Friday, November 4, 2005 at 10:15 AM

The French played with Muslim fire and now…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Paris is burning!

For the past 7 days and 7 nights, Muslims have been rioting in French cities to vent political, economic (and religious) grievances that are eerily similar to those that provoked blacks to riot and burn American cities in the late 1960s. In this era of Islamic terrorism, however, the situation in France is far more explosive than the civil unrest that permeated America back then.

(I should note here that reports describing these as riots by poor and disenfranchised black African immigrants are misleading. In fact, black African immigrants have as much responsibility for these riots as Mexican immigrants had for the Los Angeles (Watts) riots of 1965. Because it was the accidental killing 7 days ago of 2 Muslim boys (from North Africa), which lit the fuse of long-simmering feelings of abuse, neglect and alienation amongst France’s sizable Muslim minority that set Paris ablaze.)

This is a tragic development; but it comes with instructive irony: After all, French President Jacque Chirac premised his spirited opposition to the invasion of Iraq and attributed his country’s assumed immunity from Islamic terrorism on France’s enlightened understanding and “assimilation” of Muslims. (Of course, we now have prima facie evidence that Chirac was motivated to plead Iraq’s case because Saddam Hussein was bribing some of his key advisers to do so.)

Triumphant rioters surveying their burned-down domain

Therefore, it is particularly ironic that Muslims are now fulminating – in riotous frustration – over what they charge is a record of persecution, discrimination and disrespect by the French government. And, quite frankly, Chirac seems utterly clueless not only about their grievances but – most concerning to Eurocentric Parisians – also about how to quell their rioting.

Stop fiddling Chirac…

Note: If Muslims are prepared to burn Paris to the ground to express their grievances (real or perceived), then it behooves Americans to resist indulging in schadenfreude (as in “They had it coming….We told you so”) and, instead, recognize that what is happening there could easily happen here.

Endnote: Anyone who doubts the religious (al Qaeda breeding) inspiration for these riots should know that a prominent Muslim cleric in Paris has issued a fatwa for aggrieved and misguided youths to burn the city for “40 days and 40 nights”.


  1. eurosceptics November 4, 2005 at 11:18 am


    Don’t be so kind. Those arrogant blighters deserve exactly what they’re getting. The French are more racists towards moslems than the Americans ever were towards blacks. At least the Americans acknowledged their racism.

  2. Anonymous November 4, 2005 at 11:44 am

    It seems to me that the Islamists have figured out a way to make an individual event (say the death of one or two “innocents”) serve as a kind of suicide bombing that has really lasting effects. With a little planning, a good organization, and modest management, a small group of dedicated Islamisists could make a modest investment really pay off — sort of like September 11th.

    The events now going on in Europe certainly have the feel of being relatively well-organized. Given the long-term aims of the leaders of the Islamist groups — a West “defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim” according to the 1998 fatwah — destabilizing Europe through the use of a variety of incidents that throw European governments into turmoil seems to be just the right move. And, as with the FAA rules that recommended cooperation with hijackers prior to September 11th, the Islamists seem to be counting on governmental indecision to do much of their work.

    I surely hope that someone figures this out soon — before those same Islamist leaders decide to couple this new form of “suicide bombing” to other actions such as transport bombings and food poisoning.

  3. Anonymous November 4, 2005 at 12:06 pm

    i agree with the euroskeptics. chirac and his oil for food thieves had this coming.

    they like to criticize us but despite all of our problems muslims have more freedom in this country than they have in france and even in most muslm countries.

    maybe now they’ll need us to come an liberate them from al queda the way we liberated them from the nazis.

