Ihsan

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Civil Unrest in France


I've been traveling the Internet looking for intelligent commentary on what is going on in France. I lived there once in the late 80s (only for one year) and had friends and acquaintances among the "immigrant" community (the French use of the word "immigrant" is much like the American use of "person of color" - i.e., most of the "immigrants" are second or third generation French citizens but are not white and their grandparents or parents came from a former French colony in North or central Africa).

I pray for these communities and hope that France's institutions and leaders will take the high road (eventually - they evidently have not yet) and try to address root issues rather than stooping to the all-too-easy "race card" such as calling the rioters "scum" and blaming "Islamism" for the unrest.

For some very good commentary on this issue I recommend 'Aquoul's Lounsbury and also .Steve Gilliard, who has several very thoughtful articles up about the larger social issues in France. Also, check Hot Coals in the next couple of days for an on-the-ground eyewitness account.

3 comment(s):

  • Salaams

    I think it is important to see France's attitude towards it immigrants from a historical perspective. Many politically aware Muslims talk of 'cultural imperialism' associated with globalisation and also with European Imperialism, but the French Imperial conquerers took this to its limit. See Robert J C Young and also Franz Fanon.

    Even contemporary moderate French politicians still talk of assimilation (i.e. everyone act like a secular white French person) as if that was just fine and dandy for all concerned. From a UK multicultural perspective, I find that scarey.

    Wasalaam

    The Muslim Anarchist


    By Blogger Julaybib, at 11/07/2005 01:15:00 AM  

  • Yakoub, if you visit Steve's site and go into the comments you'll find a link to a truly great article by a guy named doug Ireland. It has a lot of historical info. I agree with what you are saying.

    By Blogger Anna in Portland (was Cairo), at 11/07/2005 01:22:00 AM  

  • With the disclaimer that I know nothing about France, National Public Radio has a couple of stories which sounded informative to me.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4993953

    You can click to the rest of the stories through that page.


    By Blogger Ayman H Fadel, at 11/09/2005 05:33:00 AM  

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