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Jihad in Europe

I was about to make this a Samizdata quote of the day, but Scott got there first:

One way in which consensus opinion changes is when scattered individuals become aware that many others share their opinions.

That is our own Natalie Solent reflecting on some comments at the BBC.

Of which this was one, from Chadi Bou Habib of Beirut:

I lived in France for 8 years and I have never understood why the “youths” deal with “social problems” only through riots. Until one day, I was admitted in a meeting of a so-called “cultural association” subsidized by the local council. A Muslim “brother” talked for about an hour on the difference between “us” and “them”, to conclude that whatever we do to “them” is of god’s will, a kind of Jihad. Well, the French authorities should start inquiring on the kind of “culture” they are subsidizing.

Meanwhile, Mark Steyn has this to say about Prince Charles and his ill-timed efforts to get the Americans to stop being beastly to the Muslims:

Having followed the last Prince of Wales in his taste for older divorc&eacutees, His Royal Highness seems to be emulating Edward VIII on the geopolitical front, too, and carelessly aligning himself with the wrong side on the central challenge of the age.

Although, there is one thing to be said in favour of appeasement, which is that it does allow everyone to grope their way towards approximate agreement about the nature of the enemy, based on what actually is the nature of the enemy, rather than on wishful fantasies.

Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened rioters with prison sentences. But this evening a BBC TV reporter ended his report from riotous Paris by saying that the Muslim Parisians who have been chucking bricks at the gendarmerie and torching cars say that the cause of the rioting is Nicolas Sarkozy with his hostile and unfeeling attitude, and that he should say he is sorry.

Quite so. The cheek of the man. Anyone would think that those rioters were breaking the law.

I guess Chadi Bou Habib has a bit more commenting to do.

98 comments to Jihad in Europe

  • Ironic how pro-Israeli as well as Saudi-controlled Islamic fundamentalist media are actually (for once) BOTH 100% aligned with the official Neocon talking points coming from Washington: I happen to know France fairly well and the truth is that the so-called “North-African riots all around the French capital” are just minor incidents involving a handful of disaffected Muslim teenagers…

    This factual reality seems to have evaded the Jerusalem Post and Al-Arabbya’s highly imaginative journalists: why bother with boring facts when you can serve the colorful anti-Gallic clichés cooked by Dick Cheney and his friend/business partner-in-crime Prince Bandar Ibn-Saud??

  • Verity

    That “handful of disaffected Muslim teenagers” certainly does get around … torching 900 vehicles in an evening would certainly involve this “handful of Muslim teenagers” in one hell of a lot of organisation. And, for intermission, attacking two nurseries and a school, and all. And a fire station. Although I do agree, it would be the work of only a minute to set a disabled woman on fire.

    PS – Dick Cheyney was probably so busy reading Halliburton’s annual report that he just didn’t have time to cook up any really juicy anti-Gallic clichés. You know how it is …

  • Susan

    News of the jihad starting in France would increase sympathy among Americans for the French, not decrease it.

    After all we may not like France that much, but we like it a hell of alot better than we like Islamia. France is after all an important part of Western Civilization, the oldest daughter of the church.

  • Verity

    “Barry Windsor-Smith” is our old friend Dr Victorino. I thought he’d been banned.

  • People don’t realize that this has been cooking for a long time. Before the death of the 2 kids, cars were burnt every night. About 1,000 since the beginning of the year (prior the riots). Every Christmas, for the last few years, similar destruction has been going on.

    But the media, the politicians and just everybody else have been trying to downplay those incidents. Appeasement is a religion in France. But it can only last so long.

    You have only 2 ways to resolve the problem. Like the Americans in Iraq. But it means more pain before it gets better. Or like the French have done so far. By looking the other way. The problem with that approach is that it allows the development of a counterpower within the state and the more you wait, the more difficult it is to go back. Witness the fights in Iraq. And what happens now in France.

    So now, the thugs want the head of Sarkozy. The sad truth is that they will probably get it. Remember Daladier in Munich? In order to get peace he chose humiliation. He got both! Obviously no one seems to read history books anymore.

    And to top it all the situation is exacerbated by fact that very few dare to name those thugs for what they are. Most media are trying to downplay this thing. The worst images are censured. Chiraq is still quiet. The government is still stubbornly trying appeasement. Is it fear? Is it political correctness? Is it weakness?

    Whatever it is, it does not forebode well for the future!

  • syn

    Send in Chavez, Castro and Carter armed with empty Progressive Leftists platitutes to numb the masses back to sleep, this should save peaceful Utophia.

  • syn

    Sorry Chomsky said that’s platitudes with a ‘d’

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The riots have now gone on for 10 nights in a row. I dread to think how this will fuel the far-right in France. And it will. I was having a chat with a French friend of mine the other evening – pretty libertarian guy, actually – who was slagging off the welfare model of France, etc. Interesting.

    I love that country and it busts me up to see this going on.

  • Joshua

    Franck writes

    And to top it all the situation is exacerbated by fact that very few dare to name those thugs for what they are

    I completely agree. The violence is as good as caused by the fact that very few people will call these thugs what they are. I mean this in the sense that if we hadn’t been so timid about doing it fifteen years ago when we should have started noticing that Islam was going to be a problem it probably would never have gotten to this point. It’s the weakness they sense in our culture – at least, in the politically correct strain of our culture – that enables this behavior. Dogs don’t bark if you show no fear.

  • Yes, “Barry Windsor-Smith” is indeed the banned Dr. Vic, our very own Gadarene Swine (his names are legion) who is driven to posting self-reinforcing comments under different names so that it looks like people agree with what ‘he’ is writing.

    However I am not going to delete his comment on this occasion because it is a magnificent example of the wilful blindness, breathtaking delusion and outright lying that is the very essence of what he is and all those who are like him.

    Paris is burning, for MORE than a WEEK, and with thousands and thousands of people witnessing what is going on, and with the media from all over the world reporting it and taking pictures of it, and what does he want us to believe? This is “just minor incidents involving a handful of disaffected Muslim teenagers”.

    By his own words, he is revealed. The man puts the Idiot in Idiotarian.

  • Anyone know of ANY French Blog on this? Could not find ANY. PC-ness shut down French discussion there too?

    Any links appreciated. Thx.

  • Verity

    Josey Wales – Yes, yes! No Pasaran! (Link) written by the formidable former Dissident Frogman. In English.

    syn – That was funny! Thanks for the Sunday morning laugh. Bring in Jimmuh for a snoozefest!

