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astounding but not surprising- from France

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

Submitted by K. Fox (United States), Nov 10, 2005 at 13:00

First of all, let me point out that the practice of burning cars is somewhat of a national pasttime here. Young men do this on a
regular basis, just not on the same scale as this past week and a half. This is not too surprising for a country that has as a national
hero the man (French) who blew up a McDonald's. France goes a long way to appease radical elements, so it was not surprising to
hear the government say that, even after 12 days of rioting, they still saw no need to bring in the army!

Secondly, the idea that the real problem is a purely social one and that the solution lies in more government handouts to these
disenchanted youth is absurd. France's welfare system, while breaking their economy, takes good care of these immigrant families. They are in France BECAUSE they can live far better here than they could in their native countries. The real underlying problem is that France has accepted many Muslims over the years (who now make up a substantial minority in France), knowing that Islamism is based on violence, and yet has refused to take a position against the radical (historic) element of Islam. I find it astounding (but not too surprising) that the President of France (Jacques Chirac) did not make a public statement until the 10th day of rioting! (The media gets all over Bush if he waits 10 hours before making a statement).

But the kicker is this: he stated himself that he did not want to make a statement if he had nothing to say. Can you imagine?!? He seems to realize that, in a sense, there is nothing that can be done about this situation other than to hope that these young Muslims will soon run out of cars to burn.

On the Muslim side, while some Muslim clerics have denounced the violence, one well-known group had this to say: "We just want to be left alone. We ask the French to move their police out of these neighborhoods and let us have control of them." Wow! That says it all -- a certain degree of Muslim autonomy in certain cities or neighborhoods (next they'll be asking for a sort of mini-Palestinian state within France!). ...
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