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November 07, 2005

Comments

Factory

Well I can agree with you on one point, linking Islamism as a root cause of the riots tells more about the speaker than anything else.
Although (possibly from the sites I read are a bit less, erm, lgf) I tend to see it more as seeing the riots from the prism of domestic politics, rather than from any apocalyptic want.
Particularly notable from the US commentors is their differing perception of immigration. They tend not comprehend the seriousness that issues around immigration are in welfare states.

Abiola Lapite

You are being far too generous with these commenters, most of whom are positively brimming with schadenfreude over the situation in France. No, "Eurabia" is a scenario they *want* to see come about, and they're relishing what they see as vindication of their favorite apocalyptic conspiracy theory. If some of the commenters I'd seen got any more excited by the events on the news about France they'd be having physical orgasms, that's how keenly they seem to want a war of extermination against Muslims everywhere.

Listen

While there will always be envy and eventually hate from working people toward someone one state assistance creating hostile environments toward identifiable groups such as muslims, I don't believe this is the whle story. The arrogance displayed by the muslims in France is notable in that many resent the no-religious-symbols-in-public-school-law, resent having to modify their behavior to fit into the workplace, and resent the French for their un-muslim ways. Islam, in this way is used by BOTH sides to elevate the level of hatered, and will not likely go away anytime soon. If it was simply a matter of not getting enough welfare benefits or not being afforded the opportunity to work, the The French would most likely just up the benefits and opportunities until it was no longer a pressing issue. But in this case, it seems that Islam has become the focal point, and the French might not react kindly to seeing their culture and way of life under attack. The government will most certaily offer more benefits to stem the tide of unrest, but I doubt whether the French as a people will accept it in the long run.

Abiola Lapite

"The arrogance displayed by the muslims in France is notable in that many resent the no-religious-symbols-in-public-school-law, resent having to modify their behavior to fit into the workplace, and resent the French for their un-muslim ways."

Let me rephrase your comments in slightly different language and let's see how you like it: "The arrogance displayed by the Jews in Germany is notable in that many resent the no-religious-symbols-in-[public-facility-x]-law, resent having to modify their behavior to fit into the [workplace/school/blah blah], and resent the Germans for their un-Jewish ways." There, how does that read to you?

Newsflash: freedom of religion isn't something only Christians and Jews have a right to enjoy, and in as far as Muslims aren't interfering with other people's rights, it's nothing more than prejudice to call their resentment at having their freedoms restricted "arrogance." Since when has it been "arrogant" for citizens to expect to enjoy the same religious liberties as everyone else? American Christians love to whine about godless liberals banning school prayer and displays of Christmas trees, but when it's Muslims at issue far harsher measures suddenly become ok? Come off it!

"But in this case, it seems that Islam has become the focal point, and the French might not react kindly to seeing their culture and way of life under attack."

Which is why Imams have been calling for the rioters to stop only to be met with stones themselves, while Christian Portuguese and white French youths are also reported to be involved in the arson and rioting ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/07/international/europe/07france.html

You just keep sticking to your thesis regardless of the facts; don't you let the almost complete religious nonobservance of French Muslims interfere in any way with your worldview.

Hercules

While I partially agree with what A.L. says, there are reasons not to assume that Islam isn't a factor in the carnage we're witnessing. C'mon, synagogues are being specifically targetted, stores owned by wealthy Muslims are being spared, and there's a lot of the "Kufr-vs-us" attitude on display. It's not just about class/race - religion is an important dimension.

"... don't you let the almost complete religious nonobservance of French Muslims interfere in any way with your worldview."

Religious nonobservance doesn't in any fashion undermine one's belief in the absolute superiority of the faith that one was born into. This is true of Muslims as much as it is of Christians and Hindus.
This point has been driven home rather well in this Theodore Dalrymple article:

http://www.city-journal.org/html/15_4_suicide_bombers.html

Similarly, India's right-wing Hindu fundamentalist BJP party was led a "political Hindu" as opposed to a "temple going Hindu".

(Conrad Barwa talks about it here: http://pedantry.fistfulofeuros.net/archives/000273.html

"Similarly, BJP leaders in India such as LK Advani during the Rath Yatra campaign were at pains to clarify that they were not temple Hindus, but political Hindus, aware no doubt that many temple Hindus would be unimpressed by the politicisation of religion that has undertaken by the BJP. " )


Even the Pakistani Quaid-e-azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a secularist, who in a speech to Pakistan's Constituent Assembly famously said: " You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State." And yet he supported the partition of India.

