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comment by Grendel
Grendel  ·  1354 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Charlie Hebdo’s Multi-Million-Dollar Pile of Tragedy Money

    Dalil Boubakeur, the president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, told me Charlie exemplifies “an occidental vision of Islam that is perfectly hostile.” He called the French Republic’s laïcité—its fiercely secular identity—“a passport to repress the rights of Muslims.”

    Emmanuel Todd, a historian and sociologist, has described the millions who demonstrated in support of Charlie after the killing as implicitly demanding “the right to blaspheme Islam,” which he characterized as the religion of the “oppressed.” He wrote that “millions of French people rushed into the street to assert, as a priority need of their society, the right to spit on the religion of the weakest.”

What a mess! I don't see how France can avoid a civil war at this point. Let this be a warning to other European countries: multiculturalism erodes a country's national unity, it breeds distrust and violence. It's a suicidal ideology, self-destructive behaviour at a national scale.

edricarica  ·  1354 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I live in France. Conventional, boring France, where everyone wears navy blue and eats cheese and watches cycling.

The idea of a civil war breaking out here is absurd. France is the least tense place I've lived. I grew up in London, where I felt the difficulties of multiculturalism much more acutely than I do here. In NYC, cultural differences between communities felt even more profound (I didn't see very many mixed-race kids the way I do in Europe, for example). I lived in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, in both of which I felt political tensions and anti-government sentiment to be much stronger than they are here. I lived in Madrid. Multiculturalism wasn't the issue there, but economics was a divisive topic. I lived in Moscow, where race relations were pretty strained, and the political leadership was... well, we all know about Putin.

But... in France? In France I see little muslim kids holding hands with little christian kids with their white French nannies (government childcare provision). I see French people buying olives in the North-African shops, and Arabs fixing Jewish people's cars.

Yes, there have been extremist-Islamic terrorist attacks. But there have been those all over the west. London had terrorist attacks, and no-one is heralding another English civil war. New York had terrorist attacks.

I'm not sure why someone would think France is about to erupt into Civil War. Maybe it's because the French press talks about race a lot. That's more a sign of an open press than it is of imminent war, though.

zouhair  ·  1354 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you for this. This kind of news just brings racists and bigots out of the woods.

edricarica  ·  1353 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think media coverage is to blame, tbh. Fox News came out with stuff like this after the Charlie Hebdo attacks (here's the French riposte. Somewhat infantile, but then I suppose the same could be said about Fox)

Grendel  ·  1354 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I appreciate your input, and I have no problem admitting that you have a better perspective on the situation than me, but I can't share your optimism.

When I see what happens in countries with a muslim majority, and I see that France has one of the biggest muslim populations in Europe, both in absolute numbers and percentage, and I see jewish people say that they don't feel safe any more, and then something like Charlie Hebdo happens and this is the reaction, and then you have a nationalist party gain so much support...

The way I see it, these are signs, that keep adding up; little by little, lines are being drawn, sides are forming. Sorry but I can't help but feel that the peaceful situation you described is the proverbial calm before the storm.

edricarica  ·  1354 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Interesting perspective.

I do see your point. The rise of the National Front party is certainly worrying, and points to increasing extremism.

A lot probably depends on how France fares economically over the next few years. If there is stagnation and further unemployment, things could go the way you envisage. I'm crossing my fingers that that doesn't happen, though...

zouhair  ·  1354 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What a bunch of reactionary comment you have here.