TCS Daily

Eurabian Fights

By Nidra Poller - November 7, 2005 12:00 AM

PARIS -- As the Eurabian Nights' dream starts exploding in the face of France, mainstream media are counting the number of torched cars and explaining that the rioters suffer from poverty and discrimination. It would seem that Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy ignited this unprecedented wave of violence by calling the rioters "la racaille" and promising to clean up the lost territories of the Republic. "Racaille" (pronounced rack-eye'-eh) is almost too good to translate. It means everything from bully to two-bit Mafioso, with connotations of thuggery, thievery, racketeering, and sleaze. La racaille is a gangsta class of knife-wielding bad guys who steal from their classmates, prey on their neighbors in the 'hood, and victimize honest citizens everywhere. Junior racaille work protection rackets in their schools, steal cars and motorcycles, and rape girls to keep them in line, Islamically speaking. Senior racaille pimp, deal drugs, and carry guns. As it turns out, the guerilla troops that are trying to burn down the Republic are something more dangerous than the racaille they've enlisted in their battle.

A reporter interviews a man standing in front of a mosque in full Islamist regalia and politely relays his complaints. Do readers know that these offended Islamists are calling for the de-Zionization of France? And the defeat of the United States of America? No offense meant there! Do readers understand that the banlieues are being shaped into a foreign and hostile nation?

Many commentators prefer to focus on testimony of discrimination. A man on the street named Mohamed swears that even if you have a college degree, you can't get a decent job if your name is Mohamed. But Azouz Begag, who grew up in a bidonville, a real shanty town outside of Lyon, has a doctorate in sociology. And he is not working as a delivery boy. He is a minister in the French government or, to be exact, an "assistant" minister... in charge of "the promotion of equal opportunity." And he agrees with a lot of other Mohameds that the problems are unemployment, discrimination, and the harsh words of Sarkozy. The same Azouz Begag saw no harm in the creation of a virulently anti-Semitic fifth-column political party called France-Palestine. According to our eminent sociologist, who has fully benefited from equal opportunity, this was a healthy outlet for "immigrants" to express their grievances and aspirations. Nothing to get upset about.

Whatever Begag says, the enraged mobs are not listening to him. He is discredited by the very fact of being in the government. So much for integration. He was already discredited when he got good grades in school, wrote popular children's books, dressed in a suit and tie...and, don't forget, Azouz is not named Mohamed. He is Kabyl.

The uprising began on October 27. But Jean-Claude Ivroas, a 56-year-old salesman for a company that markets urban lighting fixtures, was already dead in what might be treated as an "unrelated incident." Monsieur Ivroas stopped on a street in Epinay-sur-Seine to take a picture of a lamppost. Three residents of the banlieue accosted him, grabbed his camera and, when he resisted, beat him to death in 90 seconds.

Riots broke out later that day in Clichy-sous-Bois, another neighborhood in the same department, familiarly known as the 9 cubed (93) after its department code. Three French Muslim kids who thought they were being pursued by the police scaled a high wall and landed inside a high-voltage relay station marked with all the appropriate signs of lethal danger; two were electrocuted, the third was badly burned. In the flash of a second the word went out that the innocent victims were martyrs of police harassment. It happens all the time. Kids steal a car, the police go after them, the kids drive like madmen, crash into a tree or a wall or another car, and get killed. Within hours the riots begin. Cars, buses, and police stations are torched. The riot police are attacked. Sooner or later calm is restored.

So it is not surprising that when President Jacques Chirac finally reacted after six days of outrageous violence, he begged for the restoration of calm. The calm he yearns for was marked by a rising tide of violence, including the torching of 20,000 cars in a year.

Ten days after the kickoff in Clichy-sous-Bois, the rioting has spread all over France and into other European countries. The normal reaction would be to declare martial law and impose a strict curfew. By failing to take these steps and instead shifting the blame from the rioters to presidential hopeful Sarkozy, the French government is opening a boulevard to further and ever more lethal unrest.

The banlieues are not equivalent to American inner cities. This is not a replay of "the fire next time." The outcome will not be the kind of affirmative action that brought black stockbrokers to Wall Street and black actors to starring roles in TV commercials and sitcoms. What we are seeing is a jihad-style insurgency waged against a country that has fervently fostered the Eurabian fusion project.

One of the most telling outlines of this project can be found in the "Report of the high level Advisory Group on Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area," approved by the European Commission under the presidency of Romano Prodi. This project, which is currently being implemented in Europe, creates a new "ethnic" group -- immigrants. The Muslim immigrants clearly designated as beneficiaries of the project are not people who left their native lands and settled in other countries; they are and they remain immigrants down through the generations. They deserve endless special consideration as immigrants, and are encouraged to maintain an attachment to the umma, over and above their residence or citizenship in countries of the European Union. These are the "immigrants" who are running amok in France today. Many of them are second or third generation French!

Their voices can be heard venting obsessive hatred of Zionists and Americans on the Sunday talk show on Mediterranée FM. And they are not all doing menial labor. They are articulate students, businessmen, white collar workers, intellectuals. And often assert their rights as French citizens. I heard one caller declare a year ago: "we don't have to integrate, we've already done more than enough to integrate, now it's up to them to integrate into our society!"

Of course the French have been known for shabby treatment of the people they colonized, including Africans, Arab-Muslim immigrants, and Black citizens of the overseas territories and departments. But this is only half the story. The colonies have been independent for fifty years. What have they done with their independence? If the French are so nasty, why are millions of Muslims pouring in from all sides, by all means, legal and illegal, forthright and stealthy, justified and unjustified? Why are some of those "immigrant" children and grandchildren sacking and burning schools instead of taking advantage of the education that is offered to them?

News reports that overemphasize the grievances of the "immigrants" and play down the savagery of their current campaign of guerilla warfare feed into a fuzzy notion of just desserts: The French treated these people badly, now it's their turn to suffer.

Even if this were true, it still would not make sense. Running amok, burning cars, shopping centers, police stations, schools, fire trucks and ambulances will not create a thriving economy with liberty and justice for all. The truth is, the French government has been bending over backward to glorify Islam and all that goes with it. The media have relayed the message with the help of cultural circles and willing intellectuals.

Decent law-abiding people who work, pay taxes, and raise their children properly have been begging the government to crack down on the Islamists and criminals who prey on them. If there is indeed 30 percent unemployment in the banlieues, it follows that 70 percent of the people are gainfully employed. High rents and low wages keep them in the housing projects. It is their cars that are burned, their public transportation that is interrupted, their safety that is jeopardized. Attacking bus drivers, raping women in cellars, hallways, and commuter trains, destroying public property, stealing purses and cell phones...this is nothing new. Young women are forced to wear hijab, one was burned alive for resisting advances, one was stoned to death, thousands are persecuted, confined to their homes, trapped in forced marriages. They beg, plead, and supplicate the French government to protect them. These are French women, born in France, and abandoned to de-facto Islamic rule in the country of their birth. It is their Islamist brothers, not French society, that reduce them to second class citizenship.

Nicolas Sarkozy is very popular in the banlieues. The hoodlums throw rocks at him, but law-abiding citizens bless his heart and if given the chance will vote for him in the next presidential elections. Unless the Chirac-Villepin duo succeeds in breaking his will. If his courage falters, if he eats crow and spits out sociological mush instead of following through on his promise to re-establish the rule of law, then the fusion ushered in by the architects of Eurabia will be accomplished by force in the meltdown of insurrection.

The author is a novelist living in Paris.


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