Show Them Who Is the Boss in France
From the desk of Paul Belien on Sun, 2005-11-06 18:19
Here are today’s headlines in Belgium’s (only) Sunday newspaper De Zondag. Page One: “No Sign of Revolt in Belgium Yet.” Page Five: “Violence Moves Towards Belgium.” It almost sounds like a weather forecast, anticipating the onslaught of a hurricane that is inevitably coming.
What is happening in France has been brewing in Old Europe for years. The BBC speaks of “youths” venting their “anger.” The BBC is wrong. It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularised welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The “youths” do not blame the French, they despise them.
Most observers in the mainstream media (MSM) provide an occidentocentric analysis of the facts. They depict the “youths” as outsiders who want to be brought into Western society and have the same rights as the natives of Old Europe. The MSM believe that the “youths” are being treated unjustly because they are not a functioning part of Western society. They claim that, in spite of positive discrimination, subsidies, public services, schools, and all the provisions that have been made for immigrants over the years, access has been denied them.
This is the marxist rhetoric of the West that has been predominant in the media and the chattering classes since the 1960s. But it does not fit the facts of the situation in Europe today. To understand what is going on one cannot look at today’s events from a Western perspective. One has to think like the “youths” in order to understand them. Not imagine oneself in their shoes, but imagine their minds in one’s own head. The important question is: how do these insurgents perceive their relationship with society in France?
Unlike their fathers, who came to France from Muslim countries, accepting that, whilst remaining Muslims themselves, they had come to live in a non-Muslim country, the rioters see France as their country. They were born here. This land is their land. And since they are Muslims, this land, or at least a part of it, is Muslim as well. The society they live in is a homogeneous Islamic one. For them that is society, there is no other. Consequently there is also no question of their “leaving” that society to become part of another society, the putative Western one. “Society” is the society they live in and from which they view and interpret what goes on around them. To understand their language we must understand how they see us, where we fit in in their society. Multiculturalism does not exist: it is always a matter of several cultures living side by side in defined territories, and the laws of one culture not applying in the territories of the others.
West Europeans cannot blame the Muslim “youths” for looking at the world the way they do. Europe willingly opened the door to the Muslims, not just by allowing large-scale immigration on an unprecedented level, but also by encouraging the newcomers to retain their culture. Several million Muslim immigrants allowed in at a speed and scale that was unique in history. As Bat Ye’or wrote, “even in the course of the European colonization, the emigration of Europeans to the colonies took place at an infinitely slower pace. The number of European colonists, including their descendants, even after a maximum of one or two centuries, was incomparably lower than that of present-day Muslim immigrants in each of the countries of Europe after only three decades.”
In the “Resolution of Strasbourg,” passed unanimously by the general assembly of the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation on June 7-8, 1975, more than 200 Members of Parliament from Western European countries, representing all shades of the political spectrum (except the far right), unanimously agreed to allow Arab immigrants to bring their culture and religion to Europe, to promote it and spread it. The parliamentarians stressed “the contribution that the European countries can still expect from Arab culture, notably in the area of human values” and asked the European governments “to accord the greatest priority to spreading Arab culture in Europe.” Today the forests of satellite dishes on the apartment blocks in the suburbs of Western European cities link the immigrants to the culture of their countries of origin, whose television programmes they watch day after day.
Dyab Abou Jahjah, the young and charismatic Brussels-based leader of the Arab European League, rejects assimilation and demands segregated schools and self-governing, Arab-speaking ghettos. “We reject integration when it leads to assimilation,” Jahjah says: “I don’t believe in a host country. We are at home here and whatever we consider our culture to be also belongs to our chosen country. I’m in my country, not the country of the [Westerners].”
The Western authorities quietly accepted this when they abandoned the suburbs to the immigrants a decade ago. The attempt by the French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a second-generation immigrant himself (though not from a Muslim country), to assert the authority of the French Republic over its lost territory has triggered the current civil warfare in France. For the “youths” this is a declaration of war. They are not in Sarkozy’s country but in their own country, where the West promised they could retain their own cultural values and spread them.
