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French Riots and Islam

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?

Submitted by The Scholar (United States), Nov 17, 2005 at 13:45

I found it very funny that when someone wanted to give me an example of Islamic violence, he used the riots in France. If this is not Islam phobia, then what is?? I guess from that person's perspective, Islam was also responsible for the Los Angeles riots in 1992! And also for the riots in Uganda only a few days ago, or better still, I am sure it was responsible for the anit-trade riots in Argentina.

This person seemed to suggest that since the rioters were crying "Allah Akbar" (I do not know how many did that), then this is a religiously motivated riot. Well, does this mean that if one of the rioters in Argentina made the sign of the cross or was wearing one (while facing the might of the Police), then this is a Christian or Catholic riot?? I guess it is always an option to blame Islam for all problems, it is easier, right?

But the French riots problem was best portrayed by Sir Trevor Phillips (as taken from the BBC web site), the head of the Commission for Racial Equality who said that twelve nights of rioting in France have shown how a mix of "inequality, race and powerlessness" can be "incendiary". He added that these events served as a reminder that race discrimination law was not "abstract".

The neoconservative columnist Ralph Peters in the New York Post (November 8, 2005) also wrote: "French abuse of Arab and African minorities - mostly Muslims - made it only a matter of time before the country's prison-like ghettos exploded. If your skin is brown or black in la belle France, you haven't got a chance at a decent life. Now the wretched of the earth have exploded in rage... Meanwhile, every American who believes in racial equality and human dignity should sympathize with the rioters, not with the effete bigots on the Seine."

The following are excerpts (quoted form the BBC website) from the interview of French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on television on his government's response to rioting in towns and cities throughout the country:
"It's also the responsibility of each of us to change our behaviour, to change the way we look at people. "All those in the Republic, whatever their age, have duties towards the nation and towards the Republic: a fraternal Republic, a Republic that wants to bring people together, a welcoming Republic but a Republic that must be respected, where each person, where others must be respected for what they are. "That is the challenge we must face together."

But as the "Nouvel Observateur" magazine (quoting from the BBC) said in defense of the French system against the attacks from "Anglo-Saxons", "At least", it continues, "France has so far avoided adopting the type of anti-terror measures which Tony Blair tried in vain to have his parliament adopt, which would have set back community politics by some 30 years..."
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