All in all, it makes sense not to reduce what's happening in France to a simplistic class/race-based analysis. There are multiple dimensions to it, religion certainly being one of them.

Abiola Lapite

"synagogues are being specifically targetted, stores owned by wealthy Muslims are being spared, and there's a lot of the "Kufr-vs-us" attitude on display."

Care to provide actual hard evidence for all these assertions? Where are the references to news reports substantiating them?

Actually, a moment's reflection makes clear that these claims are pure nonsense - the vast majority of the arson that's occurred thus far has occurred *within* majority-Muslim banlieues, which would mean that the predominant victims of these rampaging youths have been *other Muslims*; indeed, the BBC report I linked to is just one of several which make the point that older residents say they're fed up of the rioting even if they understand the emotions which drive it - yet another nail in the coffin of the claim you're trying to advance.

"Religious nonobservance doesn't in any fashion undermine one's belief in the absolute superiority of the faith that one was born into."

Show me one iota of evidence that the rioters have been going on about the "superiority" of Islam, just one: go ahead, I'm waiting ...

"There are multiple dimensions to it, religion certainly being one of them."

So far the only dimension I've seen religion play in these reports has been from the side of those who want to make it an "Islamic" thing regardless of the facts. This looks as much an "Islamic" disturbance as the Watts and Rodney King riots were "Christian" in nature.

Sebastian Holsclaw

Hmmm, Eurabia it definitely isn't. But I think you are taking a super-limited view of intifada. The rioters in France have learned the lessons of the intifada--especially the early 'first' intifada. Saying that they are engaging in the successful tacitcs of the intifada seems defensible. (By tactics I include such things as low level violence--enough to attract additional followers and cause fear but not enough to get a full-blown crackdown, normally not engaging in direct conflict with large scale police forces, engaging in hit and run strikes rather than generally engaging in massive mob actions.)

Abiola Lapite

"The rioters in France have learned the lessons of the intifada--especially the early 'first' intifada. Saying that they are engaging in the successful tacitcs of the intifada seems defensible."

No it isn't, as for one thing it's highly inflammatory language to be using when talking about kids of Arab origin, and it plays into the hands of those already inclined to jump to all the wrong conclusions anyway. I certainly doubt you'd be using the term "intifada" if these were the 1968ers we were talking about, and the kids rampaging right now haven't learnt any lessons which weren't imbibed ages ago by the likes of Joschka Fischer and Daniel Cohn-Bendit; heck, I doubt you'd find the term "intifada" half as appropriate if the only kids rioting were the white French and Portuguese ones who are currently taking part in it as well, so what purpose does "intifada" serve in discussing this issue other than raising the unfounded spectre of Hamas-on-the-Seine?

Pearsall Helms

[Care to provide actual hard evidence for all these assertions? Where are the references to news reports substantiating them?]

Well, apparently a firebomb was thrown at a synagogue in the suburb of Pierrefitte-sur-Seine.

I dunno if you can read French, but this is what Le Monde had to say:
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-706693,36-706821@51-704172,0.html

"A Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, un engin incendiaire a été lancé contre le mur de la synagogue, tandis qu'à Villetaneuse, un bureau de poste a été incendié. Toujours à Pierrefitte, plus d'une centaine de personnes ont été évacuées pendant la nuit après le déclenchement d'un incendie dans un parking souterrain sous leurs immeubles."

(quick translation: In Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, a fire bomb was launched against the wall of a synagogue, while in Villetaneuse, a post office was burnt down. Also in Pierrefitte, more than a hundred people were evacuated in the night after a fire was started in the underground parking lot of their buildings.)

Of course, this is hardly 'proof' of an actual intifada (to the extent that Islamist language has been used in interviews with young rioting banlieusards I'd guess it's probably been 95% chest-puffing tough guy talk, and 5% genuine feeling).

Abiola Lapite

"Well, apparently a firebomb was thrown at a synagogue in the suburb of Pierrefitte-sur-Seine."

Alright, fair enough, but I still don't see that there's any evidence to support the truly incendiary claim though - that "stores owned by wealthy Muslims are being spared", which sounds all too much like the "4,000 Jews didn't come in to work on 9/11" canard. For this one synagogue that's been torched, there are almost certainly many hundreds of Muslim-owned properties that have gone up in flames as well.

Dr Evle

The only lasting solution is Apartheid. Different races can't co-exist under one government. It is as simple as that -especially when they don't share a religion and culture. The only other option is repression in order to enforce la egalite. George Orwell must be turning in his grave.

Abiola Lapite

"The only lasting solution is Apartheid. Different races can't co-exist under one government."

