is a liberal


Another Question to that.
0 Replies
 
 

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