Neither one made mention of the indications — even to dismiss them –that Islam may well have a large role to play in the riots.
“French Imams Distance Islam From Paris Riots,” from IslamOnline, with thanks to all who sent this in:
PARIS, November 5, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) — Imams in the Paris suburban region of Seine-Saint-Denis have refuted claims that Islam was being used to fan the flames of rioting that continues to grip the capital, citing continued efforts to calm down the situation.
“Devout Muslims would never do such actions which run in the face of basic Islamic tenets against sabotage,” Zuhair Buraik, the imam of Tariq Bin Ziyad mosque, told IslamOnline.net on Saturday, November 5.
That seems a bit disingenuous. Is “sabotage” really what the rioters are up to?
Daw Meskine, the imam of the Clichy-Sous-Bois mosque and the secretary general of the French Council of Imams, agreed.
“Security forces have not implicated any pious Muslims in the rioting and violence, behind the clashed with the police,” he said….
In his Friday sermon, Buraik he urged those involved in the rioting and violence to come to their senses.
He warned that the worsening riots were playing well into the hands of anti-Islam parties in France.
Why would that be so, if Islam forbids all this and the rioters are not acting in the name of Islam?
“Pious young Muslims have shouldered their responsibility from the first day of the clashes, trying to convince the angry youths of the need to calm down and stop violence,” said imam Ahmad Gaballah.
With singular lack of success, apparently.
“Some parties are just trying to smear the good work being done by the young Muslims,” added Gaballah, also a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR).
The French Council of Imams and the federation of Islamic societies in Seine-Saint-Denis have issued a joint statement urging calm and an end to provocations….
The New York Times, in a piece entitled “Immigrant Rioting Flares in France for Ninth Night,” agrees that all this has Nothing To Do With Islam:
While the vast majority of the young people behind the nightly attacks are Muslim, experts and residents warned against seeing the violence through the prism of religion. The cultural divide between these second- and third-generation immigrants and the native French is deeper because they come from Muslim families, but to date the violence has had nothing to do with Islam.
I see. Perhaps soon the Times, and/or Buraik, will explain how sentiments like these have nothing to do with Islam. Here is a section from a Reuters piece that the Times carried, “Paris Seeks ‘Hidden Hands’ in Riots”:
Ahmed Hamidi, a white-bearded Moroccan electrician long resident in France, had no patience with politicians in Paris, which lies hardly an hour away but seems like another planet.
“All the politicians care about are laws for homosexuals and all those immoral things,” he fumed. “They are against headscarves, against beards and against the mosques.
Do any of the rioters think this way? That the French politicians are immoral and oppose Islam? Might the rioting have something to do with such sentiments? I think we will find out soon enough, because when in the wake of these riots the French grant the Islamic community any number of concessions, they will discover to their surprise that for some reason the Muslims still aren’t pacified. And then maybe some of the French governing authorities will wake up to the fact that this isn’t about unemployment and discrimination.