Those media that tell us that the rioting “youths” want to be a part of our society and feel left out of it, are misrepresenting the facts. As the insurgents see it, they are not a part of our society and they want us to keep out of theirs. The violence in France is in no way comparable with that of the blacks in the U.S. in the 1960s. The Paris correspondent of The New York Times who writes that this a “variant of the same problem” is either lying or does not know what he is talking about. The violence in France is of the type one finds when one group wants to assert its authority and drive the others out of its territory. American MSM who imply that there is a direct line from Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to stand up for a white man on an American bus in 1955, to the rabble that are now throwing molotov cocktails into French buses containing passengers, are misrepresenting the facts. (The only comparison between America and France is that many of the bus drivers in the Parisian suburbs, like those in New Orleans, seem to be white women whose vulnerability attracts rioters and looters).
The French government is failing completely in the basic task of government: maintaining law and order so that each citizen can live and work in safety. What is more, the government has abdicated. The ministers are either pandering to the rioters (Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin – despite the first name, he is a man, though clearly without balls) or bluffing (Interior Minister Sarkozy) rather than using the instruments they have. Perhaps they have a good excuse. Maybe government is aware that in an outright urban war it would be outarmed and outnumbered. Perhaps the rumour that the French authorities cannot rely on the army because fifteen percent of the soldiers are Muslims is true. Perhaps the allegation of Maurice Dantec on Quebec television that large arsenals of sophisticated heavy weaponry are stacked away in the French suburbs is also true.
As a result, however, the insurgents are viewing the politicians and the pundits with contempt and amusement. If there is “anger” of a kind, it is no more than infuriation at the, from their point of view, arrogant presumption of the French politicians that Muslims would even consider adopting, let alone abiding by rules that the French have set. The Muslims resent the outsiders paternalizing them and interfering with their way of life in the suburbs of all Western Europe’s major cities. Their message is: get out of our way, get out of our territory, and: you act like you think you’re the boss but we’ll show you who really is.
It is imperative that Americans realise that Western Europe has ceased to be a continent of more or less likeminded cousins at the other side of the Atlantic. Immigrants in Europe cannot be compared with immigrants in the U.S. It is possible to share the same culture with someone from a different race, but not with someone from a fundamentally different religion. The demographic data clearly show who is likely to win the impending European civil war. As in the Netherlands, where more people are currently moving out of the country than into it, one can expect a French exodus in the near future. Those who will be leaving France are those who fear that their future is looking bleak, and they are not the Muslims in the suburbs.
I think it goes further than that...
Submitted by Jeff Harmon (not verified) on Tue, 2005-11-08 00:23.
As an American who lived in Europe for 3 years, I saw first hand in the 90s the underbelly of Europe's immigration system. In Germany, it is the Turks, in France, the "pied noirs" or black feet, the North-Africans.
Moreover, what these immigrants have heard from the local press is a steady stream of anti-Americanism. Who is the greatest enemy of France? America. Who is the greatest enemy of their homeland? America. Then it must be America that is the root of all evil and French society is incapable of defeating it. French culture even had to be saved by these Amerloques. Only Arab culture will stand up to the USA.
These second and third generations are trapped: unable to adopt a new culture, they cannot return to a "homeland" that so unattractive to those used to Western conveniences. They certainly are hestitant to integrate in with a culture than is so zenophobic and is so mired in self-pity.
Europe has long indulged themselves in this petty nationalism while trying to implement a reckless multi-culturalist leftist policy. Both are the result of a society which sees itself as unworthy. Is it any wonder then that Muslim youth will not take them seriously and even anger that such a powerless state will try to govern them?
Secularism and Integration
Submitted by Dwight in IL (not verified) on Mon, 2005-11-07 22:17.
"It is possible to share the same culture with someone from a different race, but not with someone from a fundamentally different religion."
Actually, from an American perspective, it is possible for numerous religions to share the same culture. But there is an important caveat: the vast majority of the adherents of each must also be adherents of a sort of civic moral code. The essence of that code, in America, consists of three principles:
1. Mind your own business.
2. Respect others' personal freedom.
3. When push comes to shove, get along with your neighbors or move on.
These are always in tension, but allow a diverse mix to get along, more or less. In fact, they allow groups that might otherwise be at each others throats to live peaceably next to each other. Moreover, it focuses each group on fighting for its rights rather than fighting to limit the rights of others.
