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A letter after the riots in France: a tense Bastille Day

Today’s Bastille Day celebration was a low-key family affair in the medieval village of Châtillon-en-Diois, in the heart of from the Drôme. To the neighbor village of Die (population 4,700) was more elaborate, with a small parade at 10 a.m. that included municipal fire engines, a short official ceremony at the memorial to the fallen of the Great War at 11:30 a.m. and a friendly picnic in the afternoon. The police presence was minimal and the crowd was distinctly mono-ethnic – not a recognizable North African face or Muslim dress styles in sight.

Writing from an old farmhouse in the Diois, I am tempted to imagine that France is a normal European country and that everything is fine. The region, between the Alps and Provence, is beautiful in a rugged way. The sparsely populated area around Châtillon remains, thankfully, undiscovered by the British and their continental relatives to the north (except for a few adventurous Dutch). The local wines, little known outside the region, are more solid than excellent. The food is excellent, the prices are reasonable, the sun is shining and the nights are cool.

Strolling the streets of Châtillon, one could feel transported six decades into the past to General Charles De Gaulle’s France, except for the ubiquitous mobile phones and massive cars (no Citroën 2 hp or Renault 4 to be seen). However, less than 50 miles away, in the southern suburb of Échirolles in Grenoble, I went to buy supplies. and itinerary until here on Monday – the scene recalled a prosperous Algerian or Moroccan community; prosperous by the standards of North Africa, that is, and not of today’s Europe. Échirolles is not known as a no-go zone, where the immigrant population is hostile to outsiders. About a third of the people in the hypermarket were European, but it was as far from the land of Diois as the Bronx is from Manhattan’s luxurious Hudson Yards.

My stopover in Échirolles reminded me that France is not well. In France’s metropolitan areas, tens of thousands of police are on high alert today after a week of riots in the largest cities of France. Police are on duty to try to make this year’s Bastille Day safe, or at least safer than in 2016, when Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Muslim born in Tunisia, drove a 20-ton truck into the crown of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring more than 400. The arrest is real.

The killing of 17-year-old Algerian Nahel Merzouk by a police officer in Nanterre, a grim suburb northwest of Paris, on June 27 set off a spiral of urban warfare. The “angry youth” of the impoverished suburban banlieues (the Western media invariably reveal their ethnic or religious identity) acted exactly as their parents did in 2005, when the self-inflicted deaths of two Muslim teenagers hiding from the police set off three weeks of riots that led to the declaration of a national emergency.

Although the Western political establishment pretends to be baffled by the true cause of the riots, it is the same as in 2005, when I scored in Chronicles that Muslims in France and elsewhere in Europe already consider themselves In fact autonomous They see themselves as a community centered on mosques and Islamic centers and justifiably opposed to the wider society of infidels. Then I wrote:

The emergence of a large diaspora of the faithful far from the heartland is seen by pious Muslims as an event archetypally linked to conquest. The demand for predominantly Muslim areas to have communal self-government will inevitably lead to clamor for Sharia law in a segregated Muslim France. Assimilation is no longer a viable option in France, the country that used to boast of its ability to turn foreigners into French. This was possible with the Italians, Spanish, Poles and Russians because they were culturally assimilable and because they came in tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands (eg the non-French Pieds-Noirs), but not in the millions. Muslims now make up ten percent of the French population and more than a fifth of all newborns. They live in compact communities where it is no longer possible to buy wine in a local shop or see Amélie at the cinema.

The French state has failed to integrate its North African and Arab communities into the urban and social fabric because the task is structurally impossible, as illustrated by today’s rioters targeting cultural institutions—especially public schools and libraries—more clearly than in 2005. In schools in “difficult neighborhoods,” teachers are permanently on the front lines of aggressive and often violent teenage demands. In October 2020, the emblematic episode was the beheading of the history and geography teacher, Samuel Patty, outside his school in the Paris region. The rejection of French education and culture by Muslim immigrants has become open and systematic. In addition, the average age of immigrants arrested during the riots is 14 to 18 years, while in 2005 it was 16 to 20 years. This is a clear indicator that the rock-solid mentality of rejecting France and all things French is currently being reproduced in an even younger generation of “suburban youth”.

