Saturday, October 21, 2006

Muslim Lawlessness in France

From the International Herald Tribune, an account of the lawless climate that afflicts heavily Muslim suburbs of Paris.
EPINAY-SUR-SEINE, France When the call came about a car burglary in this raw suburb north of Paris one night last weekend, three officers in a patrol car rushed over, only to find themselves surrounded by 30 youths in hoods throwing rocks and swinging bats and metal bars.

Neither tear gas nor stun guns stopped the assault. Only when reinforcements arrived did the siege end. One officer was left with broken teeth and in need of 30 stitches to his face.

The attack was rough but not unique. In the past three weeks alone, three similar assaults on the police have occurred in these suburbs that a year ago were aflame with the rage of unemployed, undereducated youths, most of them the offspring of Arab and African immigrants.

In fact, with the anniversary of those riots approaching in the coming week, spiking statistics for violent crime across the area tell a grim tale of promises unkept and attention unpaid. Residents and experts say that fault lines run even deeper than before and that widespread violence could flare up again at any moment.

“Tension is rising very dramatically,” said Patrice Ribeiro, the deputy head of the Synergie-Officiers police union. “There is the will to kill.”

The anger of the young is reflected in the music popular in the suburbs. In her latest album, the female rap singer Diam’s accuses Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy of being a “demagogue” and the police of hypocrisy. The rapper Booba proclaims that “Maybe it would be better to burn Sarko’s car,” while Alibi Montana, another rapper, warns Sarkozy, “Keep going like that and you’re going to get done.”

Next Friday is the one-year anniversary of the electrocution death of two teenagers as - rumor had it - they were running from the police in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.

The tragedy triggered three weeks of violence in which rioters throughout France torched cars, trashed businesses and ambushed police officers and firefighters, plunging the country into what President Jacques Chirac called “a profound malaise.”

Last month, a leaked law enforcement memo warned of a “climate of impunity” in Seine-Saint-Denis, the notorious district north of Paris, where clusters of suburbs like Clichy-sous-Bois and Epinay-sur-Seine are located.

It reported a 23 percent increase in violent robberies and a 14 percent increase in assaults in the district of 1.5 million people in the first half of 2006, complaining that young, inexperienced police officers were overwhelmed and that the court system was lax. Only one of 85 juveniles arrested during the unrest had been jailed, it added.
Of course, the International Herald Tribune, being part of the mainstream media, won’t label the hoodlums “Muslim,” although the euphemistic language “offspring of Arab and African immigrants” makes it clear.

There is also some of the politically correct language about “promises unkept and attention unpaid,” as though the fundamental problem is the lack of social welfare spending, rather than the lack of respect for the law.

Does this sound familiar to Americans?

The massive riots of Muslim youths a year ago, and the increasing lawlessness that continues to this day, are a rebuke to those Europhiles who think that Europe is somehow oh so much more civilized than the United States.

Liberals have to face the fact that, even if the proper way to handle any social problem is increased social welfare spending, the French have not solved the problem.

And conservatives will note that Europe doesn’t like to punish criminals -- with the natural consequence of increasing crime rates.

Then there are things like homelessness in Paris.

Americans should sympathize with the problems the French have. But schadenfreude is the proper attitude toward the snobbish blue-state Europhile Americans, and the European elitists who share their attitudes.


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