You can see from this story that the blame will be placed on the failure of France’s policy of integration, as well as on a firm response to the riots. In other words, France will be called upon to play the dhimmi. I suggest, on the contrary, that this has come about in part because of the failure of France’s policy of non-integration. In Eurabia, Bat Ye’or details how, decades ago, European governments agreed not to press Muslim immigrants to assimilate. And now they’re surprised that they have a huge class of people who are disaffected and don’t feel as if they are truly French? Riot update from AFP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
PARIS (AFP) – The French government was reeling after nearly a week of suburban rioting outside Paris spread to other areas around the capital, laying bare what observers said was the country’s failure to address deep problems of poverty and immigration.
Gangs of stone-throwing youths clashed with police and torched 180 cars overnight in several towns north and west of Paris in an escalation of dusk-to-dawn violence that has raged since last Thursday following the death of two teenagers in the northeast suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.
Thirty-four people were arrested in the rampages, which have so shaken authorities that President Jacques Chirac came forward Wednesday to call for calm and vow to investigate the teens’ deaths….
“A lack of dialogue and an escalation of disrespectful behaviour would lead to a dangerous situation,” he said, adding that “there can be no area existing outside the law” in France….
They were triggered by the accidental electrocution of two youths, aged 15 and 17, who had scaled an electrical relay station’s walls to escape a police identity check in the street.
Since then, tensions — punctuated by the nighttime confrontations — have increased in the low-rent, high-immigrant suburbs that surround Paris.
The firing of a police teargas grenade against a mosque in Clichy-sous-Bois during clashes late Sunday also sparked rage in the suburb’s large Muslim community.
The grievances have been further fuelled by hardline law-and-order policies implemented by Sarkozy, who is also leader of France’s ruling UMP party….
Just one week before the riots exploded, he promised a “war without mercy” on violence and petty crime in the suburbs.
The opposition Socialist Party criticised Sarkozy’s rhetoric, and accused the government of “creating an explosive situation” in the suburbs.
Observers saw the riots as a sign of the growing divisions in French society — Muslim immigration, poverty, declining education standards in downtrodden areas and joblessness.
The left-leaning newspaper Liberation said successive governments had “broken their noses on the reality of the ghettos, often minimised and often forgotten in their priorities.”
But in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper Wednesday, Sarkozy defended his tough policies by saying that some poor suburbs had come under “the rule of gangs, of drugs, of traffickers” and that his measures had brought down crime by eight per cent a year.
“The feeling of exclusion, illegal immigration and the high level of unemployment creates considerable problems,” he said, asserting that “firmness, but also justice” was needed.
Suburbs such as Clichy-sous-Bois suffer from unemployment rates over twice the national average, which is already relatively high at around 10 percent….
A French sociologist, Michel Wieviorka, told AFP that such rampages were “the expression of desperation, of anger and a feeling of injustice.”
They came about, he said, because “France doesn’t know how to cope with the faltering of its republican model of integration.”
Very well. But it is questionable whether putting the Socialists in power and granting Muslims in France some kind of economic benefit package will really solve the problem. It is, ultimately, one of identity, not of economics. But neither the French nor much of anyone else has the conceptual apparatus to be able to deal with such a thing.