Kate, Interesting about France. Do you ever hear from Nadege?
Playing the race card during an election and pandering to lowest common denominator politics is both racist and scaremongering. And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Sarko on the right?
Sarkozy is cracking down on radical Muslims and his poll numbers increase so clearly the French people see a problem. A recent poll in France reveals that 68% of French citizens believe that Muslims are "not well integrated into society". 42% consider Islam a threat to their national identity.
Of course these polls were conducted before the recent slaughter we can assume those numbers would be higher now. The problem isn't French racism, it is the Islamists who reject the ways of liberal democracy. Stating the truth is neither right wing racism or scaremongering.
Well if its on YouTube it must be right. Blocking streets and sidewalks, dumping manure, setting fire to foreign produce and blocking roads with tractors are established protest tactics, much beloved of decidedly non-Islamic French farmers.
There is indeed a great deal of right-wing racist scaremongering online on this issue. John Moloney makes the point better than I can.
There are numerous videos on YouTube featuring Muslims blocking public streets and sidewalks in France with their prayer demonstrations. This is obviously done as a show of force. Don't give me this crap about integration. Search for "Islamisation de Paris" and check it out for yourself. Why is this issue being whitewashed?
It is as ridiculous to separate Islamism and the Muslim religion as it is to separate Nazism from Mein Kampf!
For clarity. ZUS are urban areas of high social and economic deprivation identified in law as such. The law means that the French state at local and national levels can create funding programmes/tax breaks to encourage economic and social regeneration in these areas. They are undoubtedly areas of significant challenge but are 'no go' only in the sense that like many rundown inner city areas, one would think carefully before walking alone in them at night.
All western societies struggle with racism and the idea that the USA is less racist is simply not tenable. Have you looked at your prison population, the unemployment numbers, the racial balance of deprived inner city areas, the ratio of non-white to white in poorly paid low skill jobs, the residents of Death Row? This isn't an attack on the US, just a recognition of the reality it faces.
Congratulations Miles though on slipping in the canard about anti-semitism. Well done chum.
Guy Sorman wrote: "There is not "no go zone" for non muslims in france : this is an absurd assertion."
They go by the euphemistic term Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones, with the even more antiseptic acronym ZUS, and there are 751 of them as of last count. They are convienently listed on one long webpage, complete with street demarcations and map delineations.
[see article for URL. It works]
What are they? Those places in France that the French state does not control. They range from two zones in the medieval town of Carcassone to twelve in the heavily Muslim town of Marseilles, with hardly a town in France lacking in its ZUS. The ZUS came into existence in late 1996 and according to a 2004 estimate, nearly 5 million people live in them.
"The 751 No-Go Zones of France" by Daniel Pipes
Important, valuable article. It should be widely circulated. Thank you.
I generally agree with Guy's view on the French response but I cannot go along with the statement, 'the French are no more racist than any other Western society.' My experience is that all european societies are more racist than American society and the French are worse than most. In my experience artists and intellectuals are the worst and the business class somewhat better. My experience with lower classes is limited.
As for anti-semitism here again the intellectuals are in the lead with it nicely disguised as anti-zionism.
Answers to some comments:
Merah was not Algerian but a French citizen. He has not been trained by Spanish salafists , a category whic does not exist; he however , travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
There is not " no go zone " for non muslims in france : this is an absurd assertion.
The French policy is not assimilation but integration :everyone can retain its religion or customs as long the Republican rule of law is respected.
Racism does not need to be defined: like pornography, you recognize it when you see it.
Muslim children will not replace other French children because half of the muslim women in France marry non muslim husbands : the children ten then to become non believers like most of the French.
oNLY one remark: Toulouse killer wasnt French citizen - he hold Algerian citizenship. http://www.businessinsider.com/algeria-toulouse-burial-france-shooting-mohamed-merah-2012-3 and I doubt that with his petty criminal record he even obtained French one.
If France is "integrating" their Muslim people so well why does the government publish a list of "no-go zones" on their web site in which non-Muslims are not safe? Good luck telling those Islamists over there to forget their ideology and adopt the ways of French culture they despise.
