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A Different Opinion on French Violence.

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

Submitted by seekeroftruth (Italy), Nov 10, 2005 at 13:31

First of all, I would like to thank you for many excellent articles on current topics which have helped me understand what's happening in the world today. Generally I agree with your observations, but concerning some of your insights on the recent violence in France, I'm afraid I have to play the proverbial "devil's advocate."

Although I accept the idea of some Islamic terrorists being responsible for the troubles plaguing France, my understanding is that most of these young people are either the children or grandchildren of immigrants not only from the Islamic world, but from non-Islamic Asian and African countries, too. Their rage doesn't appear to be religious in nature, but the pent-up frustration of years of neglect and/or discrimination over not being allowed to fully participate as French citizens in the economic, social, and political life of the country. I'm certainly not defending the violence, and I certainly admit that some Islamic terrorists may be behind some of the confusion and disorder, but your article seemed to blame the recent outbreak of violence in France on mostly Islamic extremists, and I feel that doesn't totally convey the most accurate picture possible. If I'm wrong, please explain this to me, and I'll be very grateful. Thank you.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

The rioters are if not exclusively Muslim, nearly so, and they express Islamist sentiments. I fail to see how one can understand their actions without placing emphasis on these factors.


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