    Frank, I had an email from my French friends in Paris this morning, and they say it is dreadful beyond belief. Friday night, 900 cars burned. Saturday night (the 10th night running), 1,000 cars burned. They now have the Gendarmes, the army, the CRS (I think that may be special services) and the firefighters, but she says the rioting Muslims are so numerous that this is not enough. Gosh, I wish they’d just shoot them, then come back and shovel up the bodies and use them as landfill on a pig farm.

    My friends think it may spread to the more affluent suburbs. Meanwhile, Chirac seems to be scared. Yes, he will probably give them Sarkozy’s head. After all, Sarkozy referred to them as scum, and then refused to recant. Although … Chirac is wily. He may stand by Sarkozy because he knows that he is supported by the vast middle class and he doesn’t want to lose votes to FN at the next election. Which he will, anyway. Big time.

  • guy herbert

    Where do you get “jihad” from? What evidence is there that this is anything other than an ordinary outbreak of rioting by underclass youths?

  • Phil

    I’m kind of sceptical that greater force is going to be effective in this case – the french police went for rigerous enforcement in the 70’s and 80’s and to no avail. So I doubt more force will help with integration – the simple fact is that you can’t integrate someone who doesn’t want to be integrated – by force or love. And these guys know this because they’ve watched in on TV in the West Bank*. Which is why, we’ll discover I suspect, that most of the burning was of non muslim cars and businesses. A sort of reverse pogrom.

    So what is to be done. To my mind – they should stop all immigration from Algeria – simple fact is that this was one of the bloodiest wars of the last century and I’m not sure its over yet.

    Second, welcome in a new wave of immigrants from Eastern Europe – there’s no better way to encourage sulky second generation immigrants to integrate than watching first generation immigrants doing it better.

    *Don’t you think that part of the European hatred of Israel is driven by a fear that it the conflict there is a grim vision of their future?

  • Susan

    *Don’t you think that part of the European hatred of Israel is driven by a fear that it the conflict there is a grim vision of their future?

    No. Israel is hated because it’s fashionable to hate Israel, and because Europeans never hear the other side of the story from their government and elite-controlled institutions. The same is true of the distorted view of the US that Europeans are fed by the same institutions.

  • I think it is fair to say that The Washington Post has yet to wrap its arms around this. Here is the lead-in to today’s Paris coverage:

    “Riots Are Fight for Recognition

    By Molly Moore

    “French children of African and Arab immigrants are sending a violent message to a staid political hierarchy that has been inept at responding to change.”

    The story itself is extremely sympathetic to the rioters.


  • Verity

    Guy Herbert – Perhaps from the Paris police having just announced that they have found a petrol bomb factory?

    Probably something to do with the Quaker insurgents.

  • Verity

    Alice – Not bad. Frankistan, eh? And Francarabie.

    Why haven’t you been commenting on Samizdata?

  • Susan


    “Police union leader Bruno Beschizza described the riots as “urban terrorism”, led by small knots of criminals as well as Islamic radicals.

    “This is a form of urban terrorism led by a minority of kingpins, who have a financial interest, such as drug trafficking, or an ideological one, such as Islamic radicals who have been seen by our colleagues.”

  • After ten nights, see ‘Arab News’ web site, taking the soft line–except for:



    “For all their frightening dimensions the riots have not taken on the qualities of a full-scale rebellion. But because of the sheer speed by which the riots are spreading and the inability of the authorities to halt them, there is a sense that a revolution of sorts is in the making.”

    Personal opinion:

    1) Invasion may be a better word than revolution. This is an external and hostile culture attempting to alter France through violence.

    2) The first imperative of a modern government is to preserve, protect, and defend the lives and property of its citizens. Why is the French government not doing so?

    It is quickly reaching the point where a military solution is the only one available. I contend that accommodation simply will not work with a group that refuses to assimilate, recognizes no local law, and which not only demands local autonomy, but which would most likely use its enclaves as assembly points for further assault.

    If this goes on, or even if it does not, mass deportation may be the only realistic solution that would save France as France.

    Where is Charles Martel when you need him?

  • guy herbert

    Verity –

    Perhaps from the Paris police having just announced that they have found a petrol bomb factory?

    Means hardly prove motive.

    And when was there last any significant riot without petrol bombs? Not since the first half of the 20th century, I submit.

  • JuliaM

    Guy Herbert –

    On the BBC report it states “Muslim leaders of African and Arab communities have also issued a fatwa, or religious order, against the riots.”

    Probably work well with those non-Muslim disaffected underclass youths you want to blame, you think?

    Perhaps if the ‘community leaders’ on site seem to think they are mostly Muslim, perhaps they really are..?

  • DavidBruno


    “About 1,000 since the beginning of the year (prior the riots). ”

    I saw a figure of 28,000 reported this year alone before the riots…

  • John East

    Our media are terrified of this story. They are tip-toeing around the issue and getting nowhere, leaving most of us very confused as to what is going on in Europe. We are told that “youths” are angry, deprived, excluded from society, and understandably venting their anger. Ignoring the Muslim component is seriously weird. The MSM ignores all measures enacted over recent years to accommodate the Muslim immigrants such as positive discrimination, legal protection, subsidies, and educational provision, and persists with the bias that it is the fault of the indigenous population because access to society has been denied to first and second generation Muslims.

    I’d rather take a different approach. To understand what is going on one has to try and see things from the perspective of the rioting Muslims. The rioters are in their own country. They were born there. And as they are Muslims, living in their own communities, their neighbourhoods are seen by them as Muslim as well. To them there is no question of abandoning their society to become part of another society, the secular Western one. Those fuelling the unrest do not envy Western society, they despise it.

    Multiculturalism was our big mistake. It is a negative concept. All multiculturalism means is the absence of integration. The best we can hope for from multiculturalism is that the different cultures will ignore each other and get on with their own lives, but this completely ignores human nature. Where there are identifiable differences between groups, ignorance and fear of the “other” is inevitable, and that is what we are increasingly seeing.

    We urgently need to speed up the demise of multiculturalism to tackle what is happening, but to do that it will be necessary to re-think the whole wishy-washy liberal ideology that created this situation in the first place.

  • Joshua

    Multiculturalism was our big mistake. It is a negative concept. All multiculturalism means is the absence of integration

    Indeed – and well-stated. Since the media won’t get this lesson out to the general public, the rest of us have to start being noisier about it.

  • guy herbert

    Probably work well with those non-Muslim disaffected underclass youths you want to blame, you think?

    Well I don’t think it will work, nor do I think they think it will. It is a classic example of self-appointed ‘community leaders’, showing the authorities how responsible (i.e. obsequious towards the authorities) they are.