  4. Anonymous November 4, 2005 at 3:27 pm

    Oh it is almost too easy to pick on the French. I am not trying to be kind, but I am not sure what purpose it serves to compare ourselves (Americans) to a society (French) that many of us feel is fundamentally flawed. I also must respectfully disagree with Eurosceptics’ assertion that Americans at least acknowledge their racism. I have found meaningful discussions on race more difficult than ever. Americans are comfortable acknowledging that racism is a part of our history. For example, it was easy for us to band together and celebrate the courage of Rosa Parks, in part because it happened 50 years ago. However, our ability to see racism in today’s society is clouded by shame and denial (i.e. Katrina). Western societies should attempt to move toward their democratic ideals and not derive cheap thrills from the troubles of another. In our hearts we all know we can do better……


  5. Anonymous November 4, 2005 at 6:39 pm


    I like you comments. I think you speak to what ALH summed his warning against indulging in “schadenfreude”. As I am German, I appreciate his clever use of this word. However, the human emotion is what it is. We Europeans know well the irony he speaks of since no people indulge in schadenfreude (reveling in the misfortune of others) than the French. This is very true.


  6. Anonymous November 4, 2005 at 7:23 pm

    From my perspective, the Eurosceptics have it just right. I don’t know how much Rage knows about French culture but we have a keen sense of the irony ALH refers to. And it is indeed difficult to resist impulsive schadenfreude.

    Equally true is the assertion about French racism. I don’t the exception to the suggestion that Americans have “at least acknowlege their racism.” In America it’s seems to dominate almost all social, professional and political discorse. By contrast, in France, one might think the only race that exist is French! (Whatever that means…)


  7. Anonymous November 5, 2005 at 3:19 am

    Mooslums…lol… Does any of this really surprise anyone. Islam is a religion of hate and violence, ie (all infidels must be killed, If your wife, sister, mother or any female in your extended family does something that YOU find dishonorable, you just kill them and that makes everything ok)…
    Terrorism and violence are commandments in their religion, so how can we be surprised by any of this…

  8. Anonymous November 5, 2005 at 4:13 am

    Now we see why the French were so afraid to fight against Islamic terrorists in Iraq. They can’t even figh them at home.

  9. Anonymous November 6, 2005 at 12:19 pm

    These riots have nothing to do with Islam and Iraq.

    Pathetic how you are prepared to twist everything to create a justification for the invasion of Iraq where there was none.

    Vote Republican, do you ?

    When was the last time you visited Europe/Paris/France ?

    There is no justification for the Iraqi invasion and the world knows it.

  10. Anonymous November 6, 2005 at 12:25 pm

    I should note here that reports describing these as riots by poor and disenfranchised black African immigrants are misleading .

    How so ?

    How the hell do you know that ?

    Been to Paris recently?

    Of course not. Just shooting of your mouth again about something you know nothing about.

    Of course if it turned out that the riots in Paris were really ‘blacks’, then of course that would be OK with you. Right ? And then you would search for all the social/political causes that provoked the rioting.

    Shooting of your mouth and having an opinion really is a pretty low minimum requirement for setting up a blog. You need more than that to be successful.

    It takes nothing to write inflammatory, ignorant commentary.

  11. alan123 November 6, 2005 at 5:30 pm

    Sometimes anonymous comments allow cowards to hide behind brave and often ignorant assertions. In this case, I refer the anonymous person above (who I think wrote 2 consecutive comments).

    Here’s a news flash for you: One does not have to have “been in Paris recently” to know what’s going on there. French Interior Minister Sarkozy has himself validated all of ALH’s observations about the causes for these riots and who the perpetrators are.

    And if he thought rioting by blacks would be “OK”, I don’t think ALH would have referenced the black riots of America.

  12. Anonymous November 6, 2005 at 7:00 pm

    What’s cowardly is posting fictious comments on your own blog page and trying to pass them off as comments from readers.

    You haven’t been to Paris, France or Europe recently (or in fact ever) and Sarkozy (that political opportunist) may be forced to resign because of his inflammatory remarks.

    The Muslim community has publicly condemned these riots.

    But you don’t really care about the truth and don’t really want to be informed or to inform. Scrabbling around to support your a priori political position and American atrocities in the Middle East just doesn’t wash.

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