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Islamic riots?

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

Submitted by Emmanuel P (United States), Nov 10, 2005 at 17:36

Dear Mr. Pipes,

I disagree to a certain extent with your thesis. I think the youths that are rioting are influenced by a loose concept of Islamic supremacy to be sure, but not by any organized Islamist ideology. Similar (and more violent) events happened in LA in 1992 and had nothing to do with religion. The main Islamist groups in France have come out against the rioting. What is a danger as far is Islamism is concerned is that the Islamists will attempt to channel the rage of these young men into a more coherent Islamist vision. When that happens, France is going to have a much bigger problem than some teed-off thugs throwing molotov cocktails. France is going to have a fresh supply of young men ready to suicide bomb the Paris metro.

I know that you are against this line of thinking, but I think that one of the keys to difusing this growing crisis is to ensure that these guys have an economic future. When you have 40% unemployment in some of these suburban areas and guys sitting around without jobs hating everything French you have a situation similar to the situation in Israel. Could Paris become Tel Aviv some day soon? It's now not looking like too big a stretch of the imagination. France needs to develop its economy and spur job creation. It's not a cure-all, but it is crucial that these men feel that they have a place in France. France's 10% unemployment rate is proving to be disasterous.


Emmanuel P


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