As an example, for many Americans the French flack over wearing the hijab is hard to understand, because we see the issue more as the personal freedom of the Muslim woman and less as the attempt to impose a Muslim culture on the French public school system.
But should those same Muslim students try to force the hijab on every Muslim girl, we'd have a totally different reaction.
As I see it the problem is not so much that the Muslims couldn't have integrated as that serious efforts were made precisely to prevent integration, at least in the American sense. But then, to us, secularism is less about barring religion from public life and more about ensuring that all religions share a sort of common code of civic virtues.
I agree with the author that the explicit decision to encourage immigration while discouraging reasonable accomodation of the immigrants to a shared culture was the height of foolishness. I only hope France and the other nations find a way out of the "multi-culti" swamp they foolishly created.
Is Europe really dying?
Submitted by Flabbergasted Latin-American (not verified) on Mon, 2005-11-07 01:38.
Is Europe really dying? Government euthanasia of its native population? I mean, won't somebody - anybody - do anything at all? Hello-o? I like Europe. Well, as it used to be at least.
If this is really the beggining of the end, the combined memes of Marxism + Islamism will have proven to be a lethal combination: the former paralysing the victim, the latter emboldening the agressor. Where is La Resistance?
The Fall of France
Submitted by John Blake (not verified) on Mon, 2005-11-07 02:31.
If postings that describe the Islamic immigrants' uprising in and around Paris, now in its eleventh day, as the overdue bursting of a societal boil long fostered by Leftist dysfunction plus France's notoriously fatuous delusions of grandeur, are largely accurate: What hope for any but a historically bloody denouement, reminiscent of the Pakistan-India "exchange of populations" that occurred post-partition in 1948?
If these isolated, festering, mullah-besotted groups truly believe that French territory is "their" nation, they will have to be rudely and forcefully awakened, and quite soon at that. But then what? Simply deposit them on the nearest Moroccan beach while Kofi Annan "expresses regret"? How about a Gaza-strip type solution, lines of "refugee camps" stretching to the horizon, safely separated by the Mediterranean from all things European? After all, "they had their chance"... don't think for a moment that when survival itself is at stake this may not happen. The French have done worse, and are quite capable of behaving so again.
From an American standpoint, the self-hating comparisons with post-Reconstruction Southern milieus from c. 1890 will ring out loud and clear, and signify absolutely nothing. The problem for us is, will all of Europe choose to implode by default, emptying out by emigration at the same time as a catastrophic demographic drop accelerates the process? And there it is, the job left unfinished from 1684. Outside a world-takeover by shamans from Benin, no more anti-intellectual, culturally ruinous cohort exists than that of Militant Islam. Post-Marx China may wall herself off for a time, but in the age of "disposable nukes" it is easy to envision scenarios where Mecca and Medina topple headfirst into the crater left by Mullahdom's destruction of Peking.
The only "solution" is to redefine the problem. Islamists, whoever and wherever, you are welcome on our terms only. Either do not come here; leave now, with your rancid fascisms intact; or prepare to meet your seventy virgins as rocket-grenades see fit. We haven't seen an issue this stark since Stalin threatened Armaggedon vs. Hungary in 1957.
Submitted by santanu (not verified) on Mon, 2005-11-07 19:04.
Since I am in Israel I only depend on the news media to know what's happening in France. it seems that major French newspapers don't quite see these unrests as something fundamentalist but rather as something more due to deepseated grievance towards the french policy of social segregration.
Regarding "French have done worse " sure they have, in algeria and other places in Africa and Asia , as have other "civilised western countries" .
Seggregating Europe from the unwashed darkskinned hordes is a good idea , had it happened centuries earlier when Europeans left its shores looking for wealth to plunder perhaps the world would have been a far better place .
How is it that people like you have this selective amnesia and manage to start with a "tabula rasa " while listing the various muslim atrocities ?
Nazi germany had nothing to do with muslims nor did vichy france and other nazi sympathisers all over Europe , and you talk about "rancid fascism".
As for the American standpoint do they have any moral right to preach anymore ? Why talk about Stalin when the Americans have been messing up the whole world now?
Socrates once said " an unexamined life is not worth living " , try applying it to yourselves.