As rioting that began in a poor, mostly Muslim, neighborhood near Paris a week ago continues to spread to other suburbs and cities across France and parts of Europe, U.S. experts and at least one American lawmaker believe radical Islam is most likely responsible for the chaos.
And, they say, despite the characterization by several media outlets that those perpetuating the violence are primarily disaffected youth upset with French economic and social policies, the fact the unrest spread so quickly and is virtually limited to Muslim neighborhoods signifies a deeper, ideologically driven motive.
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., in an interview with WND, said he believes the chickens are coming home to roost in France because, for years, the country with the largest Islamic population in Europe has ignored rising Muslim tensions within its own borders. The real issue the French “are now dealing with,” he said, “is [that] you cannot integrate some people into your society.”
Daniel Pipes, an expert on Islam and the director of the Middle East Forum, a think tank promoting American ideals in that region, thinks the riots in France are a microcosm of the larger radical Islamic goal of gaining a solid foothold in Europe.
“The great majority of Muslims in Europe see themselves as bearers of a superior civilization and see themselves growing prodigiously,” he told WND. “Through a cultural, religious and demographic confidence they feel scorn towards European ways and conspire to take it over.”
Lee Kaplan, spokesman for United American Committee, an organization striving to educate more Americans to the threat of radical Islam, suggested France’s quest to be “evenhanded” in its dealings with its massive Muslim immigration has backfired and now reached a point where Paris has little choice but to meet the problem head-on. In an interview with WND, he suggested that “with 5 million Muslims in France – the most in all of Europe,” this week’s chaos was inevitable.
Origin of unrest
According to earlier reports, the rioting – which has seen the destruction of hundreds of vehicles, public buses and buildings – began Oct. 27 after the accidental deaths of two Muslim teens. Both boys were electrocuted while hiding from police in an electrical power substation in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. Reports said police were in the area checking identification papers when the two boys ran away from them.
By week’s end, riot police and firefighters were battling scores of Muslim rioters, some armed with weapons and Molotov cocktails. A police union official likened the violence to “civil war” in calling for the government to impose a strict curfew as French leaders vowed to restore order in the worst crisis of domestic violence in the country in decades.
As rioting exploded in France, Muslim-influenced unrest also began in Denmark, fueling further speculation that Europe is increasingly under siege by Islamic extremism. In the Danish rioting, Kaplan said, Muslim immigrant youths have even taunted authorities, saying, “This territory belongs to Islam; you don’t belong here.”
Much of the chaos, analysts said, is tied to the lack of Muslim integration into European society – whether by design or by choice. In France and Denmark alike, many cities dominated by Islamic faithful have been deemed too dangerous for police and are, effectively, “no-go zones.”
“The riots typify French reaction to Islamism and spring from a European approach to the Islamic wave of migration into Europe,” according to Islam analyst Robert Spencer.
Writing in FrontPage magazine, Spencer explained, “After WWII, the French built so-called ‘sink estates’ for the workers they encouraged to emigrate to help rebuild the nation, as did Germany.”
Most of these workers came from Turkey and colonies in North Africa.
“Instead of planning for their integration into society, however, the French allowed these communities to grow and fester in economic and social isolation,” Spencer said. “After two generations, the sink estates have proven to be nothing more than preplanned ghettoes, and the workers have no future except as second-class citizens of the nations they helped rebuild from devastation.”
Tancredo believes many Muslims don’t want to become “European.” And he says the French and Danish riots are part of a larger militant Islamic movement perpetually at odds with the West.
The French “really don’t want to integrate and assimilate, I think, the Muslims into French society, but I also think the Muslims are not interested in doing that themselves,” he said. “This division, this rampaging nature manifesting itself in these riots and everything else, is an example of the clash of civilizations” he believes threatens Europe and the United States.
Adds Pipes, “Kids burning cars and buildings aren’t specifically doing that in an attempt to ‘take control.’ But I do think that, ultimately, is the significance of what they’re doing.
“This isn’t comparable to the 1960s race riots in the U.S.,” he said. “This does have, deep down, an Islamic agenda of control, even if the kids doing the rioting aren’t cognizant of that” at the moment.
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