***scroll for updates***
The blogosphere has the best ongoing coverage, commentary, and analysis of the Muslim immigrant gang violence (otherwise known in the politically correct MSM as the “Paris unrest”) that has plagued France for more than week. Here’s a sample of the who, what, where, and why, plus other resources:
Yahoo! slideshow of the riots.
Instapundit with a huge round-up.
Wretchard at The Belmont Club:
The riots have already reached 20 suburbs of Paris. The Reuters story suggests they may now be spreading to other cities. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is hinting darkly of conspiracies. Should one conclude even more serious developments are in the offing? I don’t know. I think that neither Sarkozy nor the conspirators he refers to understand the exact potential of this thing, which is behaving like a chaotic system whose trajectory is difficult to predict except in the very short term.
Ideally, Sarkozy would be looking to simplify the situation by fixing some variables so that the remainder of the system will behave in a more linear manner; gradually damping it down until it can be controlled. But splits within the French cabinet have done the opposite: they have added more variables to the mix and now it’s shake, rattle and roll.
In these situations, as most rabble-rousers know, there is typically a race on the ground to see who can ‘harness’ the energies unleashed to best advantage. My own guess, without any special knowledge, is that ‘community moderates’, ideological radicals and even gangsters are in a derby to see who can control events. The French government by contrast, seems tied up in knots and is casting around for leverage, a way to get a handle on the events of the past week.
Robert Spencer surveys the violence and explains the reason for the rioting:
Blame for the riots in France has thus far focused on Sarkozy’s tough talk about ending this violence. On October 19 he declared of the suburbs that “they have to be cleaned — we’re going to make them as clean as a whistle.” Six days after this, Muslim protestors threw stones and bottles at him when he visited the suburb of Argenteuil. He has been roundly criticized for calling the rioters “scum”; one of them responded, “We’re not scum. We’re human beings, but we’re neglected.” However, as a solution the same man recommended only more neglect, saying of the Paris riot police: “If they didn’t come here, into our area, nothing would happen. If they come here it’s to provoke us, so we provoke back.” Others complained of rough treatment they have received since 9/11 from police searching for terrorists: “It’s the way they stop and search people, kneeing them between the legs as they put them up against the wall. They get students mixed up with the worst offenders, yet these young people have done nothing wrong.”
But of course, all these problems are exacerbated by the non-assimilation policy that both the French government and the Muslim population have for so long pursued: the rioters are part of a population that has never considered itself French. Nor do French officials seem able or willing to face that this is the core of their problem today. It is likely that the riots will result only in intensification of the problems that caused them: if French officials offer an accommodation to Muslims, it will probably result only in further intensification of the Islamic identity, often in its most radical manifestations, among French Muslims. The French response to the riots is likely to unfold along the lines of a decision by officials in Holland last May: they declined to ban a book called De weg van de Moslim (The Way of the Muslim), even though it calls for homosexuals to be thrown head first off tall buildings. The Amsterdam city council did not want to contravene “the freedom to express opinions.”
That decision is a small example of what the Paris riots demonstrate on a large scale: the abject failure of the multiculturalist philosophy that disparate groups can coexist within a nation without any idea that they must share at least some basic values. The French are paying the price today for blithely assuming that France could absorb a population holding values vastly different from that of the host population without negative consequences for either.
That French officials show no sign, on the eighth day of the Paris riots, of recognizing that this clash of values is the heart of the problem only guarantees that before they will be able to say that their difficulties with their Muslim population are behind them, many more cars will be torched, many more buildings burned, and many more lives destroyed.
Paul Belien at Brussels Journal has extensive coverage of the “Ramadan rioting” across Europe. He writes:
If you want to know what is the matter with those that are described by the mainstream media as rioting “youths,” read Theodore Dalrymple’s poignant analysis in the latest issue of City Journal. We are just witnessing the beginning of Europe’s problems: “The sweet dream of universal cultural compatibility has been replaced by the nightmare of permanent conflict.”
Our mainstream media, in attempts to preserve the Left’s chimera of “universal cultural compatibility,” hardly write about all this. Nevertheless, for some years now West European city folk and police officers have been familiar with the reality that certain areas of major European cities are no-go areas, especially at night and certainly if you are white or wearing a uniform. Three years ago, a French friend who had his car stolen learned that the thieves had parked the car in a particular suburb. When he went to the police he was told that the police did not operate in that neighbourhood and consequently would not be able to retrieve his car. This is Western Europe in the early 21st century.
George Adair at Brussels Journal writes on how the riots expose the failure of Big Government.
Kerry at Pardon My English: Mea culpa, mon amis! Excerpt:
Somewhere in this world, vandals have been rioting for seven–yes, seven–days in a row. They have burned up property, flipped police cars, and assaulted people. Two television reporters were pulled from their car so that the marauders could torch it. These actions have been taken in full–though apparently ineffectual–view of armed riot police.
All this began when two youths–ages 15 and 17–under the (so say police) mistaken impression that the police were chasing them, hid in a power station and got electrocuted. Certainly a tragedy, but worth a weeklong orgy of destruction and mayhem? Justification for setting fire to a school? Burning down a supermarket? One wouldn’t think so. Not in a civilized place, at any rate.
Yet all this has unfolded this past week in the super-sophisticated, we-know-better-than-you-how-to-handle-conflict, superciliousness capital of the world–Paris, France.
Did I mention the boys and the rioters were Muslims?
You see, France has this huge population of Muslims growing like a viper in its bosom, and not enough intestinal fortitude to do anything about it. The French government has long ignored (even fostered) the growth of this population, and its international face has, especially since the onset of the war on Terror and the War for Iraqi Liberation, appeared for all the world to smile on the Muslim world (except for that nasty business about wearing headscarves, but that’s all smoothed over now.)
Dafydd at Big Lizards: “The solution seems simple to me. France and the rest of Europe (including Britain) need to enact the right for all citizens to keep and bear arms.”
Amir Taheri in the NYPost: Why Paris is burning.
La Shawn Barber: Coming to an American street near you.
Big round-up at Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The French still dither when they should act instead, sending the message even more clearly that they will not act in their own defense. The Muslim Uprising will soon become an al-Qaeda rallying point; not an intifada, as some have surmised, but an actual military front in AQ’s war on the West. They intend to turn the sink estates into holy land and ensure that their bloody rule cannot be dislodged.
Update: Disabled woman set ablaze