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Wednesday, November 2, 2005
What is Going on in France?
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:38 am

Via the BBC: Riots erupt in more Paris suburbs

Rioting has spread to more suburbs of Paris on a sixth night of unrest in the north-east of the French capital.

At Aulnay-sous-Bois, at least 15 cars were torched as youths hurled stones and firebombs. Police fired rubber bullets and arrested 34 people.

Although the initial flashpoint of Clichy-sous-Bois stayed calm, trouble spread across much of north-east Paris.

Unrest has flared since two north African boys died. Local people say they had been fleeing the police.

I noted a headline about riots a day or so ago, but never got around to reading it.

Via the AP/NYT we have the following details:

The area, home mainly to families of immigrant origin, often from Muslim North Africa, is marked by soaring unemployment and delinquency. Anger and despair thrive in the tall cinder-block towers and long ‘’bars'’ that typically make up housing projects in France.


Tension had mounted throughout Tuesday after young men torched cars, garbage bins and even a primary school 24 hours earlier. Scores of cars were reported burned Monday night in Clichy-sous-Bois and 13 people were jailed.

Youths set two rooms of a primary school in Sevran on fire Monday along with several cars, Mayor Stephane Gatignon said in a statement.

Unrest was triggered by the deaths of two teenagers electrocuted in a power substation where they hid to escape police. A third was injured. Officials have said police were not pursuing the boys, aged 15 and 17.

One guesses that this will all be fodder for the xenophobic far-right in France. No doubt it will become similar fuel for the anti-immigration groups in the US.

It certainly raises questions, as have problems (though nowhere as severe) in Germany, over the way immigrants are assimilated into Europe (which is to say, quite poorly).

Filed under: Global Politics, Immigration | |Send TrackBack


  1. If you study it closely you will probably find that the price of bread increased. That’s always the reason behind French riots (or so many political theorist would have us believe). ;)
    I’m so sick of studying the French Revolution. :(

    Comment by Jan — Wednesday, November 2, 2005 @ 8:27 am

  2. France has one of the highest percents of muslim population in Europe. One could imagine that if it was going to happen anywhere it was going to be there.

    Comment by eric — Wednesday, November 2, 2005 @ 10:03 am

  3. And following on to eric’s post above: This is just the first in a line of riots coming up. As nations allow unchecked immigrationinto their country and the immigrants do not want to assimilate within the culture you will see more and more of this as the numbers grow.

    And yes, if we allow the same thing over here — as we do with unchecked illegal immigration — the same is coming for us when one little thing they want to point at becomes enough of a rallying point for them to riot. Hell all you have to do is look at any protest against illegal immigration and the violent attacks against them by the illegal alien community to see that when their numbers get even larger it will get worse and worse.

    As Europe allows more and more people to flood in it is sure to happen over and over again.

    Comment by Digger — Wednesday, November 2, 2005 @ 10:49 am

  4. Actually, the riots have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the lack of integration in French society. I am an expatriate currently living in France, and I have an inside perspective on how those who are “not French” are treated here.

    I am working on a post commenting on both the riots and what I perceive as some of the underlying causes, but I have other personal issues distracting me at the moment. I hope to have it finished tomorrow.

    Comment by Jack — Wednesday, November 2, 2005 @ 4:21 pm

  5. It seems to me that they are embracing French customs and lifestyles, they are rioting aren’t they. What could be more French than that. ;)

    Comment by Jan — Thursday, November 3, 2005 @ 3:14 pm

  6. As a Scottish south African, living in France and working in Beijing I have also lived for many years in the middle east.

    The riots in France are the expression of a very widespread if generally covert hatred of western values. Riots are inevitable and will probably become more widespread and frequent unless something is done. Improvement of social conditions will not help as the emnotions will still be there although less likley to be expressed in extreme ways - for a while.

    The solution is difficult to accept but time will only make things worse so we should act now or be prepared for worse in the future.

    Comment by Campbell — Thursday, November 3, 2005 @ 6:16 pm

  7. What is not understood is the fact that the riots are an expression of hatred, frustration and discontent against certain parts of the Western Civilization. This has happened in the world in the centuries before. Example is India. The Muslim community refuses to assimilate thinking that Western education, professions and lifestyle corrupt traditional Islamic value systems. The Hindus are taking to the Western civilization slowly or more rapidly recently. Not so with the muslims and the result being the bomb explosions, terror attacks, communal riots that happen almost every week in that nation of 1 billion, most of which go unnoticied.

    What is happening in France is just the beginning. As the muslim population increases, one will find more and more problems of this nature happening. Providing educational and professional opportunities will not help completely since this is an issue of culture and not of money. And money is a part of culture also.

    The problem is extremely complex: How can one change the value systems of a people that is inward looking and traditionalist?

    May be, one solution is to force the children to assimilate into the mainstream culture at school and let them completely defy their traditional cultures as it happens with children of immigrants in America. Actually, that is the only solution.

    Today, USA does not have the Islamic minority ghettoisation issue since there are no ghettos allowed. France, Germany, Holland, India, China etc. - the country does not matter - but this is the only solution. That is, whole hearted embrace of a new mainstream culture where traditional values of any culture - native French or Indian or German or Islamic are totally demolished and new mainstream nationalist value system promoted. The solution is simple to express but impossible to execute.

    I believe the world is heading for a 3rd world war which is actually a proxy war between civilizations.

    Comment by Bharadwaj — Saturday, November 5, 2005 @ 5:35 pm

  8. I am afraid the solution is simply.

    Kill the terrorists .. age is unimportant.

    Kill the worst. Deport the rest.

    A few months in the sand and they will beg for their aprtments back!!


    Comment by aConcernedCanadian — Sunday, November 6, 2005 @ 11:20 am

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