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"Reflection on the revolution in France"

Reader comment on item: Reflections on the Revolution in France*

Submitted by Jack Jensen (United States), Nov 8, 2005 at 10:52

I have read your version of what you feel are the underlying causes of the riots in France. I have also read several others, but the person who seems to truly "nail" it is James Taranto from the Wall Street Journal in his piece, " The French Conflagration" -

"What is happening in France has been brewing in Old Europe for years. The BBC speaks of "youths" venting their "anger." The BBC is wrong. It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularised welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The "youths" do not blame the French, they despise them. . . .

Unlike their fathers, who came to France from Muslim countries, accepting that, whilst remaining Muslims themselves, they had come to live in a non-Muslim country, the rioters see France as their country. They were born here. This land is their land. And since they are Muslims, this land, or at least a part of it, is Muslim as well.

A somewhat different view comes from Stephen Schwartz in the New York Post:
France has special problems with its immigrant population. Unlike Britain (where radicals dominate Islam) or Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark (where small groups of Saudi-financed Islamists operate), France faces a predicament that has more to do with Arab and African nationality and race than with faith.

France is not an upwardly mobile society when it comes to immigrants. It doesn't reward education or entrepreneurship by encouraging fair integration of Arabs or black Africans.

Assimilation in France means something very different from assimilation in America. Those who permanently pledge their allegiance to France must pay a much higher price: surrender of one's own identity, and full acceptance of "Frenchness"--meaning exclusive use of the French language, radical secularism, and, typically, abandonment of most attachments to the immigrant's former home".

We have Canadian visitors each year who reside outside of Quebec and they express much the same sentiments as those expressed by the non-French in France. It is either you adopt "Frenchness" or suffer the economic consequences.
It all sounds all too familiar doesn't it?

The Muslims maintain the same stance however substantially more radical toward we infidels; either we become Muslims, we pay them ransom to spare our life or we are dead.

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