Yeah, and heil hitler to you too. Go fuck yourself.

Hercules

Abiola, here's article that talks about Muslim-owned businesses being spared:

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=20&art_id=5118&sid=5361376&con_type=1

Here's the relevant quote:

"These men are capable of being forces for both good and mischief; there have been examples from the past fortnight of situations calmed, but also of attackers acting under their direction, so that Muslim-owned businesses, a halal butcher's shop and a kebab joint, for example, are spared, while a bank branch and symbols of another France are targeted."

Here's a video of the arsonists crying, "Allahu-Akbar" :

http://media.putfile.com/French-riots

" Which is why Imams have been calling for the rioters to stop only to be met with stones themselves .. "

While I might trust the average Khalid, I'm mighty skeptical about the motives of Imams in general. The ulterior motive in all of this could be that *IF* the Imams manage to quell the rage of the rioters, they could leverage this influence while negotiating with the French political establishment. They would no longer be considered self-appointed leaders but whould have proven their clout this way.

Iqbal Khaldun

Regardless of whether or not Islam had anything to do with the riots (personally I don't think so), has anyone heard of the phrase 'blaming the victim'? Do you think sometimes maybe the reason why certain ethnic groups 'appear' to be behind violence is because they've been singled out for oppression on the basis of their ethnicity or religion? There's a powerful underbelly of institutionalised, underhanded racism in France. Let's not forget that for all its progressive credentials it was the Europeans who invented the modern concept of genocide and industrialised militarism. To be sure a great deal has been accomplished since the worst times, but that legacy reverberates to the present.

None of this explaining justifies the violence. But enough of the moral compass waving.

Dr Evle

[As I said, go fuck yourself. Racists aren't welcome on here, so take your racial separatist bullshit somewhere else.]

J.Cassian

"Let's not forget that for all its progressive credentials it was the Europeans who invented the modern concept of genocide"

I seem to remember Hitler learned from the Young Turks, not vice versa, but that's another matter. I doubt whether genocide or industrialised militarism have much to do with the riots in France. They were probably provoked by more pressing concerns like high unemployment and police harrassment.

Will

Well, if the French are such racists, why not leave them to their own devices? Why force them into a multiculturalism which they have not asked for and which will most certainly destroy the traditional concept of what it means to be French? The question which the multiculturalists needs to answer honestly is whether the Republic should be serving the nation or whether it should be the other way round?

Abiola Lapite

"Why force them into a multiculturalism which they have not asked for and which will most certainly destroy the traditional concept of what it means to be French?"

You get the Special Prize for Stupid Right-Wing Rhetoric award: not only do you not appreciate that France is about as far from being "multiculturalist" in its treatment of immigrants as it is possible to get, but your ridiculous crack about "forcing" the French to abandon "the traditional concept of what it means to be French" would be enough on its own to get you a gold star - what, you think those all those immigrants from Algeria and Morocco simply rammed their way into France at gunpoint or something?

Your vacuous and tribalistic comments exemplify everything I find despicable about most right-wing commentary on this topic: they amount to nothing more than a foul mixture of complete ignorance, intolerance and thinly-veiled racial jaundice. Here's a newsflash for you, buddy: people who think in terms of "the Republic" existing for the sake of some racial-cultural "nation" rather than individuals are called "Nazis."

odocoileus

So Igbo and Yoruba self determination are okay, but self determination for the ethnic French is not okay? Wouldn't a Yoruba state exist for the sake of Yoruba racial cultural identity?

You say that the Igbo and Yoruba just can't live with the Hausa and the other Northerners. Fair enough. If the ethnic French say that they just can't live with Arabs and Africans, how is this any different?

Will

"you think those all those immigrants from Algeria and Morocco simply rammed their way into France at gunpoint or something?"

No, obviously it was a political decision to allow them in, be it for humanitarian or economic reasons. But, as everybody with eyes can see, the chickens have now come home to roost. And culture is not as malleable as Karl Marx and his progeny thought. (And forget about race - I believe that if France had tried to digest as many Russians or Romanians or Portuguese the upshot would have been the same.)

Abiola Lapite

"So Igbo and Yoruba self determination are okay, but self determination for the ethnic French is not okay? Wouldn't a Yoruba state exist for the sake of Yoruba racial cultural identity?"

You have to be utterly demented to equate secessionist movements with racialist claptrap. By your reckoning I guess the Parti Quebecois is a racial movement or something ...

"If the ethnic French say that they just can't live with Arabs and Africans, how is this any different?"

