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November 07, 2005

Baghdad-on-the-Seine

The Independent has an interesting interview with some of the French Muslims involved in the rioting, which seems to back up some of what I said in my recent post at Winds of Change, Europe's coming conflagration:

Though he modestly declined the appellation, Abdelkarim is the local "caid" - the Arabic word means leader - and he happily boasted of the €2,000 which he makes from each car stolen. "You want prostitutes, DVD players, jewellery? I can get anything you want," he said.

One of his friends, Karim, aged 15, pulled back his sleeves to reveal gold bracelets and then opened his shirt to show a gold chain. Both nicked, he winked. Another boy held a mobile phone. "Come and look," he gestured, laughing. It was a short film of a Chechen guerrilla cutting off the head of a Russian soldier.
These are the people who since 27 October have had the French government running scared. Their grievances - racism, poverty, lack of jobs - have changed little since the first disturbances in the banlieues broke out more than 15 years ago, later portrayed in the 1996 film La Haine (Hatred).

But where before protesters demanded financial aid and change within the system, many of today's rioters seem motivated more by a nihilistic rejection of all that surrounds them. "I hate France, and the French hate us," said Abdelkarim. "The wicked get punished. See what happened after the Americans made war on Iraq? Allah sent the hurricane. We are getting our revenge."

...

Meanwhile, there is the constant affront of being obliged to live in the bleak out-of-town estates that have become synonymous with deprivation and violence. Even before this latest wave of rioting, some 28,000 cars were burnt in small-scale riots in France in the first 10 months of the year. "From my window I can see the Eiffel Tower," said Abdelkarim. "But Paris is another world. This is Baghdad."

This confluence of criminality and jihadism will only become more pronounced. The rioting in France is the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by Matt at November 7, 2005 12:39 PM

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1 comments, newest by stuart10242

#1 stuart10242 [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 7, 2005 06:28 PM

The way to handle this situation is for Ariel Sharon to call up Chirac and caution him about the cycle of violence in France.