Friday, November 04, 2005

Paris Burning

By Robert Spencer | November 4, 2005

Riots have now continued for eight days in and around

Paris. Thursday night, November 3, Muslim rioters burned 315 cars. In the previous week, they torched 177 vehicles and burned numerous businesses, a post office, and two schools. They have rampaged through twenty towns and shot at police and firemen. In an episode that summed up the failure of France’s efforts to create a domestic, domesticated Islam, when moderate Muslim leader Dalil Boubakeur, head of the Paris mosque, tried to restore calm, his car was pelted with stones and he had to rush away.

The riots began on October 27 when two Muslim teenagers ran from police who were checking identification papers — why they ran is as yet unclear. The police did not chase them, but evidently the teenagers thought they were being chased; they eventually hid in an electrical power sub-station, where they accidentally electrocuted themselves. That night young Muslims took to the streets for the first time, throwing rocks and bottles at police, burning cars, and vandalizing property. The next day rioters, throwing rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails, injured twenty-three police officers in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. The violence continued over the next few days: more destroyed vehicles and injured police officers. Then on Sunday, October 30, a tear gas shell hit a mosque, further enraging local Muslims; French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy stated somewhat cryptically, “I am, of course, available to the imam of the Clichy mosque to let him have all the details in order to understand how and why a tear gas bomb was sent into this mosque.” Since then the riots have continued unabated, defying appeals for calm from French President Jacques Chirac and others. The crisis now threatens to swamp the French government.

Why have the riots happened? From many accounts one would think that the riots have been caused by France’s failure to implement Marxism. “The unrest,” AP explained, has highlighted the division between France’s big cities and their poor suburbs, with frustration simmering in the housing projects in areas marked by high unemployment, crime and poverty.” Another AP story declared flatly that the riots were over “poor conditions in Paris-area housing projects.”