More on the situation in France...
Here's an excerpt from an interview with French-Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut from Ha-aretz newspaper.
Finkielkraut: "In France, they would like very much to reduce these riots to their social dimension, to see them as a revolt of youths from the suburbs against their situation, against the discrimination they suffer from, against the unemployment. The problem is that most of these youths are blacks or Arabs, with a Muslim identity. Look, in France there are also other immigrants whose situation is difficult - Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese - and they're not taking part in the riots. Therefore, it is clear that this is a revolt with an ethno-religious character.Hat Tip: Melanie Phillips Diary.
"What is its origin? Is this the response of the Arabs and blacks to the racism of which they are victims? I don't believe so, because this violence had very troubling precursors, which cannot be reduced to an unalloyed reaction to French racism.
"Let's take, for example, the incidents at the soccer match between France and Algeria that was held a few years ago. The match took place in Paris, at the Stade de France. People say the French national team is admired by all because it is black-blanc-beur ["black-white-Arab" - a reference to the colors on France's tricolor flag and a symbol of the multiculturalism of French society - D.M.]. Actually, the national team today is black-black-black, which arouses ridicule throughout Europe. If you point this out in France, they'll put you in jail, but it's interesting nevertheless that the French national soccer team is composed almost exclusively of black players.
"Anyway, this team is perceived as a symbol of an open, multiethnic society and so on. The crowd in the stadium, young people of Algerian descent, booed this team throughout the whole game! They also booed during the playing of the national anthem, the `Marseillaise,' and the match was halted when the youths broke onto the field with Algerian flags.
"And then there are the lyrics of the rap songs. Very troubling lyrics. A real call to revolt. There's one called Dr. R., I think, who sings: `I piss on France, I piss on De Gaulle' and so on. These are very violent declarations of hatred for France. All of this hatred and violence is now coming out in the riots. To see them as a response to French racism is to be blind to a broader hatred: the hatred for the West, which is deemed guilty of all crimes. France is being exposed to this now."
In other words, as you see it, the riots aren't directed at France, but at the entire West?
"No, they are directed against France as a former colonial power, against France as a European country. Against France, with its Christian or Judeo-Christian tradition."