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Reader comment on item: Explaining the French Intifada

Submitted by a Filipino liberal (Philippines), Dec 13, 2005 at 04:14

Up to now, some people are still denying that the "intifada" in France was caused only by poverty. Well, actually there was some racial reason for them. Non-white minorities are still discriminated against, even in supposedly multi-racial Europe. Non-whites are still much poorer than whites, on the average. These are facts. They can be confirmed just by looking at the situation. So I have trouble understanding why conservatives continue to deny the truth.

Michel Gurfinkiel noted that "only ethnic youths" are rioting. To which I respond: Why should whites be rioting? Do they have any reason to? The only reason any of them should do that is if they seriously sympathize with the immigrants and want to support them in that fashion. And so far, no one has seen fit to do so.

Another recurring theme in these "poverty was not the reason for the riots" articles is that it's merely a case of immigrants not accepting the customs of the host country. Mr. Pipes says that "their (the riots) obvious causes - an immigrant population that rejects the ways of the indigenous majority". So I guess that, by the same logic, Europeans or Americans who migrate to the Philippines should start wearing Filipino clothes, speaking Filipino, eating Filipino food, etc. But of course no one is going to accept that. So I suppose that accepting "the indigenous majority's" customs applies only in Western nations. And that's the contradiction. Because if these people really believed that immigrants should accept the host nation's customs, then what's their problem with the Arab nations' intolerance of other religions? Shouldn't they just "accept" Islam? Shouldn't they all just convert to Islam?

This is yet another contradiction. Here is what I suggest: What the conservatives actually mean when they say all of this "aceepting the ways of the majority" stuff is that they believe Western culture is superior and they want it to dominate over the others. And I think that the "intolerance" in Arab countries is actually pretty close to what they would like to have in their own countries - except with the roles reversed, of course. Thus their problem with nations like Saudi Arabia is not the intolerance per se, but intolerance of Christianity by Muslims. If it were Christians being intolerant of Islam, that would be fine.

It's also worth noting that "Intifada" is an Arabic word that means "shaking off", meaning shaking off oppression. Naturally, whenever these struggles against oppression arise, conservatives will always deny any exists.

As to Mr. Pipes last question at the end of the article, here is my answer: That Nicolas Sarkozy, a known conservative hard-liner, invited Israeli government officials for classified meetings does not mean that the riots were caused by Islamism. What it means is that Sarkozy is misunderstanding the cause of the problem. Apparently he thought - rightly - that Israelis, with their decades of experience in oppressing Palestinians, should be the ones to look to for aid in suppressing the riots.

Again, the bad socioeconomic conditions in which the immigrants live are a fact, and it's not their fault. France's, indeed all of Europe's society is to blame for this. I can understand how the conservatives must feel, though. It's so hard to take the blame, even when you are the one who's wrong. It's so much easier to criticize and blame others, isn't it? Makes you look good too.
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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".

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