The Nov. 4 headline of the online version of Le Figaro, a leading French daily, translates as follows: “After a week of riots, the violence continues.”
The next eight sub-headlines all refer to the riots as well. They all suggest just how serious a situation this is:
“Tonight: A bus depot and 400 cars destroyed.”
“Cars burned and vandalized; city dwellers are exasperated.”
“Firemen grow increasingly angry.”
On this same day, none of the major left-leaning European English language media – the BBC, Guardian and Times in Britain and the Irish Times – chose to report on the frightening chaos in France, at least not on the front pages of their online publications.
Read carefully, the lead article in Figaro suggests the reason for this unwitting conspiracy of silence. It tells how more than 315 cars have been burned in the heart of Paris in the last two days. Bus service has been interrupted. A school has been torched, and police have been shot at. Nor has the violence been limited to Paris. Buildings have been burned in at least a dozen cities around the country.
In Figaro, all these accounts of violence are written in the passive voice. One must read more than two hundred words into the article before learning that there are actual ?meutiers – rioters – causing the problem. The riots began a week earlier when two “adolescents” ran from the police who were checking identification papers. Although the police did not chase them, the two youths hid in an electrical power sub-station and electrocuted themselves. This, of course, has led not to a Darwin Award – that will come later – but to much official hand-wringing and investigations of the police as well as a week of madness throughout the nation.
As to the demographics of the two boys and the rioters, the unknowing reader is left without a clue for the first 700 words of the article, save for the fact that they represent part of a “more global, anti-institutional struggle.”
The first reference to “musulmans” presents them not as the perpetrators of the violence, but rather as its victims. The article tells of how the explosion of a tear gas grenade in front of a mosque exacerbated the tensions.
“Someone attacked a mosque,” the Figaro quotes a young Muslim as saying, “and do you think this ignoble act would pass without response?” Obviously not, although as Figaro notes, the circumstances of the attack remain unclear. One need not be a cynic or a racist to suspect an agent provocateur, a concept the French named, if not invented.
The fact that official France has cozied up to the dissident element in this global struggle has obviously bought it no reprieve. This seemingly unprovoked mayhem by their musulman friends has embarrassed the French media into awkward apologetics and the European media into silence. Observing them, one begins to understand how Hitler was allowed to prosper.
“France herself is being attacked by foreign hordes,” claims the reliably outspoken Jean-Marie Le Pen at the end of the article. Indeed, in a continent of cowards and compromisers, it should not come as a surprise that citizens will turn to the first public figure who dares say anything at all.