Tuesday, November 08, 2005

John Burgess on events in France

The rioting and civil insurrection now sweeping across France has led certain sectors of the American media–including blogs–to see it somehow as a “French intifada,” or worse. Even normally neutral observers are drawing a false conclusion from an assortment of fact; they’re “connecting the dots,” but coming up with the wrong picture.

What is going on in France is a revolt of immigrants who have been kept–intentionally or not–at substandard levels of society. Among those immigrants are many Muslims. That, however, does not make this a “Muslim revolt.” Also among those rioting immigrants are Africans from the Sub-Sahara, many of whom are Christian. There are also reports of Eastern Europeans taking part. The issues are social and economic: they are not religious.

Attempting to solve a social/economic issue as though it were a religious issue is not going to work. The wrong diagnosis never leads to the correct prescription.

While this is not a religious revolt, it could become one. Everyone with a political stake will be seeking to frame these riots to further their own agendas. That could include Islamists and already includes the far-right and far-left of the French political spectrum. But that’s what it could become, not what it is.

While most of the media -- both Left and Right -- start to hyperventilate, John Burgess takes a more measured approach to events in France. He links to several places that he says have a more nuanced diagnosis of the issues than most.

If you are not among the hyperventilating crowd, you might want to take a look.
If your mind is already made up, don't bother. Just move on to another post.

Meantime, I am coming to the conclusion that Islamophobia is becoming the New Antisemitism. No matter which way a Muslim turns it will be the wrong way. If he protests he is being unreasonable, if he remains quiet he is just waiting until the right moment to protest. If a week of Molotov cocktails has no casualties, it is evidence that an organized effort is underway that will soon lead to the next stage of a violent Jihad. If the violence stops they are only biding their time until the next opportunity. What is happening is a mindset no different from the only good Indian is a dead Indian.

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