Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Why Paris Is On Fire

Sokari Ekine of Black Looks has already published a comprehensive report on the bloody riots in Paris and the surroundings in France. And I posted her report on other sites. The report generated several responses on the causes of these riots. And Peter Porcupine has published a more comprehensive analytical report on the fundamental issues of the racial and religious tensions he believes caused the tragic accidental death of two boys of African origin to snowball into a national crisis that could worsen if not contained. Because, the people involved are both legal and illegal immigrants from African countries and the religious angle is more dangerous than the political angle. Since, the common opinion seems to be that the Muslims in France are being victimized by the French authorities.

Peter Porcupine's report is a must read if you want an eye-witness account from Paris.

Is Paris Burning?
The Swoon of Ages, It shall Burst, and Fill the World with Cleansing Fire; It must, It will--It may not be restrained!
The Revolt of Islam, Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

Today is a significant anniversary in world history, in many ways more important than Dec. 7th or August 6th. On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and took approximately seventy Americans captive. This terrorist act triggered the most profound crisis of the Carter presidency and began a personal ordeal for Jimmy Carter and the American people that lasted 444 days. This was the beginning of the intifada, the War of Terror on the part of the Muslim world. For us, it seemed an incident. In the eyes of Muslims worldwide, it progressed through embassy bombings, ship bombings, building bombings, suicide bombings, until finally our attention was captured on Sept.1, 2001. It is sobering to think that the young soldiers in Iraq, and indeed most young adults in their 20's and 30's, have never known a world without this threat.

While the United States is a primary locus of the intifada, Europe is not immune. There were the bombings in Madrid, and the attack in London this year. Now, Paris is becomeing engulfed in terror and conflict.

Recently, Roger L. Simon featured an email on his blog from an American, Paul Cruce, who writes The Frog Blog of Louis Lavache (in happier times, featuring explanations of French culture, photos of Paris and recipes) Cruce wrote about his experiences with the French, and the turning tide back to America HERE. Porcupine was interested in his point of view, and wrote to him as he is an ordinary person in an extraordinary place. From what he had heard, what triggered these riots? To be sure, the Muslim ghettos circling Paris have been festering and growing worse for years, but what was the trigger? Was it France’s recent legislation against headscarves? Was there a Rodney King, as it were? Cruce was kind enough to reply in detail, and this is his answer to that question.

Cruce spoke to the long festering problem, "A significant part of the current problems may be laid at the feet of Socialist former Prime Minister Jospin. When he initiated the 35 hour work week, French businesses took advantage of the new law and "broomed" their least productive workers - who were, you guessed it - largely Black, Muslim and/or black Muslim. So just as in the U.S. where every raise in the minimum wage creates more unemployment, the 35 hour work week had the same result here....The "official" unemployment rate is 9.8%, but what I am hearing here (and I have two friends who work in the government) is that the real number is 12.5%. The 23% figure for the young in the former "red belt" (the suburbs of Paris which had Socialist and Communist officials, now turned into slums) is more truly 25% or higher."

As to the immediate cause of the violence, “What isn't being reported is that the two kids who were electrocuted were on railway tracks "tagging." Graffiti is out of control here. In my post on my blog about the Gare de Lyon, I had to change the position of the shot I took of the three TGVs because they had been so horribly tagged. (See here). The trains here are all electric, so if you are going to be tagging trains or train stations, a favorite pastime of the unemployed black, Muslim, and black Muslim kids here, you are going to be walking and crawling around the power sources for the trains. Despite the denials that the police were chasing them, it seems likely that the police caught them and gave chase. They tried to hide in a transformer box and got fried.” So this was the spark that set off 9 days of violent rioting, to date.