Of more immediate concern to the French state, the Muslim Arab riots (let’s call them what they are) are undoubtedly more violent and destructive, but not much more hostile to the Macron establishment than last March’s protests by mostly working-middle- and lower-middle-class French people over proposed pension reform. They are indicative of a growing gap between the state and the main segments of civil society. In both cases, the police were deployed as a forceful tool to fill this void. In both cases, the media acted on the spot, generally portraying the French protesters last spring as violent, ignorant and unreasonable, and the “suburban youth” as misguided but somewhat justified in their basic grievances.

President Emmanuel Macron blame the Social Networks (Social Networks) as the key tools to instigate and coordinate riots is interesting as a thin veil on France’s chronic anti-American sentiment. Their attack on American technology platforms is a far cry from the blanket ban imposed by the Chinese Communist Party, but the substance is the same. Like the Italian geopolitical magazine limes has pointed outjust over a decade ago, the WikiLeaks scandal revealed what the French state had long suspected: that the US was pursuing a strategy of broad influence over minorities in France, a real manipulative action scrupulously planned, monitored and evaluated: “It is clear that the search for autonomy in Paris with the aim of regaining a first-rate role on the world stage,” wrote Fabrigno, however, Fabrigno is not underestimated.

Recalling the excuse of the Democrats in the USA, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of Insubordinate France (LFI), a far-left party and the main opposition force to the government, insists that it is actually the police that are out of control. Faced with repeated calls from various quarters for calm, Mélenchon’s LFI Party flatly refused and declared: “We are not asking for calm, we are appealing for justice!” This replica of the transatlantic awakening, otherwise still alien to the French mainstream, bodes ill for Macron’s halting and often faltering attempts to emancipate France from American tutelage.

France is a former superpower that claims it still has a global import destiny. La République is an elective monarchy ruled by regicide monarchists who still nurture symbols and narratives far larger than their country’s size and economy make possible. Unlike America’s kitschy exceptionalism backed by brute force, Gallic arrogance is cloaked in elegance, a quest for significance rather than dominance. To this end, since de Gaulle entered Paris in August 1944, France has had to feign greatness that surpasses its position by any quantitative calculation. Like De Gaulle once confided to a friend, “I’m on a stage and I pretend to believe it, I make you believe that France is a great country. It’s a perpetual illusion.”

Macron, a pathetic dwarf compared to De Gaulle, declared five years ago at the global Politbureau in Davos that “France is back.” Is not. It is a nation that by trying to avoid risks is turning into ghettos. The elites are trying to delegitimize as “populists” millions of French men and women who want to protect their country from new invasions. These same elites fail to integrate, much less assimilate, the millions more hostile aliens who are already within the gates.

The reality of outside It is light years away from the decades-long hope of Gilles Kepel, former French presidential adviser on Islamic Affairs, to create “an Andalusia” of multi-faith tolerance in France. As Yves Charles Zarka, director of Cities, warned years ago, the appearance of peace cannot be maintained for long because the roots of “ideological Islamism” are deep and enduring among riotous youth. France is experiencing “a central phase of the more general and mutually conflicting encounter between the West and Islam, which only someone totally blind or of radical bad faith, or possibly of bewildering naiveté, could fail to recognize.”

As I pointed out in my book Defeating Jihad, published in March 2006, a fact brutally evident in the outside— and painfully disconcerting to many French — is that North African immigrants and their French descendants reject the French civilization that for centuries has been admired, emulated and embraced by millions of immigrants and foreigners. Why are they so immune to Racine, Zola and Berlioz? Why don’t they ever go to the Louvre or Versailles? They may also wonder why Muslims, when they entered the world of Christian civilization, rejected human civilization along with Christianity. As I wrote:

Outside the French ghettos, the price of wider social “peace” is a complex web of lies and half-truths by which the elite class has tried to hide the truth about what it has done to the French nation. The real cause of the French intifada is the enormous growth, dysfunctionality and arrogant self-confidence of the Muslim immigrant community in France, together with the cultural weakening and demographic decline of the French nation.

This weakening, manifested in post-Christian tolerance gone mad, is the main enemy. This is as true today as it was when I wrote these lines. “No other race subscribes to these moral principles … because they are weapons of self-annihilation,” wrote the late Jean Raspail at the end of the last century. They must be understood for what they are and discarded if France is to survive.


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