    I didn’t attempt to blame non-Muslim youths. What I implied was that there is no significant religious intention here: that it is a simple rash of riots and not a ‘jihad’. That the participants are nominally Muslims and that one of the escalating incidents appears to have been the CRS teargassing a mosque are merely contingent facts of the social origins of a large chunk of the French underclass.

    Perhaps if the ‘community leaders’ on site seem to think they are mostly Muslim, perhaps they really are..?

    They may be, but it is irrelevant. ‘Community leaders’ there, as black ‘community leaders’ in Britain and America in similar circumstances have done, will take the opportunity to present this as an expression of a categorical consciousness on behalf of a group, and incorporate it into their own legend. The implication will be pressed that a revolt among their clienteles was inevitable because government has failed to follow policies in partnership with them, and that they should be more courted in future.

    It is a well established dynamic even in meritorious causes. Witness the story of the Stonewall riot and the creation of a politicised gay community in San Francisco, or the elevation of the claims of Jesse Jackson to represent all black people everywhere upon the bravery of the US civil rights movement.

  • Verity

    I see on Friday night, they burned 900 vehicles. On Saturday night, they burned well over a thousand vehicles. Last night, they burned 1400 vehicles. Hmmmm … I don’t know about you, Smithers, but I don’t think this multiculti lunacy is working.

    John East says: The best we can hope for from multiculturalism is that the different cultures will ignore each other and get on with their own lives, which is true and is a shabby way to live. Nations sometimes have to tighten their belts and all pull together, and the citizens can only be motivated to do this if there is a strong sense of community and sameness among the citizenry.

    Multiculti is debilitating, dangerous and depressing to the real citizens whose ancestors built the country, and it will have to go. This will involve mass deportations, including deportations of people born in Britain and Europe, yet of a foreign counry. In Britain, I think David Davis will have the stomach for this, David Cameron would vote for the Blair option of placing himself under the command of endless panels of Muslim “advisors”.

    Chirac is still vowing, after 11 nights of Muslim mayhem, to bring order to France, as the violence escalates to cover the whole of the country – from Normandy to the Languedoc. DeVillepin is simply going to have to put down his hairdryer and solve something other than what is the best mousse for a windy day.

    Which will be the first country to start mass deportations of this violent, alien, aggressive, unhinged element? My guess: Denmark.

  • Verity

    Anyone who wants to kick-start their blood pressure to a higher level should go to the BBC’s (D) Have Your Say. The correspondents have outdone themselves in their rabid condemnations of European society and the indigenes.

    When I stopped reading, I had encountered a total of one person (the Beeb likes to be even-handed) who condemned the rioters.

  • andy

    I think David Davis will have the stomach for this, David Cameron would vote for the Blair option of placing himself under the command of endless panels of Muslim “advisors”.

    If David Davis has the stomach for this, he is keeping it a well-guarded secret. More to the point, the Conservative party does not have the stomach for this, so Davis would be powerless. I cannot see any of the three main parties doing anything other than appeasing the minorities. Noone even admits there is a problem yet, that tells you the scale of self-denial about the future of europe.


  • There are those in the MSM and on-line who keep trying to make the rioters out to be a bunch of disaffected yuffs just out for kicks. Considering the organisation, the shots being fired and the bomb factory it is looking more and more that it is indeed organised. The term French Intifada is looking more and more apt althought considering Muslim youths are rioting in other parts of Europe it might be seen as a European Intifada.

    And anyone who thinks Muslim “leaders” will help matters needs to remember that guy who ranted & raved during the 7/7 arrests. He was on the inter-faith council and a leading cleric in the area.

  • So the ‘rioting’ has now reached the centre of Paris, and much of the rest of the country is seeing outbreaks.

    Today’s New York Times reports the first fatality due to the riots, and escalation of violence to include gunfire aimed at police and others, but it refuses to come to grips with the Islamic aspect of the situation. You have to read very deeply into the story to have any idea that these might be Islamics rioting. In fact, barring a more careful reading of the story, the word Islamic is not used at all.

    Is this because they are Islamic, something that would be politically incorrect to point out? This question should at least be asked by the US ‘newspaper of record,’ but it’s not. The rioters are referred to as ‘youths’ with North and West African roots. The only hints are in the Islamic names of those quoted.

    This is coverage with the blinders on.

    The Washington Post delivers this today: “French government officials said they would announce a plan Monday for combating the violence and its root causes of high unemployment, poverty and discrimination in the poor communities where the violence is concentrated.”

    I don’t know which I find less helpful, the ‘officials’ ideas of the root causes, or the newspaper’s acceptance of their assertion.

    Note the assumption that these ARE the root causes or that such a plan would succeed. The Post does nothing to expand the context of the argument to issues of religion and culture. In fact most Western media appear to be buying into the ‘poor blameless rioters’ idea, when we know that Muslim activists have been at work in these areas for years.

    So both of America’s greatest papers are ignoring the fact that many if not most of the rioters are Islamic. If this were the 1970s that might – at a stretch – be a forgivable mistake.

    But in this era, where the West and Westerners have been repeatedly attacked world wide, and where Islamic militants are on the record as working for a new Caliphate stretching from Spain to the Pacific, inattention to the Islamic aspect is incredible.

    To its credit, the Post, at least, has a blog-like world opinion roundup:

    It reviews opinions from across the French political spectrum—at least as Americans seem to understand them. For example, they got François Hollande’s gender wrong.

    How can people combat this if they are misinformed?

  • Verity

    For a lucid analysis, read the ever excellent Melanie Phillips on this. (Link)

  • JEM

    Anyone who wants to kick-start their blood pressure to a higher level should go to the BBC’s (D) Have Your Say. The correspondents have outdone themselves in their rabid condemnations of European society and the indigenes.

    When I stopped reading, I had encountered a total of one person (the Beeb likes to be even-handed) who condemned the rioters.

    Verity, when I went to the BBC Have Your Say, the overwhelming bulk of the comments were without doubt condemning the rioters. Few and far between were those that did not.

    Given that this was the BBC, that was rather surprising; but it’s the way it is!

    Are you sure you were really looking at the BBC?

  • JEM

    If this goes on, or even if it does not, mass deportation may be the only realistic solution that would save France as France.

    Tempting, but whatever it may be realistic it is not.

    Which other country would take them in?

    Meanwhile, try disconnecting electricty and gas supplies to the rioting areas. A little time spent freezing in the dark might cool things a bit.

