The Daily Demarche
Thursday, November 03, 2005
"The City of Lights"- did they mean burning cars?
Foks, I had a bad day today. That means I need to let off some steam. Lucky for me, we'll always have Paris. The phrase "the city of lights" has taken on a new meaning as riots in the heavily immigrant populated suburbs of Paris continue this week- burning cars expose the truth behind the reality of immigration in Europe. Now, I know this supposedly started with the tragic deaths of two young men, and my heart goes out to their families. But seven, seven! days of riots? One would hope, at least, that there is a lesson in all of this.

Of course there is: Muslims are discriminated against. The Beeb has a nice piece out titled French Muslims face job discrimination. Here is my favorite part:

Sadek recently quit his job delivering groceries near Saint-Denis, just north of Paris. He was tired of climbing stairs with heavy bags.

Sadek, 31, has a secondary school education and aspires to something better. But he knows his options are limited: "With a name like mine, I can't have a sales job."

Okay- he had a job. It was hard. He didn't like it. He quit. Now he is unemployed. No, now he is unemployed- and we should feel sorry for him. I am going to type this next part slowly so that everyone can follow along:

He had a job. He quit. Now he is unemployed.

That is not discrimination. It is stupidity, it is laziness, it is weak and shallow. He is playing the race card, period. Lots of people have tough jobs. Work, save, learn and get a better job. That is the fundamental key around the world to success. The article complains about integration and what it means to be French. I almost hate to do this- it seems to easy, but here it is:

Sadek has learned how to be French. He is the perfect Frenchman. The path ahead is tough- and he quit. Fight the Nazis? Non, too hard. Carry groceries up stairs? Merde! J'ai stoppé!

Even better- later in the same article the Beep waxes philosphic regarding access to education:

Of course, youths from poor suburbs need more than an education - they need jobs.

Um, Sadek had a job. He quit, remember?

More from the Beeb: Headscarf defeat riles French Muslims . Now, I think the whole headscarf ban in asinine, but again, it's the French. I grew up in an area with early summer temperatures in the high 90's and humidity to match. Girls could wear skirts or skorts to school- boys had to wear long pants. Why? Beats me, to this day. We were pissed, I can tell you! It was really unfair. So we rioted for 7 days and burned 177 cars. Actually, two guys wore skirts to school, got three Saturday detentions and the rest us just sweat into our Levis. But as our British journalist pals put it:

French Muslims marched against a move that many condemned as intolerant.

You might recall that thousands of of French Muslims condemned September 11th, packingthe Champs Elysee. Or that they thronged to the Eifel Tower when the Bali bombings occured. Or maybe you remember the moving footage of the tiny paper lanterns the Muslims of France floated down the River Seine after the Madrid bombings. Oh, you don't recall that? Sorry, I forgot- those things never happened. See, they only want to be tolerated, not to tolerate others.

So what is the French government going to do about it? I'll give you three guesses.

Ministers are hoping that a mix of factors - worsening weather, the return to classes after half term and the end of Ramadan - will combine soon to bring the wave of copy-cat riots to a halt, but there is deep pessimism about the future. The banlieues have been the scene of regular outbreaks of riots for more than 15 years now - and though each peters out eventually, the next round is always worse.

Right! They are going to hope it rains and that classes start again soon and the kids will get bored, besides a week of rioting with nothing to eat during the day really takes a toll on one. That oughtta work.

But take heart, there are some cool heads out there- this might be the best quote I have seen regarding immigration and the riots:

...local human rights organizations - rather than condemning the rioters as autonomous individuals who made bad choices - instead blame the French government for the riots, saying that an official's rhetoric about ridding the suburbs of crime "provoked" them. (Such explanations are never offered when white people engage in violence, quite rightly).

The unmistakable implication is that political rhetoric can easily provoke violence and mayhem from immigrants. If true, that seems an argument for ending immigration, not for accommodating every whim of a group that might erupt into violence otherwise. In fact, however, even outraged immigrants are perfectly capable of reining in their emotions and using their logic to formulate a civilized response even to legitimate injustices.

Of course in the days that follow we will be bombarded with talk of the "root causes" of the riots, the Interior Minister will be blamed, it will all be because France did not integrate its immigrant population. But rest assured, it won't have anything to do with "The "M" Word."

Meanwhile, the EU will have to brace to ask itself the tough question: is The future of Europe: Islamophobia? Funny, I always thought a phobia was some sort of baseless or irrational fear. Just keep telling yourselves, Europe, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Oh, and Muslim extremism.

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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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