First Death Is Reported in Paris Riots as Arson Increases - New York Times: "Though a majority of the youths committing the acts are Muslim, and of African or North African origin, the mayhem has yet to take on any ideological or religious overtones. "
So why is the violence spreading to other countries?
NYT: I don't know. But I'm sure it doesn't have any ideological or religious overtones. It's just "unrest" by "youths".
OK I made that last statement up. But give me a break, you call this reporting.
Here's some reporting:
Social divisions in today's French society run along ethnic and religious lines, and they also signify deep cultural rifts. The ideal of the French republic -- the nation as a community of the willing, of citizens who enjoy equal rights, regardless of their ethnic origins or religious beliefs -- is giving way to a volatile co-existence among communities that want to retain their identities and live according to their own rules. The official French position has always been to condemn multiculturalism -- and yet the state must now deal with the consequences.But wait a minute. I was taught in college that all cultures are equally moral and legitimate. Why doesn't that seem to work in France, or the rest of Europe? (or at college for that matter)
The strict separation of church and state, a sacrosanct pillar of French government, has become an illusion. Jihad may not be what's inspiring the rioters, but Islam is undeniably an inseparable component of their self-identity. Islam strengthens their sense of solidarity, gives them the appearance of legitimacy and draws an unmistakable line between them and the others, the "French."
Suddenly "big brothers" -- devout bearded men from the mosques who wear long traditional robes -- are positioning themselves between the authorities and the rioters in Clichy-sous-Bois, calling for order in the name of Allah. As thousands of voices shout "Allahu Akbar" from the windows of high-rise apartment buildings, shivers run down the spines of television viewers in their seemingly safe living rooms.
Let's hope that if John Kerry wins the White House in 2008, France will still be around to help administer the "Global Test" that U.S. foreign policy is supposed to undergo before it is acted upon.