Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Riots in France

The French take great delight in anything that casts Americans in a bad light. When the levies of New Orleans collapsed after hurricane Katrina devastated the region and the city was inundated with flood waters from Lake Pontchartrain, most French likely had some sympathy.

But when the news services began to circulate stories about widespread looting in New Orleans, the delays in providing assistance, and tales of murder and rapine at the Superdome, one could almost hear from this side of the Atlantic the French chattering classes, smoke rising from galoises, tut tutting about the failure that is America. There is no greater source of Gallic smugness than that engendered by American misfortune. And there is no greater smugness than French smugness.

The French are not alone in this. Educated affluent Europeans (and many Canadians) exude this anti-American sentiment from their pores. The sentiment gives off the odour of social and intellectual decay, from which it derives and which finds its apotheosis in the refusal to procreate and in the elevation of abortion to a political secular sacrament.

Tonight Paris, the City of Lights, is alight from the glow of burned out automobiles and buildings. For more than a week much of France has been experiencing nightly riots as their Muslim underclass loots, burns and pillages the villages. Unlike the intelligentsia I find no joy or smugness in these sorts of events; just a sickening sense of peril (although I must admit that if I were to engage in Schadenfreude, it would be at the expense of the French). The unrest shows no sign of abating. From CBC News:

Rioters have fired at police in a Paris suburb, injuring 10 officers hours after the French president vowed to arrest and jail people taking part in violence that is rocking the country for an eleventh night.

Young men armed with guns fired on the police Sunday night in the suburb of Grigny and seriously hurt two of them, the Interior Ministry said.

A young boy looks at torched cars parked in a street of Paris, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2005. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

One officer was treated for throat wounds while another was hit in the leg, Reuters news agency said.

The range was too great to kill the officers, a police spokesman said.

However, it marked an escalation in the riots that have seen more than 1,500 vehicles torched, dozens of businesses and schools burned and more than 800 people arrested since the violence began on Oct. 27.

If you think that the European worship of the cult of death and the French riots are not connected then you are naive, or a fool. For it is in the decay of the West that we find the wellspring of a virulent Islamic resurgence. The CBC, and most main stream media, would have us believe otherwise.
Many people view the violence as the expression of pent-up anger by the country's unemployed and underemployed youth, particularly in Muslim immigrant communities, and as a sign of the difficulty North Africans have experienced in trying to integrate into French society.
There is, no doubt, truth in that statement, but it is not the whole truth or even the relevant truth. For I fear that the relevant truth is that Islam is not compatible with modernity or with the idea that different cultures and religions can live together as equals.

For a Muslim, France must be part of Dar al-harb (house of war) until it is part of Dar al-Islam (house of Islam). It is not that French society (or the West) insults Islam, but that French society (or the West) is an insult to Islam. Our very unwillingness to submit to Sharia Law makes us the target of anger, unrest and bitter enmity. Co-existence is not consistent with the Koran. To be uneducated, unemployed and scorned is very difficult for any normal person, but for a Muslim, taught that they are to rule over all others by merit of their religion alone, it is particularly unendurable.

Mark Steyn, writing in the Chicago Sun Times today has an article entitled Wake Up, Europe, You've a War on Your Hands. In it he states:

A few years back I was criticized for a throwaway observation to the effect that ''I find it easier to be optimistic about the futures of Iraq and Pakistan than, say, Holland or Denmark." But this is why. In defiance of traditional immigration patterns, these young men are less assimilated than their grandparents. French cynics like the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, have spent the last two years scoffing at the Bush Doctrine: Why, everyone knows Islam and democracy are incompatible. If so, that's less a problem for Iraq or Afghanistan than for France and Belgium.

If Chirac isn't exactly Charles Martel, the rioters aren't doing a bad impression of the Muslim armies of 13 centuries ago: They're seizing their opportunities, testing their foe, probing his weak spots. If burning the 'burbs gets you more ''respect'' from Chirac, they'll burn 'em again, and again. In the current issue of City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple concludes a piece on British suicide bombers with this grim summation of the new Europe: ''The sweet dream of universal cultural compatibility has been replaced by the nightmare of permanent conflict.'' Which sounds an awful lot like a new Dark Ages.

While I pray that that Steyn and Dalrymple are not correct, I fear they are. Can it be that a new dark age is being inaugurated in the City of Lights?


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