Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Coverage of the Intifada in Europe

What I've been waiting for -- MSM commentary. Rather than blogosphere idealogues. (No, I'm not of the opinion that MSM is evil and coopted by the forces of Baal. Limited yes. But, who, or what, isn't?)

The sickness in France's heart (IHT). Poverty, violence, crime, discrimination, non-integration.

Explosion in the suburbs (The Guardian). Quite predictable. It's all our fault. We're horrible and evil. :) (Oh, it doesn't matter what the story, that's the line you'll see in the Guardian. Yes, I'm biased.)

Early skirmish in the Eurabian civil war (The Telegraph, London). Mark Steyn, quite predictable too. While others seem to point out that part of the problem might be France's opposition to multiculturalism, its insistence, at least in theory, that all other identities be secondary to the Republic, Steyn blame's multiculturalism, understood solely as "appeasement of minorities" it seems. Besides, all Muslims are evil and incapable of civilzed behavior, so it doesn't matter anyway, ja?

What's Wrong with Europe? (Der Spiegel) Alienation, racism, etc. but also, lack of jobs. And how this isnot only a breeding ground for terrorism but points to crumbling European integration. Less than sanguine about Muslim clerical "mediators." And talks about the ghettoization of immigrant Muslims in not just France, but Britain and Holland as well.

Intifada in France (The New York Sun).

It turns out that France's Muslim community lives in areas rampant with crime, poverty, and unemployment, much the fault of France's prized welfare system. There are those of us who spent part of the 1980s in Europe, supporting the idea, among others from the Reagan era, that immigration was a virtue for a country and that the racial or religious background of the immigrants did not matter. We maintain that view. But immigration into a country with a dirigiste economy is a recipe for trouble, which is why supporters of immigration into France have long warned of the need for liberalization.

Les Misérables (WSJ). On the French state's dithering response. And the need to overhaul the welfare state.

C'est l'economie, stupide -- the real reason why the cars of Paris burn (The Times, London). Yep, it's all the economy.

[All of the above were linked from that wonderful portal at Arts & Letters Daily. Make Al-Daily your home page!]

While Paris Burns (NYT) Replay the Guardian. With criticism of official dithering.

Anyway, nuff MSM. WaPo has the roundup of what the online media are saying.

And, here's an interview that appeared in yesterday's Zenit newsire, with José Morales, professor of theology at the University of Navarre in Spain (and, affiliated with Opus Dei). Definitely on the lines of "Eurabia is taking over" it would seem.

Q: Europeans, and Spaniards in particular, "do not think a sincere relationship is viable or possible between Muslims and Westerners." This is a strong affirmation. Can you add to it?

Morales: I speak in general terms, which allow for exceptions. Muslims are seen as people who belong to another cultural world and who have a sensitivity that is different from our own on important issues for the organization of life and coexistence.

When I say "sincere relationship" I am referring to a personal relationship of a certain depth and to a community of "existential horizon."

Many of us Europeans have wonderful Muslim friends, with a great capacity of fidelity and true affection. Moreover, they need to be integrated for reasons of work, social security, medical care, housing, schooling for their children, etc.

But they usually do not assimilate themselves, that is, they do not become a vital and active part of society. They are integrated pragmatically and yet live in a ghetto.

Integrated pragmatically? ¿Qué?


baldman76 said...

Had a long discussion in class today on this topic. As I am an undergrad, which means I know a little about a lot but not much about most, here is a quick observation:

In my Urban Sociology class (rapidly becoming my favorite of all the SOCY courses I have taken), we read an article from over a decade ago, and it focused on the same problem we see in France now (and even then it was a problem facing France for decades already): roaming bands of youth who take to the streets and cause problems because there is nothing else to do. No work. No opportunities. No real future in the stigmatized neighborhoods. The fact that this is the same problem, but with a predominately new ethnic face, speaks to the structural issues at the root of the problem. Its not really about what ethnic or religious group is involved, but rather that there always seems to be a minority / immigrant group marginalized and disenfranchised.

My fear is that the current climate regarding Islam (read "fear of Muslims" and in France, read "Fear of everyone not Euro-French") will shift the focus away from the true problem of economic inadequacy and towards a simple "it's those damn Muslims again" response. My hope is that these riots will bring about real dialogue and keep this issue from fading into the background again.

I do hope the rioting ceases ASAP and that order once again prevails. Riots are inherently destructive forces. However, if this does actually bring about positive social change for France, and other parts of Europe as well, the sacrifice of a few thousand cars seems like a small price to pay for the improvement of millions of people's lives.

That's my simple take. I look forward to reading the articles you posted soon.

co-ray said...

um, "ja"? don't be lazy

Gashwin said...

Ja is lazy? Hmm ... ich verstehe nicht ...