NEW YORK – While longtime counter-terrorism expert Steven Emerson was strongly criticized by establishment media for his remarks in a Fox News interview about Muslim “no-go” zones in Europe where police have lost control, many of the same news outlets have repeatedly used the term for at least a decade.
“The political left in the mainstream media has decided to demonize me,” Emerson said in a WND interview. “It’s outrageous for media outlets to apologize, saying ‘no-go zones’ don’t exist in Europe, when even the New York Times for years has published articles documenting Muslim ‘no-go zones’ do exist in European countries like France.”
In a Fox News interview Jan. 11, days after two Muslim French citizens murdered 12 people while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” Emerson said “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.” He has acknowledged making an overstatement, but his critics have charged his claim has no basis whatsoever and ridiculed him for asserting that there is such a thing as “no-go” zones in Europe.
But NBC News, the New York Times, the Associated Press and others were using the term “no-go” zones for Muslim-majority neighborhoods in Paris when Muslim youth gangs were rampaging through the streets and setting cars on fire.
Emerson said he recently was in a television interview with BBC News in which “they were attacking me that ‘no-go zones’ don’t exist in Europe.”
“So I pulled up one of their own articles the BBC published, which referenced ‘no-go zones’ in print,” he said.
“They were so embarrassed, they didn’t know what to say.”
A Nov. 6, 2005, Associated Press report of “youths” leading 10 nights of violence noted some officials “suspect the unrest that reached into Paris proper early Sunday has in part been instigated by gangs hoping to turn their neighborhoods into no-go zones for police so drug trafficking and racketeering can thrive.”
In a Christian Science Monitor published the next day, the rioting French youth were identified as Muslim immigrants from Africa and the Middle East in areas once again described as “no-go zones.”
The newspaper noted then-Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy, who later became prime minister, “has not backed down, promising in an opinion piece published in the daily Le Monde this weekend that ‘we will no longer tolerate ‘no-go’ zones where organized crime and mafia dealing reign.'”
On Dec. 11, 2005, the New York Times published an article by Elaine Sciolino titled “In the Paris slums, no jobs, no sun.”
The Times stated French police intelligence had 150 Muslim “no-go zones,” identified as areas where the French police fear to go.
“La Courneuve is a town that menaces, but also welcomes. Branded by France’s police intelligence agency as one of the country’s 150 ‘no-go zones’ where police officers should enter only with major reinforcements, La Courneuve was caught up in the violence in which rioters torched cars, trashed businesses and ambushed the police,” the Times said, referring to a French town “of 35,000 people of 80 nationalities and ethnic backgrounds” that is a “world away from Paris, though it is only a 10-minute ride on the train.”
The Times reporter singled out La Courneuve because the town “has become a symbol of France’s failure to integrate millions of Arab and African immigrants – many of them Muslims – and their French-born children and grandchildren” and because it was here “that events helped start the riots that recently gripped impoverished neighborhoods throughout France.”
NBC News published an article on its website Nov. 4, 2005 titled “The tone of the no-go zones” that referenced a p Brussels Journal piece of Nov. 2, 2005, titled “Ramadan Rioting in Europe’s No-Go Areas.”
The Brussels Journal said: “Our mainstream media, in attempts to preserve the Left’s chimera of ‘universal cultural compatibility,’ hardly write about all this. Nevertheless, for some years now West European city folk and police officers have been familiar with the reality that certain areas of major European cities are no-go areas, especially at night and certainly if you are white or wearing a uniform.
“Three years ago,” the Brussels Journal continued, “a French friend who had his car stolen learned that the thieves had parked the car in a particular suburb. When he went to the police he was told that the police did not operate in that neighborhood and consequently would not be able to retrieve his car.
“This is Western Europe in the early 21st century.”
Time magazine in a 2012 article titled “The Problem of Clinchy: After 2005 Riots, France’s Suburbs Are Still Miserable,” referred to the troubled zones by the French designation, ZUS, standing for “Sensible Urban Zones,” or in English “Sensitive Urban Areas.”
“There are currently over 3,340 municipalities officially defined as ZUS (Sensible Urban Zones), or which otherwise qualify for state and regional assistance to stave off their decline,” the article noted. “Even after efforts were redoubled after 2005 to halt the growing socio-economic chasm between mainstream French society and its blighted banlieues, the slide of troubled suburbs has continued.”
A 2012 Euronews TV report on the tensions in the French suburbs, featuring the heavily Muslim Paris banlieue neighborhood, makes reference to “no-go” areas, with footage showing Muslim residents reluctant to be filmed by film journalists considered “outsiders.”
See the Euronews report:
In 2004, the BBC reported in an investigation called “No-Go Britain” that “deprived areas” dominated by “immigrants,” described not specifically as Muslim, but as coming from countries such as Bangladesh, without mentioning that Islam is the dominant religion in Bangladesh, a nation considered to have the fourth largest Muslim population in the world.
Jonathan Wynne-Jones, in an article titled “Bishop warns of no-go zones for non-Muslims,” reported in the Telegraph in London on Jan. 6, 2008, “Islamic extremists have created “no-go” areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, one of the Church of England’s most senior bishops warns.
The article continued to note that the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, the Biship of Rochester and the Church of England’s only Asian Bishop, said “that people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology.”
Soeren Kern, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, in an article titled “France Seeks to Reclaim ‘No-Go’ Zones,” estimated in 2012 that 5 million Muslims reside in the ZUS, described as “parts of France over which the French state has lost control.”