05 November, 2005


Paris is still rioting. Other parts of France are joining in.

Lots of idiots on the right-wing blogosphere are crowing about this. E.g., "What do decades of idle submission and spineless obiesance under the guise of tolerance reap?", as if French society has actually displayed anything resembling tolerance towards its large Muslim minority. The other widely-voiced sentiment is that this is just Muslims showing their true colors. Quoth Robert Spencer of FrontPageMag:
That decision is a small example of what the Paris riots demonstrate on a large scale: the abject failure of the multiculturalist philosophy that disparate groups can coexist within a nation without any idea that they must share at least some basic values. The French are paying the price today for blithely assuming that France could absorb a population holding values vastly different from that of the host population without negative consequences for either.
Michelle Malkin is a good place to go to get a nice taste of the sentiment.

I hate to be trite, but this picture is simply at odds with reality. France has been anything but multiculturalist, and in fact has been quite uniform in demanding that its Muslim minority conform, damnit, to the standards of French culture.


This is starting to get kind of scary. France's intolerant policies are not laudable, but they don't seem nearly commensurate to this kind of damage and violence. It seems like a miracle that more people haven't been hurt yet. 10 police officers wounded by shotguns can't be good. All that fire can't be good either.

It's pretty astonishing, this vs our race riots. I mean, don't we fairly frequently -*shoot* teenagers?  Yet our last national riots waited until the trial went totally awry. And, as you say, it's pretty astonishing how the idiotic right doesn't realize the real dynamics of multiculturalism in France vs. the United States. But what else can you expect from Malkin? The last time I tried to read her blog I felt ill.

Posted by Saheli

Well, also recall that France colonized Algeria and Morocco, and the former only relatively recently got independence after a bloody war. Considering how fresh the memory of slavery still remains for black Americans, this much more recent conflict probably has a much stronger impact. Cf. American race riots of the early part of this century. 

Posted by saurabh

I am chastened by the ease with which I seem to have forgotten my Francophone history. Even so, I think the lack of true multiculturalism you originally cited is more to blame.  

Posted by Saheli

Why is a picture of Christ being misused? 

Posted by Joe

Err... A bit late on that last point, but... what do you mean, misused? Anti-capitalist radical, hippy tendencies, enjoyed bullshitting about religion, a little full of himself, opposed imperialism... I think we have a fair bit in common. 

Posted by saurabh

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