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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Belmont Club on the French Riots

The Belmont Club: The Bells of Ys. His analysis is pretty similar to my own.

At least one nation has been born in the last week, that of immigrants who once colloquially referred to themselves as 'Arabs' but who now prefer to call themselves 'Muslims'. While the riots will start to abate at some point, from exhaustion and the onset of cold weather as much as anything else, the sense of identity forged at the barricades will not so easily fade. A new meme has been born which neither Sarkozy's rubber bullets nor de Villepin's appeasement can bring under control. The only question is whether another nation has been reborn under the events of the last week; a nation once called France. There is in a sense, something magnificent about the stirrings of identity among the Muslims in the Parisian ghettos; all the grander in comparison to the tentativeness, doubt and reflexive abasement of the officials of the Fifth Republic. The riot police, fire department and public order apparatus may have been present in the rioting banlieus, but the Idea of France was conspicuously absent. The Idea of France, not the hodgepodge of welfare benefits, Marxist obscurantism and world-weariness that that is palmed off as sophistication, is what has to present itself as an alternative to the Green Banner of Islam. Otherwise it will be a contest between something and nothing.
Wretchard doesn't speculate on what sort of 'new France' is possible. I remain worried that 'new France,' if it emerges will be a lot like 'old Germany.'


Blogger Mike H. said...

There was an allusion to the riots in Denmark that didn't go far enough, a remark was made that the ghetto was the land of islam and the police had better stay out. That establishes the lines of engagement in my mind. The question is how many of the Wahhabi persuasion are there in our neck of the woods?

11/03/2005 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Sorry, the remark was made by some self appointed spokesmen for the ghetto.

11/03/2005 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I don't believe that these riots are Wahhabist exactly. The issue is a bit more complex than that.

I also don't think we have to worry much about this sort of thing in America, at least not a Muslim revolt. There are of course similarities between these riots and the Watts riots.

One of the problems may well be Islam, but an equal and perhaps greater part of the problem is that most European societies don't believe in assimilation. There is no melting pot. An Arab cannot become a Frenchman but an Arab can become an American. That makes a huge difference.

11/04/2005 07:36:00 AM  

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