“There is a rising tide of anger by the native French population against Muslim lawlessness, and ‘Sarko,’(Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkosky, who is the head of police in the same way the Home Office is in Britain) whether he is being opportunistic or acting out of principal, is generally showing the spine needed to address this growing threat. Tuesday night in Clichy-sous-Bois a white family, a man, his wife and daughter were out for an evening stroll. (I won't speculate on why, giving the riots over the previous five nights, they thought they could do this.) The white trio was attacked by a group of black Muslims - apparently the white family's only sin was their color - and the man was beaten to death. Last weekend, a man carrying a digital camera in Epinay-sous-Sènart on the south-east near where I am staying in Mandres-les-Roses, was set upon by a trio of black Muslims who demanded his camera. He wasn't quick enough and was also beaten and stomped to death. Paris is abuzz with these outrages, and I think the criminals are creating a huge backlash for themselves. I am hearing a lot of talk this morning about forcing the government to deport the illegal Muslims, black or otherwise. The French are beginning to want them OUT. People in Paris are PO'd today. I usually avoid even abbreviations like that, but it is really descriptive of the mood.”
Now, reports are that the rioting has spread beyond Paris, HERE, although the main official response seems to be that tourists are safe, and move along, there’s nothing to see here (There wasn’t in Watts in 1965, either).

Today, November 4th, marks the beginning of the War on Terror against the west. France, which worked harder to be conciliatory with Islam than any other European nation, is paying the price for trying appeasement in place of self-defense. Today, three men were arrested in London with plans to blow up the White House and U.S. Congress. Amreican media noted this by doing stories on a missing girl in Aruba, the Libby indictment, and vulgar tee-shirts.

We need to recognize that this war is only partly on Iraqi soil, and pay our opponents the respect of taking them seriously. Even as the intelligentsia sneers at Homeland Security and terror alerts, the Paris that is burning is in France, not Kentucky or Maine or Texas.


Athene Aquinas said...

I agree with you totally on this topic and I don't think many people understand what's going on in Paris. I'm going to make a reference to your post in my blog. Also thanks for the comment on the crazy Bigot who attacked my blog... some people just are clueless... As to you having a blonde friends lol, well you have one more in me, I cant say Im Platinum or all that beautiful... but I am blonde lol. Take Care and keep on bloggin'.


Imnakoya said...

Just the mere use of the word: "intifada" tells me many pundits do not understand the dynamics of events in France. What is happening can not be equated to the cause of the Palestinians. Not that the writer of the article has made that claim, but the use of the word "intifada" is suggestive.

While it might seem there is a religious undertone; Islam is just playing a "confounding role" in the scheme of things, and not the real cause.

What is manifesting is just a case of decades of bad policies and wrong tactics on both sides. It is multifaceted at the very least.

For instance, how can a nation cater for a teaming immigrant population if it lacks official data on race and ethnicity? France does not keep data on race and ethnicity.

Then how about the first generation of immigrants rather than finding ways to make meaningful inroads into their adopted society, and assimilating the style and culture of their new world; many withdrew, assumed a minimalist mindset, and existed in a state of self-imposed lockdown?

Today, a sizeable portion of second and even third generation French nationals of African descent can't even speak proper and fluent French- in a country where the natives are really fussy about their language and always appreciate well-spoken and articulated speech.

It is only when the immigrants are ready to challenge and change the sociopolitical dynamics of their world that their plight will begin to turn positively. Waiting for the government to act is not enough. And turning Molotov's cocktails into shot puts is nothing but mere expressions of blind, spontaneous, adolescent rage and frustration that will frizzle soon.

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Well said.

Personally humans with grudges bore me. First we confront the grudges of class discrimination, religious and racial discriminations. And in Africa, tribalism has caused more collateral havoc in civil wars in the Congo, Sudan, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda and other African countries than all the catastrophic years of Aparthied during colonialism and new-colonialism.

Humans are just becoming more existentialist and minimalist and all the violent protests and wars are the outbursts of hysteria and melancholia.

If the unemployed millions of youths in Nigeria are not on rampage and prefer Internet Scams to looting and wrecking properties, then I prefer them to the demons on rampage in France, the Middle East, Iraq and other parts of the world.

It is better to swindle me if you can than suicide-bomb me.

These rampaging youths should come to Nigeria and learn from us. We will teach them there there are other ways of escape from the tribulations of this turbulent world.

France is maltreating them, because they are not bona fide pure and true French citizens. They are illegal and illegal immigrants who should leave the Eldorado of the Western World and return to their motherland Africa to join hands with us to develop Africa and stop fleeing to America, Europe and Asia to disgrace themselves hustling for a living begging for crumbs of leftovers and dumps like rats, dogs and pigs. The wretched of the earth.The outcasts of the developed world.