Paul From Minneapolis

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Those Weird Riots In Paris

You know, those riots described quite carefully on BBC International last night as involving "people" and "youths" and "immigrants."

Roger L. Simon muses about them today, from the perspective of his own small experience in the largely Muslim ghetto-suburbs of Paris. "There cannot be 'no-go' areas in the republic," says a government spokeman. "But there are," says Roger:

"When I visited the banlieu a couple of years back, I didn't see one gendarme. I was told they were frightened to go in there. I can't blame them. I was too. I have been in Ramallah and the back streets of Cairo and I was more tense in Monfleury."

Of course, we have areas not entirely dissimilar over here. But our neighborhoods are not identified as Muslim. The angry young men are not adherents of angry Islam. So we're okay. Right?

Update: Is it fair to assume a primarily Islamic tinge to these riots, based on the participants being primarily Muslim? Maybe they're just good ol' poor person affairs, featuring persons who happen to be Muslim. It's a decent question. Yet I think it's fair to suspect something else, and the simultaneous disturbances in Holland may provide some evidence that way (via Little Green Footballs): "The police has to stay away. This is our area. We decide what goes down here."

Yet a Glenn Reynolds reader thinks the French version could become something more, absorbing other sources of rage and frustration in a country prone to periodic explosions. In a strange way that might be healthy. (I'm reaching for sunshine there, I acknowledge.) (But that's just my nature!)