  • Verity

    JEM – Yes. It said BBC at the top, and I got it by going to this link: (Link) I’m pretty sure that’s the BBC.

    This was two or three hours ago. I gave up reading after about 20 comments by writers stuck on stupid. How we had excluded them and they were marginalised. Blah blah blah.

    I jusst went back to the link, and second on the page is Azhagan, whose considered opinion it is that it is “ghetto-like city suburbs and the vicious circle of unemployment and perceptions of inequality have fuelled the riots in France”. He recommends, “Total integration, some forms of positive discriminations and the rehabilitation of city slumps may be some of the solutions that France should look at.”

    Diana says: “How did this situation of poverty, discrimination, sub human housing get to this stage – I would have to blame the government? This social issue has been ignored by the government of France and has now festered to the breaking point.”

    The commenters after her, during the intervening couple of hours since I posted my comment here, appear to be more informed.

  • Verity

    JEM – The lands of their fathers. Like it or not. What? Are they going to say “no” to their brothers in Islam? Surely that is unIslamic?

    And impractical? Are they going to lose all that aid from the West? Pakistan will just have to integrate a couple of million Islamics from Britain. Oh, that shouldn’t be too hard.

    Same with Algeria and Morocco. Same with Somalia.

  • Verity-

    Melanie Phillips proved to be well worth reading. And for those who don’t know, she has written on this general topic a number of times, always rationally, it appears.

    One of her articles includes a link to a Danish blogger who offered English translations of local newspaper coverage of the rioting in Aarhus. Judging by the quotes from the rioters, things are about as bad as we might fear.

    Here is the Danish link: http://viking-observer.blogspot.com/2005/10/war-in-france-war-in-denmark.html.
    Unfortunately his last post is dated 31 October, and I am having problems finding out what’s happening currently in Denmark. Can anyone help out?

    Needless to say, US media are not covering this at all.

  • Richard Easbey

    Just in case any of the samizdatists don’t know this: the moment someone uses the phrase “root causes,” you can safely ignore whatever they’re trying to tell you. They have revealed their ignorance.

  • Susan

    The riots have now spread to Germany and Belgium. Sketchy news, of course, as no one wants to implicate you-know-whom. But 10 cars were set afire in a Turkish area of Berlin.

    Verity, you should use the feature at the new (D)HYS that sorts and lists all the posts by “recommended.”

    If you do that, you will find that the most recommended posts are hard on Islam, hard on the rioters and hard on multi-culti.

    (I suspect the recommended post feature will shortly disappear as it seems to be an effective way to circumvent the Beeb worldview and the ever-helpful monitors at (D)HYS.)

  • Verity

    Thanks, Susan. I’ll do it before the BBC realises its error and disables the Recommended feature.

    Yes, James B. I can help you. Fjordman is an excellent blogger and blogs in English and well as Danish. (Link)

  • As Susan says, if you sort the BBC comments in order of recommendation you will see that the most recommended posts give short shrift to the rioters. In fact if you follow the link you will see that was the very fact that led me to make the post from which Brian quoted.

    If I may quote myself again, “I saw the post I made on Friday as being more a tentative sociological observation about the way the average tone of comments to the BBC changed (when what had been an editor-selected “letters to the editor” page became a forum) than an endorsement of the majority opinion on the forum. In fact I do endorse the majority opinion that the grievances of the rioters do not justify riots, but I didn’t do it there. What led me to post that time was the possibility that the BBC might be educated about its audience – and its audience be educated about itself – by means of the change to a more open forum.”

  • JEM

    Verity, here’s a flavour of the first few comments from the first page of the BBC’s Have Your Say, the first of ten similar pages.

    Since when has unemployment been a legitimate excuse to start a riot…

    … You can continue to practice your religion and traditions intimately but you should not expect your new country to change for you.

    Sarkozy is correct. There is no excuse for violence…

    I lived in France for 8 years and I have never understood why the “youths” deal with “social problems” only through riots…

    … and so on, and on.

    There is not one single person supporting the rioters.

    I don’t know what you were reading, but it clearly was not this.

  • Verity

    JEM – as I noted, I was reading the BBC’s (D) Have Your Say. I quoted two of the comments on the page I was reading. The page I had been reading two hours previously, as I noted, had one negative comment with all the other comments sympathising with the disadvantaged, marginalised ya-dada, ya-dada protesters.

    I haven’t been back since, and will not be going on your recommendation.

  • JEM

    JEM – The lands of their fathers. Like it or not. What? Are they going to say “no” to their brothers in Islam?

    You better believe they are going to say no. No-one in their right mind is going to welcome these criminals into their country.

    The only way you’ll achieve what you suggest is by main force: invasion and occupation. The cost of that would be to give Bin Laden a bigger boost in support and recruitment than he could ever have hoped for.

    The idea, tempting though it may be, is just not on in the real world.

    It’s worth bearing in mind that the Nazis originally intended to expel the Jews in a similar fashion. When no-one would take them in, the eventual result was the death camps and the final solution.

  • Kristopher

    When General George Napier was governor of Sind province in India in the 1840s, he vigorously enforced the ban on suttee, the practice of throwing a Hindu widow on to the funeral pyre of her husband. A delegation of Brahmins came to him to explain that he must not prohibit the practice at the funeral of a particular maharaja, as it was an important cultural custom.

    “If it is your custom to burn a widow alive, please go on,” Napier responded.

    “We have a custom in our country that whoever burns a person alive shall be hanged. While you prepare the funeral pyre, my carpenters will be making the gallows to hang all of you. Let us all act according to our customs”

    You don’t need death camps or mass deprtations to fix this.

    You need only to re-arm the victims, and to prosecute existing laws forbidding a-holes from burning their nieghbors property and the neighbors themselves.

    You won’t see this kind of crap happening in Switzerland … the rioters wouldn’t live very long.

  • Verity & JEM,

    I think you are both reading the same info arranged in different order.

  • Verity

    Yes, I do too, Natalie, and tried to point this out twice by saying that my comments were based on readings of two hours previously, but, obviously, I didn’t find my mark! Thank you for putting this fruitless discussion to rest!

  • Verity,

    Thanks for the link to “Fjordman.”

    It IS a thorough and wide ranging blog.

    But, I think you will understand when I call it a peek into Hell. I had no idea that such things were going on in Scandanavia.

    It bodes ill for Europe as a whole.

  • Verity

    James B. Yes, indeed.

  • JEM

    You won’t see this kind of crap happening in Switzerland … the rioters wouldn’t live very long.

    You won’t see this happening in Switzerland because Switzerland did not have a huge empire full of Muslims who were entitled under the rules at the time to come and live in Switzerland.