More complete idiocy: since when have "Hausa" or "Yoruba" been racial labels? All one has to do to be either is to speak the language and identify as one, and by that standard these sons and grandsons of immigrants are as French as Sarkozy, himself the son of an immigrant. But hey, don't let that get in the way of your defending racism or anything.

"No, obviously it was a political decision to allow them in, be it for humanitarian or economic reasons."

There was nothing "humanitarian" about it: they were *brought* to France by the French themselves, to do the menial labor the natives thought beneath them, and they were brought from countries which France aggressively conquered and then ruled with a a bloody fist for more than a hundred years. To hear you say it, you'd think France's immigrants were simply let in as an act of charity.

"But, as everybody with eyes can see, the chickens have now come home to roost. "

Oh, you mean bringing people over to wash your dishes, raise your babies and mow your lawns, and then denying their children all opportunity to advance in your society can have serious consequences? Glad to see you agree with me! (snicker)

Chuckles

[...So Igbo and Yoruba self determination are okay, but self determination for the ethnic French is not okay? Wouldn't a Yoruba state exist for the sake of Yoruba racial cultural identity?

You say that the Igbo and Yoruba just can't live with the Hausa and the other Northerners. Fair enough. If the ethnic French say that they just can't live with Arabs and Africans, how is this any different?...]

This is just the height of vacuous bullshit.

First of all: How did all those Arabs and Africans get into France? Did they insinuate themselves into the French Republic the same way that Igbo and Yoruba have come to exist in Nigeria?

Secondly: I hardly recollect seeing anywhere where A.L. opined that the Igbo and the Hausa cannot coexist: The argument is that coexistence should be by self determination: and that even an exercise of self determination against coexistence isnt a neccesarily moral exercise. Furthermore; to compare the British instituted ethnic hierarchies in Nigeria - hierarchies that were instituted a gun point; without any volitional agency on the parts of Africans: with a situation with the French have brought on themselves is just ludicrous.

Thirdly: A Yoruba State would not exist for a Yoruba Racial Cultural identity: It would exist for individuals who have subscribed to the notion of using certain elements of a historical patrimony for the organization of their present lives: A subscription that can be canceled at any moment. This is miles away from the Racial-Cultural identity bullshit you are trying to sell here.

Fourthly: Ethnic French saying that they cant live with Arabs and Africans does not neccesarily make their sentiments moral sentiments. BTW - It is completely despicable to peddle this line here, when the situation in question is completely the fault of the French: No one asked the French to go into Algeria; no one asked them to try to set up French spheres of Influence around the world; no one asked them to seek French Empire: The French act of letting immigrants into their country is a direct result of their Imperial ambitions. If you dont want immigrants, keep your freaking dicks in your pants.

Fifthly: An exercise of Igbo or Yoruba self determination, in the context of Nigeria, would include, inter alia: An exercise of Agency against a Colonial Nigerian State which of neccessity, suppressive: So tell me; who is suppressing the French, a majority ethnicity, in France again?

Will

"then denying their children all opportunity to advance in your society can have serious consequences"

Certainly you can't mean to say that the French government didn't try to accommodate them through all kinds of outreach and development projects? If they are being denied the opportunity for advancement it is the citizenry which is to blame. Which doesn't absolve the government from culpability for its lack of foresight by having allowed such massive immigration in the first place. Of course, America is going to go through the same convulsions a couple of years down the road with its current unfettered importation of menial labourers.

Abiola Lapite

"Certainly you can't mean to say that the French government didn't try to accommodate them through all kinds of outreach and development projects?"

It's clear you never bothered to read through the numerous articles I linked to in my post, otherwise you wouldn't be asking such a question. What difference does "outreach" make if the fact that you live in a banlieue, are male and look Arab means your chances of being interviewed for a job are EIGHT TIMES lower than if you were a white Christian?

Chuckles

[... Of course, America is going to go through the same convulsions a couple of years down the road with its current unfettered importation of menial labourers...]

Nonsense. America is an infinitely more open society - and despite what Huntington, Hanson, and Malkin crew would like you to think, people who opt to come to the United States are far more interested in assimilation when they can: There will be no convulsions; except in the minds of those who see Barbarians invading Rome in every Immigration scenario: Except of course, when it is Caucasians who are going to "spread civilization".

I mean, isnt it just ridiculous when folks actively work to ensure that "convulsions" take place - with all their right wing fear mongering - and then run around to say "I told you so"?

Do these folks really expect immigrants to come into the country as serfs? I remember Victor Davis Hanson once complaining that the problem with immigrants was that they thought that they could come into the USA and instantly achieve parity with the Natives! I mean, the nerve of those immigrants!

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