From Nidra Poller for Pajamas Media:
The most troubling episode of the French presidential campaign has come and gone without attracting serious attention even in France: Socialist candidate SÃ©golÃ¨ne Royal willingly participated in “˜a dhimmitude allegiance ceremony.” This was organized by the Collective ACLEFEU at Clichy-sous-bois, which was the kickoff point of the November 2005 “incidents” (i.e.riots). Even if you don’t understand French, click on Royal’s site and watch the video of the ceremony. Don’t miss the young woman in double-decker hijab sitting to the left of the candidate.
Readers will recall the three-weeks of 2005 French mayhem the media presented as the French version of Watts, the “burn-baby-burn” riots of the French dispossessed yearning to be free. Others, myself included, saw a Muslim inspired intifada-type attack against the French state and French society.
Forgoing her hallmark coquetterie, SÃ©golÃ¨ne Royal, shapelessly dressed in a beige trench jacket over dark slacks and a nondescript shirt, solemnly placed a wreath at the foot of the monument to the martyred boys”” the shahids”” and went on to a public ceremony organized by the ACLEFEU guys in their black t-shirts. The Socialist candidate, who usually stands, smiles, flashes her teeth and swishes her skirts, sat demurely at a table. She assured the good people of the banlieue that they are not the problem, they are part of the solution.
But the promises Royal made in her little speech are nothing compared to the “Social Contract” she signed. She took the liberty of reminding them that they would also be asked what they can do for their country”¦ because her intention, when elected, is to “˜mobilize energies,” not smother them in welfare. And she told them there were some provisions she could not sign, namely certain unrealistic fiscal recommendations. The applause was no less enthusiastic.
ACLEFEU (“assez le feu,” literally “enough with the fire”) stands for Association Collectif LibertÃ© EgalitÃ© FraternitÃ© Ensemble, which is already stretching the point. All French presidential candidates have been invited, or more exactly convoked, to sign the Social Contract no later than March 5th.
The preamble sets the tone:
“These revolts were a violent, angry, exasperated response to injustice, humiliation, contempt, social grief and pain to our identity””as to our place in the nation””to two events, the tragic death of two children chased by the police and of two other people [?], a police attack against a place of worship [a teargas canister exploded near a mosque during a riot]”¦” Though torching was the wrong method it was a justified response to the living conditions of families abandoned by the government for thirty years, harassed by the police, stigmatized for their religion and culture. To put out the fires once and for all, citizens and residents of France should demand that presidential and, subsequently, legislative candidates sign the Social Contract.”
Grievances are treated in 9 categories: Employment, Discrimination, Housing, Justice, Education, Citizenship, Distribution of Wealth, Women, Health. For each category, an overall assessment is followed by specific recommendations. Generally speaking the aggrieved are innocent victims who should never be punished no matter what they do, and the guilty parties””rich people, government officials, society at large””should be treated with utmost severity.
This “Register of Grievances” was established by a small minority of the total French population. The overwhelming majority of the aggrieved are black and/or Muslim. With rare exceptions, they belong to a relatively recent wave of immigration initiated in 1973. Their outrageous demands for a radical transformation of the French government, society, and economic system amount to nothing more than the special pleading of a special interest group; a banlieue lobby, so to speak.
How could the presidential candidate of a major political party sign such a document? Did any of her advisors seriously read it? Did she think it was a neat way to rake in votes and show that the banlieue loves her and hates Sarkozy? If more French people understood what happened at Clichy sous bois this week, Royal’s score might dip another few points. The latest polls accredit her with 43% to Sarkozy”s 57%.
Sarkozy so far seems to have escaped signing on the pretense that he is still a minister of government, but one hopes he would have the spine to stay clear of ACLEFEU anyway. He did he get in hot water after referring to the 2005 rioters as “scum.” Vive la France?