  • JEM

    Yes, I do too, Natalie, and tried to point this out twice by saying that my comments were based on readings of two hours previously…

    Yes, this is fruitless.

    However if you looked, you’d discover that most of these messages I quoted dated back to last Thursday. Readings from two hours ago would not be any different and thus this is a pointless point to make.

    But Natalie is quite right, and it seems you did not know how to ‘use’ the site.

  • Yes, its rather easy not to have this sort of problem when you have a rather homogeneous population. I rather doubt you will have Muslim riots in Iceland either.

  • Verity

    Andrew ID – If they’ve let Muslims into Iceland, there will be riots. Before they let Muslims in, Denmark had, for millennia, been so homogenous everyone knew everyone else by name or family or village. It’s a population of around 5m.

  • Verity

    OK, everyone, listen up and put your bombs away! French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has just said that the violence is “unacceptable”! This will be a relief to the 300 towns and cities that have experienced this Muslim mayhem. The perpetrators hadn’t realised they were doing something M de Villepin (whose father bought the name) just couldn’t accept.

    Does it strike anyone else as ludicrous that this is the strongest condemnation that de Villepin dared to utter? Setting fire to cities, burning 1,000 vehicles a night, and nurseries and schools, terrorising neighbourhoods with mayhem and M de Villepin wants to make it clear that this really is too much.

    DeGaulle would have known how to take care of this. So does Sarkozy, but he won’t be allowed to.

    Meanwhile those votes for the FN are racking up, click, click, click,click ….

  • GCooper

    Verity writes:

    “Meanwhile those votes for the FN are racking up, click, click, click,click ….”

    And also meanwhile, the BBC goes on spinning and spinning that this has nothing to do with religion and that it vindicates (and I quote) ‘Anglo-Saxon multiculturalism’.

    How very strange to hear the BBC in favour of anything Anglo-Saxon (even if they are talking balls).

  • Verity

    It vindicates ‘Anglo-Saxon multiculturalism’. Hello? How can multiculturalism be Anglo-Saxon? Isn’t this multi-cultural imperialism?

    Meanwhile, those votes for the FN are still going clickety, clickety, clickety. I can’t wait!

  • Joshua

    When is the next election due in France? Timespan will obviously have a lot to do with how well this plays into FN’s hands. If for whatever reason the riots can soon be brought under control and the public placated (stranger things have happened), and if the media keeps refusing to mention the “I”-word without first filtering it through all the lefty “root cause” laundering (count on it), then the public may be thinking about other things come ballot box time.

  • Verity

    Joshua, I follow your thinking, but I am not sure. This has been simmering away in French heads for a long time. They really hate the parasitic Islamic immigrants, although in the south, they give a semi-pass to the Moroccans, who will take any job to support their families rather than go on welfare. My guess – in the south at least, the Moroccans will not be major participants in this.

    But, this will not be forgotten or overtaken by other events. This will be a deciding moment. My French friends in “the leafy suburbs” of Paris are furious. I mean, angry and ashamed of France. I am guessing their opinions are shared by most people they know. I cannot imagine how the people in the Languedoc feel. Riots in Montpellier, the prefecture! And riots in Provence, with people fearing to go into Marseilles! It’s unbelievable.

    I don’t know election time, as I don’t live there any more, but maybe a couple of years. This, I do assure you, will not be forgotten in two years.

  • Joshua

    I certainly hope not.

    I mean, from where I stand this definitely looks like a “die is cast” type thing – no going back. A larger confrontation with Islam will now HAVE to happen in Europe. The question is when. The longer it gets put off, of course, the tougher it will be. So I’m nervous about France’s reaction. It’s important for everyone that they not screw this up.

  • Verity

    Oh, Joshua! Please! Of course they’ll screw it up!

    They are disconnected from the people. They are the ruling elite. (Cue sound of tumbrils rolling.)

    The French people, who never wanted N African immigrants in the first place – although in the south, they do mostly give a pass to the Moroccans – will not forget this. It was only ever people, as in Britain, in TV studios who wanted multiculti suicide.

    The FN will make enormous gains. The French government is incompetent, as I would imagine Tony Blair would be if this happened in Britain. He would be equally indecisive, if not more so, because he doesn’t have the strength of real conviction to guide him. Their little multiculti idealised society is all they can understand in their puir wee brains.

  • JEM

    They really hate the parasitic Islamic immigrants, although in the south, they give a semi-pass to the Moroccans, who will take any job to support their families rather than go on welfare. My guess – in the south at least, the Moroccans will not be major participants in this.

    Sorry, that’s just wishful thinking. Up to a third of the people living in the cités are Moroccan, and their behaviour is indistinguishable from other inhabitants.

    The situation as a whole rather reminds me of the beginnings of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern ireland in the 60’s. A massive military presence should fix the problem within thirty or forty years…

  • northernsoulboy

    Very interesting thread, with some good points made.
    It seems obvious to me: the world is not a perfect place, and it never is going to be perfect. There will always be rich and poor, ‘included’ and ‘excluded’.
    In France today, some of those poor and excluded are muslim youths and some of those muslim youths are rioting.
    I feel sorry for them, up to a point.
    I’m sure their lives are shit. But burning cars and torching shops is not the way forward and to my mind the French government should draw a line in the sand.
    Appeasement NEVER works and appeasement of muslims NEVER, EVER works.
    Those who suggest that an aggressive response to these people smacks of neo-con naziism are missing the point: there is no bigger nazi in the world today than the radicalised muslim.

  • JEM

    In French, poor suburbs with Soviet-style housing for Moorish immigrants are generically called “La Banlieue” a medieval Gallic word which literally means “the place where the banned and the untouchables dwell”

    For someone who claims to live in Paris, Barry Windsor-Smith a.k.a. Dr Victorino de la Vega’s claimed knowledge of French must be some kind of sick joke.

    Banlieue is simply the modern French word for ‘suburb’. Period.

    The literal original meaning of the word in medieval French was a zone around a city where trading was not permitted without a license from the city. That does mean or imply in any way what he pretends it does.

    As for the rest of his remarks? They do not deserve a response. A German word he may have learned at the knees of his hero the good Dr Goebbles sums them up pretty neatly: ‘Kwatsch’

  • The trouble is that the Muslim leaders in France want their cake and to be able to eat it. They expect the state of France to pour money into their areas yet they are unwilling to become French prefering to remain in their own areas and not even bothering to learn French in many cases.