"A rare consensus emerged in our usually divisive nation to condemn not Muslims or immigrants, but racism."
Could you define what you mean by "racism"?? The lack of precise terms leads to fuzzier thinking, leads to even more 'ideology'.
Thus, the classroom indoctrination you describe is just one ideology replacing another - you don't think those kids will be honest, do you? They will instead trust their own lived experience whilst parroting back whatever they think the teacher wants to hear.
Much of what is derided as "racism" is hardwired into the human brain and it's not going away despite all the mindless and unjust hate laws.
IOW, we prefer our own people, our own cultures and traditions. There is nothing wrong with that - as Merkel admitted when she said multiculturalism is a failure.
Actually, it's worse than simple failure; it's a meltdown. The rush to bring in too many strangers too fast has corroded much of European culture, not just France.
The karmic guilt displayed by the French and British doesn't make their immigrant population desire integration. They are quite forward about it: their children will replace us.
And since this killer was NOT a lone wolf but instead got his training from Spanish salafists, there will be other incidents...and the indigenous cultures in each country will be ground under the heel of Islamist imperialism.
Have there been any public collections of teddy bears, flowers and candles?? I hope not. That's one silly & sentimental practice I could live without.
In principle, I think that the French model is better described as 'assimilation' rather than 'integration' : more soup than salad.
That's the policy but, having lived there, what one sees is different, especially in the cities along the Med coast.
Wonderful article, but even some of the writers here at CJ seem to fall prey to ideology once in a while: free markets are not a fairy dust to solve all problems!
"Following a radical Islamist’s cold-blooded murder of seven French citizens—four Jews, two Muslims, and one African—in the Southern cities of Toulouse and Montauban, one could deduce that homegrown Islamic terrorism has become a major threat in Europe"
I couldn't help but reflect on the meaning of this article in the light of Sgt. Bale's recent massacre of 17 civilians in Afghanistan, and the failure of America to address his actions as a distinctly American expression of the ideology of American exceptionalism. The only national discussion here was the search for mitigating explanations and a denial that this behavior was in any way the logical outcome of an ideology of imperial righteousness.
The author is indeed correct, ideology is the guiding voice of the weak minded. How nice that the French have to demonstrate to us what it means to be human.
It seems that the world is becoming a place where young people are increasingly encouraged to act impulsively on their feelings rather than being schooled by parents, teachers, and society to not only be tolerant, but also sacrifice when necessary for the greater good.
Congratulations on a clear, concise analysis of ideology.
This case has a great many similarities to the case of Anders Behring Breivik in july 2011 in my native Norway. Toulouse like Utøya was the work of a lone nut who had found solice in a warped and perverted ideology that they had no real understanding of but one that fed their already delusional minds into becoming killers. The second greatest tragedy in Toulouse is that no-one will be able to probe his mind to see what is really there.
I've personally never seen terrorism as warfare. It's usually enacted by desperate people who are promised great rewards when it is committed in organised forms. One of the unheralded results of the Iraq war was the ENORMOUS reduction in suicide bombers in Israel because prior to 2003 Saddam Hussein had paid the families of suicide bombers a not inconsiderable sum for the services of (usually) their son. Wen that motivation was gone suddenly no-one was willing to kill themselves. When the violence was all about cause it ceased.
In the case of lone wolf-type killers these are not terrorist. They are borken idividuals who are venting their own personal self-loathing and looking for any opportunity to do some. This is not uncommon but I suspect there will be a rise in these people taking up a cause because we have allowed our societies to in a way justify this type of murdere. By calling it something else than murder we lend creedence to their belief that they are working for a cause rather than just being crazy killers with a warped world view. Toulouse and Utøya were never about indoctrination but about a square peg of hatred finding a square hole. And innocent victims tragically getting in the way of the bottomless self-loathing of two disturbed men.
The contrast with the "discussion" concerning the unfortunate killing of T. Martin in Florida is stark.
The facts of what happened are not now clear and they may never be. But the rhetoric is thick with angry certainty.