Dead Men Left

Monday, November 07, 2005

On "religious fanaticism"

From Paris:

Just watched the evening news here. The events of last night, naturally enough, took most of the air time. Chirac spoke, saying that restoring order is the only priority right now. There was a lot of coverage in various places. Most of it showed shocked and uncomprehending populations in these cités, half "white" and half "dark". They showed how the whole cité and the teachers came to clean up the school that was burnt overnight, and which will thus be open again tomorrow. They showed groups of citizens that occupy their local infrastructure (unarmed) simply to create a presence and show that it is valued. They showed some youth saying that they were sick to death of not finding jobs because the don't have the right name, and expressing their anger at Sarkozy's words; there was an interview of inhabitants (again, half white and half brown) of one cité complaining about the racism and provocation of the police.

In 20 minutes, there was not a single mention of religion. Again, these events are not motivated by religion, they are motivated by economics, and by the (correct) feeling of these youth that they are excluded from "normal" society. all they want is a job, a car and decent housing, to live their lifes normally. Now a significant proportion of this underclass is indeed of Arab or African origins, and thus Muslim, but they are all French by nationality.