    They expect to be able to have statelets in the midst of France and the French have quite rightly told them to get stuffed. What is happening now is that they are attempting to scare the elite into bowing to their demands lest France exists in terminal low-level civil war.

    The Police in France are now making it clear that these attacks are highly organised. The weapons the “youths” are getting comes from somewhere.

    NB: Right now I am watching a bunch of ROPMA young beating the shit out of a cameraman who is filming them leaving court in Sydney.

  • Verity

    JEM – The French people I know – my friends and neighbours – give a pass to the Moroccans. They don’t like them being in France, but they respect them for staying off welfare. They reserve their real simmering resentment for the Algerians. That includes a friend of mine who is married to a Pied Noir. Do not try to tell me what my experience is.

  • From this morning’s New York Times. France from a distance…

    “While the violence has not taken on religious overtones (sic), most of the young people involved are nominally Muslim, raising fears that Islamist groups could capitalize on the unrest to recruit new members.

    “Internet postings from one such movement encouraged young Muslims elsewhere in Europe to riot in the name of Islam:

    ‘Oh, you Muslim people in Europe, walk with and like your brothers in Paris and learn that these people are dogs,” read a message posted on Monday on the popular Web site of a dissident based in London. “Teach them that we are a single nation and if a single member is touched, then all the others will erupt like a burning volcano.’

    “The Web site, the same one that has posted claims of responsibility for terrorist attacks including the July 7 bombings in London, showed images of vehicles in flames and a photo image of a smiling Mr. Sarkozy, dressed as a gangster in a black suit and alligator coat and carrying a machine gun in each hand.”

    Obviously a thinly disguised plea for honest jobs and better architecture.

  • Verity

    James B says: Obviously a thinly disguised plea for honest jobs and better architecture. Ha ha ha ha ha.

    Even the florid, over-theatrical language these people use reeks of adolescent self-dramatisation.

    I see still no mention of the ROPMA on the BBC, which is still referring to “Arab and African communities”. Perhaps they’re members of a radical Quaker cell.

  • A glimmer of light in the main-stream press, to wit, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday (apologies for poor translation):

    “One of the greatest dishonesties of European policy and intellectual discourse has been that multicultural issues can be discussed from only one perspective — (that of) the ‘accepting society.’ Whoever calls on the immigrants themselves to integrate better is seen as a nationalist monster who lacks ‘openness'” (‘Sympathy’ or ‘charity’ might be better words).

    True enough.

    Not spelled out, but at least implied, is the fact that the immigrant who won’t make an honest attempt to respect the society into which he voluntarily moves is equally monstrous.

    On the other (left) hand, Danny the Red is back!

    “I’m always saying, Berlin Kreuzberg is an island of happiness compared to the situation in France,” Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a leader of the May 1968 student uprising in France and now a member of the European Parliament from Germany, as quoted in Der Spiegel.

    Great. Let’s all pull together now…

  • Susan

    Women are being stoned in France; the French media hides it. The Brussels Journal has some good reports on what’s happening — and how it’s disappearing from the European media hole.


  • Susan, an interesting link. What resonated with me lay at the very end:

    “The police and the gangs are fighting over whose laws will apply in the neighbourhood: the laws of the French Republic or the laws of Eurabia. Unlike the Western intellectuals, the ‘youths’ realise that everything boils down to the question of who wields power over a specific territory. In order to protect their turf the generals of Eurabia are now attacking the territory of the enemy, such as (the) psychiatric hospital in (Noisy-le-Grand).

    “For the Muslim radicals-–invariably described in the media as “youths”–-this is quite literally a war. It is not about social injustice, race or alienation, but about territory-–a territory (within which) to establish a culture and a cult which are alien to the culture … that gave France its European and, despite all its socialist flaws, Western character.”

    So, as if we didn’t know, this is a “Kultur Kampf” and those ALWAYS end badly.

  • guy herbert

    Well, the French media is notoriously subservient to officialdom, but when one traces it back towards the source, the phrase appears to be from a France Culture radio interview with an official. It is part of a lurid reference to an incident or incidents in the streets of Noisy le Grand concerning “some women” not actually “stoned”, but “quasiment lapidées” in the course of being forced out of their car for it to be burnt.

    It appears to be colour to a more general point about breakdown of law and order, not a description of a specific occasion, since there are no names of the people involved, no more detailed account of place or time.

    Chinese whispers are to be expected I suppose. But the lack of context changes the meaning in a poisonous way.

  • Verity

    Guy – about 18 months ago I did read – obviously, I no longer remember where – of one stoning to death in France. All I remember is, it was in the north, and the town began with an O (I think). But it was a definite stoning to death and the police were investigating a possible second.

  • Verity

    This wasn’t the one I was thinking of, but it was a definite stoning to death. (Link)

  • The word ‘stoned’ might also apply to the US citizenry.

    I just noticed that out of The New York Times’ top 25 emailed stories only one is about the European rioting, and it ranks number 14.

    What, you ask, is first? A story about folks selling up their high-priced California real estate and moving to the less-costly Midwest.

    Number 7 is a short piece on why animals sleep.

    Pardon me, but my teeth need grinding.

  • Midwesterner

    “folks selling up their high-priced California real estate and moving to the less-costly Midwest”

    Please PLEASE NO!

    Californication has destroyed enough places, please not us.

    Back to topic now. I’ve had a terrible time finding any MSM coverage on France etc. There was maybe 45 to 60 seconds on one of the national tv news programs. I’ve been getting everything of the net.

  • Midwesterner,

    Same is true here. If the major European media didn’t have fine web sites, there wouldn’t be much real news available. That and European blogs, which appear to be covering things more intensively even than the media.

    But almost everywhere, I see a disproportionate amount of sympathy for the rioters. Nobody would contend that they are living a life of ease, but surely that does not excuse their actions.

  • GCooper

    I can only concur with Midwesterner and James B. Indeed, the BBC, having been late on parade and done its best to minimise it, now appears to be doing everything in its power to bury the story.

    And to pick up James B’s point, even the Daily Telegraph has been playing the ‘poor, disadvantaged youth’ tune, leaving only Mark Steyn to chant a dissenting counterpoint.

    There does seem to be a conspiracy among the chattering classes to keep the lid on this.

    If they pretend it isn’t going on, it may never intrude on their dinner parties as the BMWs outside in the street start to burst into flame, one chilly Autumn night

  • Verity

    G Cooper – I am baffled by their apparently thinking that depriving this story of oxygen will make it go away. They’re all excusing these violent primitives. I think they’re afraid it’s going to happen in Britain. Like the Islamic nutjobs read The Telegraph. Let’s all agree to pretend there is no elephant in the living room!

