Saturday, November 05, 2005

French Riots: A Background

Read this incredibly prescient 2002 article about the crime-ridden Paris suburbs.

Barbarians at the gates of Paris
By Theodore Dalrymple

Friday, November 04, 2005

I love Italy!

Italians march in support of Israel.
Hat tip: Charles at LGF

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Paris Riots-- huh?

I have to say I am shocked at the lack of coverage the Paris riots are receiving. It’s like the West is determined to stick its head into the sand and ignore the slowly brewing ethnic/communal schisms in Europe.

For almost a week French citizens of primarily Muslim Arab or African extraction have been violently rioting, yet the mainstream media in America is only now starting to take notice.

There are some six million Muslims in France. That is a huge minority. Compared to the European French population, the Muslims have a much higher birthrate. Within our lifetime this huge minority will grow significantly larger.

Maybe that wouldn’t be a big deal were it not for the fact that this minority is not well-integrated, poor, uneducated, unemployed, alienated, pissed off and therefore susceptible to radical Islam.

The rioting in Paris is a story that is crying out for deeper examination, because the implications are huge and presage future confrontations and tensions. There are so many important questions to ask, the first being why France—the most slovenly pro-Arab and anti-American country in Europe—is being racked with violence by its own Muslim citizens? What do these rioters want? Are the riots organized or spontaneous? What are the implications for France in the not-so-distant future, when the Muslim population grows larger and the European French population shrinks?

As of this writing tensions between indigenous Europeans and immigrant Muslims are growing in Denmark, where Muslims are threatening violence over cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad. Tensions have been brewing for some time in Holland, where Theo Van Gogh was savagely murdered and other Dutch politicians cower in fear of Muslim assassins.

Mainstream media… pundits… Hello!? There is a story here—cover it!


Here are some links to bloggers that are examing this issue:

Brussels Journal

Paris Riots, A 2002 Perspective

For a better understanding of what motivates European Muslim anger, read this illuminating and frightening article by Theodore Dalrymple.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Why the world was shocked by Ahmadinejad’s Remarks

When Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his recent remarks about wiping Israel off the map, the world took note. Here was the new, somewhat untested, president of a sovereign state—a state trying to justify to the world why it deserved nuclear technology—openly calling for the genocide of the people of another state. But why was his call heard ‘round the world? Why haven’t other similar declarations received the same amount of attention?

As I wrote before, and as most Israel supporters know, his was hardly a new sentiment, but merely a reiteration of a view held by literally millions of Muslims, as well as the policy of not a few Muslim countries.

The reason the world responded with such shock to Ahmadinejad’s remarks was because most of the world’s states view the Israeli-Arab conflict as being driven primarily by the “occupation.” When one views the conflict thusly, two things occur: One, the onus to make peace falls almost completely on Israel’s lap. End the occupation, end the conflict. The second is that the psychotic, medieval-like anti-Semitism that permeates much of the Islamic world is downplayed or ignored, since it’s the “occupation” that drives the conflict, not shocking displays of hatred that are hard for sophisticated, humanist Westerners to comprehend or believe.

But Ahmadinejad is not a two-bit leader of a terrorist gang, nor is he an obscure journalist spewing hatred and conspiracy theories in publications from the Middle East that are not even in English. Instead, he’s the newly elected leader of a geopolitically significant country bent on arming itself with nuclear weapons. Thus, it was hard to ignore his words.

However, there is another reason why the world took note this time—finally. Ahmadinejad’s remarks came on the heels of Israel’s unilateral evacuation of the entire Gaza strip, as well as the uprooting of thousands of Jewish settlers that were living there. Immediately after Israel’s withdrawal, missiles began flying from Gaza into Israel. Since then, there have been numerous terrorist attack attempts, and a few that have been “successful.” Those who argued vehemently that the occupation drove the conflict, and that Israel needed to make more concessions, were caught with their pants around their ankles. In fell swoop Israel pulled the rug out from underneath their argument. Many people who were not ideologically opposed to Israel were forced to wonder what could possibly justify the orgy of violence that came on the heels of hitherto unheard of unilateral concessions

And in the midst of all that, the newly elected president of Iran made his infamous comments. The world had to take note.

Update: Daniel Pipes has a must-read related article.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Michael Totten on Pigs and Islam

Totten, who is currently living and reporting from Beirut, Lebanon, makes some excellent points regarding the pig-banning in some British banks. Consider this as Prince Charles arrives in America to chastise us about our alleged "intolerance" of Islam.

Who’s Afraid of the Pig?

When you’re safe and sound in your snug house in the West, the Middle East can look totally whacked when you pick up the newspaper. But guess what else is true? When you’re in the Middle East, the West looks absolutley bonkers sometimes as well.

Here are two examples. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)First, pig stories are banned in some schools in Britain.

A West Yorkshire head teacher has banned books containing stories about pigs from the classroom in case they offend Muslim children. The literature has been removed from classes for under-sevens at Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley. [Emphasis added.]Some banks are now frightened of “piggy banks.”

The Koran forbids the eating of "the flesh of swine", and as a result, NatWest and Halifax have taken down promotional posters which feature piggy banks.Can I make a new rule? Anyone who is in a position of power and who will make policies relating to Muslims is first required to visit Muslim countries.

Look. I’m in Lebanon. Somewhere around 35 or 40 percent of the people who live here are Christian. Except for around 60 Jews, the rest are Muslims. This is a Muslim-majority country. Muslims outnumber Christians approximately two to one. And yet pork – pork – is all over this place. I had a pizza for lunch today. My pizza had ham on it. Not fake halal “ham,” but actual pig meat. The restaurant that served me this pizza is on the Muslim side of the city.

I have sliced ham in my refridgerator. Guess where I bought it? I bought it at a regular grocery store on the Muslim side of the city.

I guess it’s possible that religious Muslims are offended that Christians, liberal Muslims, and atheist “Muslims” eat pork. Some vegetarians are offended. Some Jews probably are too. So? Onions offend me. That’s my problem, not your problem. So I don’t eat them. End of problem.
I wonder how many Muslims are actually offended by the fact that I can buy pork in restaurants and stores in the Muslim parts of Beirut. Not enough to make any difference, apparently, because pig meat is and has been readily available.

Don’t tell me “oh, that’s just Beirut.” It’s not just Beirut. I also saw plenty of pork in Tunisia. I’m not just talking about the hotels either. Tunisia is 99 percent Sunni Muslim Arab. And if you want pork in Tunisia, just go to a French restaurant. They are everywhere in that country. French food is that nation’s second cuisine. And it has pork in it. Big deal. Somehow Tunisian society manages to hold itself together without tearing itself to pieces over some imaginary “pork problem.”

If Muslims in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East can handle pig meat, I think Muslims in Britain can handle plastic piggy banks and The Three Little Pigs. If they can’t handle those things they need to learn how to handle those things. Tolerance is not only for the majority. But I don’t think I’m wrong.

[O]ne of Britain's four Muslim MPs, Khalid Mahmoud, said: "A piggybank is just an ornament. Muslims would never be seriously offended."Listen to that man, stop condescending to minorities, and put the piggy banks back.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 08:31 AM Permalink

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