Archive for November 7th, 2005

The French “Riots”

I can’t decide which commentators are more frustrating: the ones who see this as a Muslim insurrection, pure and simple, or the ones who see no element of that at all, and can’t bring themselves to describe the perpetrators of the violence as anything more than "youths" (or maybe "unemployed youths"). The ones who pronounce France as effectively conquered, or the ones who think social programs are the answer.

As best I can tell, though, one outcome that seems possible or even probable is the recognition of areas of France as being self-governing by Muslim councils, and that’s disturbing. Opinions?

By the way, I put "riots" in quotes because that doesn’t really seem to be the right word after–what? twelve days?–even if "insurrection" or "intifada" may be overstatements.

Maclin Horton


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