  • GCooper

    Verity writes:

    ” Like the Islamic nutjobs read The Telegraph,”

    I’m getting very worried about the Telegraph. The number of vacuous bimbos (of both sexes) writing moronic ‘lifestyle’ features seems to be growing unchecked, while even the comment pages seem monoplised by Notting Hill groupies (again, of both sexes. If not more).

    Two days ago they relaunched The Sunday Telegraph, having put Sarah Sands in charge. In her little puff-piece she described the new paper as being ‘intelligent and elegant’. It was impossible not to dub the immortal Polly Filler’s imaginary voice reading the lines, adding, with a pert smirk, ‘just like me!’

    I think the ridiculous Barclay Brothers have done for the old tub.

  • Verity

    G Cooper, I only read the editorial page now, and sometimes not even that. The whole thing is stuffed with articles like ‘Picking up the beat on beetroot’ (I made that up, but I’ll bet you weren’t sure), lifestyle articles whose sole utility is they give the sub writing the headline an opportunity to make a cute pun; towering, ignorant misinformation “Lee Kuan Yew, one of the world’s richest men” – if his wife hadn’t been so sick, he would have sued them for that – , best chat-up lines, a Madonna fact file – do Telegraph readers really want to know any facts about Madonna?

    Day after day after predictable day. I skip it all. Their standard of production is going through the floor, too. I’m on the other side of the pond, and a year ago, at midnight British time, the new day’s Telegraph went on line. It was wonderful. Then it started being five minutes late. Then 10 minutes. Then half an hour. No pride.

    The Telegraph is giggling its way into irrelevancy.

  • George Friedman (author of America’s Secret War and head of the strategic intelligence consultancy, Stratfor) has written a think-piece about the difficulties European nations have with immigrant assimilation. These reasons for problems go deep, and have strategic implications–Europe, he contends, may rise or fall depending on how successful it is in dealing with immigration.

    A sample:

    “Europe has celebrated national self-determination among all principles, and adhered to a theory of the nation that was forged in the battle with dynastic empires. At the heart of its theory of nationalism is the concept that the nation — national identity — is something to which one is born. Ideally, every person should be a part of one nation, and his citizenship should coincide with that.

    “But this is, of course, not always the case. What does one do with the foreigner who comes to your country and wants to be a citizen, for example? Take it a step further: What happens when a foreigner comes to your country and wants not only to be a citizen, but to become part of your nation? It is, of course, difficult to change identity. Citizenship can be granted. National identity is another matter.”

    The French would probably agree with that last sentence.


    “The problem of assimilating immigrants in these countries is quite difficult. It is not simply an institutional problem: A new white paper from Brussels will not solve the issue. It is a problem deeply rooted in European history and liberalism. The European theory of democracy rests on a theory of nationalism that makes integration and assimilation difficult. It can be done, but only with great pain.”

    Some of this seems a bit superficial, but there is always the chance that Friedman’s mind is a subtler thing than mine and I am missing the good part.

    Unfortunately like most quoted authorities, Friedman does not deal directly with the issue of Islam, or Islamic immigrants who do not wish to be assimilated, but would rather claim bits of France as their own private Islamabads.

    Still there is some interesting thinking here. Because it is too long to post as a comment, I have put it on my web site here for those who are interested.

  • Midwesterner

    Earlier we were wondering about the effort in the UK, US, etc to suppress or at least ignore the problems.

    A possibility occured to me. Has anybody here read Edgar Allen Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death(Link)?

    Is it appropriate?

  • A good point, Midwesterner.

    In almost all of the press coverage I have seen, there appears to be a tendency to believe in certain causes, and reject others. The other causes of the rioting may be equally valid, but they are rarely mentioned.

    Race and ‘discrimination’ are acceptable causes for the riots, per the media.

    Religion is not mentioned as a probable cause, even though many rioters may, in fact, be Jihadistas.

    This is probably a holdover from the post-colonial era and (in the States) the civil rights movement. Both are taproots of political correctness. Both make journalists fear to play the Islam card.

    Poverty is acceptable as a cause for violence if you are a member of the mainstream media.

    Cultural attitudes are not, even though your culture (sic) may, and perhaps should, make you a social leper.

    This is probably due to ignorance of the cultural imperatives (e.g., gang rape and honor killings) of Islamic immigrant rioters. They would be acting appropriately if they were riding with one of the Khans, but not in a civilized, 21st century country.

    Yet, this is not explored by the press.

    It is not as if we were simply talking about the European press; this is a nearly worldwide media phenomenon. And it is appropriate to note here that except for brief mentions of Belgium and Germany, the recent actions elsewhere (i.e., Denmark and Scandinavia) have been ignored by the press.

    Barbarity, whether as a description, a life style, or a cause of the problem, is not mentioned, yet the people burning France fit that definition fairly well.

    I really don’t know what angers me more, the fact that these “youths” feel free to burn down the French Republic, the flaccid response of the French government, the invisibility of the EU in all of this, or the abject political correctness of the media.

  • Midwesterner

    James B,

    Your comment about “the invisibility of the EU” reminded me of an exchange with my brother today.

    He asked me if I thought the EU had the strength and courage to step in and do something. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the words ‘strength and courage’ used in the same sentence as ‘EU’ before.

    Good for a laugh and then I told him the nick name I’ve been hearing for the EUHQ in Brussels, ‘Palace of Vanities’. A page from Belgium that I was reading today said that in official buildings, not a peep of this. In the coffee shops, they talk of nothing else.

    Maybe EU-o-crats look at France and read ‘Mene mene tekel upharsin’. ‘Measured measured, weighed and divided’ may be the future of the EU.

  • Verity

    He asked me if I thought the EU had the strength and courage to step in and do something.

    What a stupid question. The EU is a group of sovereign, self-governing countries. The EU has no power to “step in” to anything. Spare us the ignorance.

  • Joshua

    That might be a bit edgy.

    In fact, right now the EU is as you describe, but there have been several serious proposals to turn it into exactly the kind of organ Midwesterner means. I dont doubt that those proposals will come up again in the near future – possibly partly as a result of this crisis (which, by the way, has now finally led to an emergency powers declaration. ‘Bout bleedin’ time!).

  • Joshua

    Update from Germany:

    Spiegel Online reports that four cars were torched in Koeln last night as well as seven in Berlin (and five the night before – so 12).

    The police in Koeln categorically rule out any connection with France (yeah, whatever); in Berlin they say that it is too early to draw any such connection.

    Spiegel notes that this all took place in neighborhoods that are flashpoints for social unrest – with high unemployment and a high percentage of foreigners.

    My personal guess would obviously be that the people who are burning cars in Germany are at least inspired by what’s going on in France and hoping to ignite something similar in Germany. For reasons already discussed in the other thread, though, I really don’t see riots of the kind now going on in France spreading to Germany.

  • Midwesterner

    My brother works the maximum number of hours the law permits. And it’s continuous work with out even a full lunch break. The last he was able to follow the news the EU was well on track to acquiring those options.

    Perhaps you need to read up on the purpose of the European Rapid Reaction Force(Link).

    And for –

    “The EU is a group of sovereign, self-governing countries.”

    I’ll let that go uncontested but I can see how some may have different opinions.

  • Midwesterner

    My above comment is addressed to Verity.

  • Snips from Wednesday’s New York Times:

    First an Associated Press story: “French historians say the rioting is more widespread and more destructive in material terms than the May riots of 1968, when university students erected barricades in Paris’ Latin Quarter and across France, throwing paving stones at police. That unrest, a turning point in modern France, led to a general strike by 10 million workers and forced President Gen. Charles de Gaulle to dissolve parliament and fire Premier Georges Pompidou.”

    It seems fair to say that things are getting interesting. In the Chinese sense.

    Second, Antoine Audouard’s op-ed piece calls down plague on both the left and right (Audouard spent six years as publishing director of Laffont-Fixot. Now he writes novels).

    He says: “Mr. de Villepin’s “Marshall plan” for the suburbs seems to be a combination of wishful thinking (“we should all change our behavior”), Gaullian posturing (“All those in our republic, whatever their age, have duties toward the nation”) and good old pork-barrel politics.

    “With the rioters’ having no articulate political expression beyond anger, and with cities and towns starting to impose curfews, it seems unlikely that the current unrest will develop into a fully fledged rebellion. But the crisis has once more exposed the shortcomings of a society that no longer knows how to enforce its own rules or how to create the dream of a better life for its new generations.”

    M. Audouard thus sees France’s ruling elites circling the drain. One wishes they would stop circling.

    There also is an op-ed by Olivier Roy, but so far as I can tell it is not sourced at all; it quotes nobody and is completely “Roy-referential.” Basically, he says that Islam has nothing to do with any of this. You can find it here.

    He seems to contend that thugs are the same everywhere:

    “Most of the rioters are from the second generation of immigrants, they have French citizenship, and they see themselves more as part of a modern Western urban subculture than of any Arab or African heritage. Just look at the newspaper photographs: the young men wear the same hooded sweatshirts, listen to similar music and use slang in the same way as their counterparts in Los Angeles or Washington.”

    Well, I don’t like rap either, but I doubt that even our toxic popular culture is responsible for the riots.

  • Verity

    I admire your brother for working the maximum number of hours the law allows. That shows that he is diligent and ambitious. Not that he is informed about world politics. That may not be his fault if he is too busy or just isn’t very interested. It doesn’t matter.

    But that you thought relaying his pointless and – sorry – ignorant comment hits exactly the same nerve that was mashed by Matt Frei, Matt Wells and Gavin Hewitt reporting on Katrina from New Orleans (save Matt Wells, who was inexplicably reporting from his condo in LA) intoning, in their plaintive, accusatory south London whine, “The lost and abandoned in New Orleans are black (emphasis on the BLACK). These families are democratic voters in a democratic state and therefore no good to George Bush, who has ignored their tragedy for two days now. When is Bush going to send in troops? When is Bush going to send in federal aid to help the dispossessed and BLACK citizens of New Orleans. Meanwhile, George Bush sleeps soundly in the air-conditioned comfort of the White House.” Straightening up, snapping to attention: “I’m Matt Frei/Matt Wells/Gavin Hewitt reporting on the ongoing Katrina tragedy in New Orleans – abandoned by its own president.”

    Why doesn’t Bush send in the troops, blah, blah, blah? Because he friggin’ can’t you pustulant, ignorant, drooling moron! Because he is not the governor’s boss, you stupid little BBC self-righteous socialist nitwit who hasn’t bothered to study the structure of the American government! Because he has to wait to be asked, you drab little infected nosehair, living off tribute exacted from the British at the point of a gun. Because America doesn’t work like Britain, you pontificating twerp.

    Midwesterner, I suggest, rather, that you study the European Rapid Reaction Force. [Wipes tears of laughter from eyes.] I would suggest you refrain from trying to teach us lessons about our politics unless you are a genuine cosmopolitan American – and they exist in encouraging numbers in the Samizdata gang – who is familiar with Britain and Europe and understands how they work.

    Your comment was exactly parallel to the comments “quoted” above and hit the same damaged nerve.

  • Verity

    James B – “intersting in the Chinese sense.” V good!

  • Verity,

    Re: “Why doesn’t Bush send in the troops, blah, blah, blah? Because he friggin’ can’t you pustulant, ignorant, drooling moron! Etc.”

    I think you made your point and I envy your gift for invective. Or I began to envy it as soon as I lifted myself off the floor. I’m still laughing.

    Life before Samizdata is a fast dimming memory.

  • Joshua

    Well, I don’t like rap either, but I doubt that even our toxic popular culture is responsible for the riots.

    Responsible, no, but correlated with? Almost certainly. It’s no accident that muslim radicals the the US flourish among the same classes that like and produce rap. The message is largely the same: steal don’t work, stick by your “brothers,” strength in numbers, whatever’s wrong with your life is the white man’s fault, do with the rival gang’s women what you will.

    The saving grace of rap, I think, is that it no longer takes itself all that seriously. There’s a healthy dose of self-irony now that didn’t used to be there in the 80s when it was cutting its teeth.

    Islam has yet to grow a sense of humor.

  • Ok Joshua,

    I’ll go with “correlated with.”

    Always looking for the neatly turned phrase, me. Sorry–it’s an occupational hazard of writing that leads to misunderstandings. Ironic, that.

    What I meant, was that even though rap/hip-hop/pop-culture is perhaps the most odious thing the US has unleashed on an inoffensive world in decades, it didn’t trigger the riots.

    Offered the rioters the equivalent of moral support and something of a common language, yes. But cause the riots? No.

    I’d love to blame it, but I can’t.

  • Verity

    Sarkozy’s going to deport all foreign convicted rioters, including those on visas. The first 120 are all set to go. Ha ha ha ha ha! They’d better get their DNA, preferably in the pre-boarding lounge, so they can’t switche identities and sneak back in.