Friday, November 11, 2005

French Fried

Mona Charen wrote in Townhall French socialists have set the table for the current crisis. Yes, the rioters are all Muslim youths from North Africa and the Middle East. And the racism of French society may fuel the flames to some extent, but the most important factors in this story are economic. The French have accepted wave after wave of immigrants with no prospect of employing them. In the U.S., the unemployment rate among natives and immigrants is the same. Not so in France.

The unemployeed stay in France because it is a socialized country, and while they may not be able to find a job, they make more money from socialistic doles than they could working for a living elsewhere. That is the way the Democrats kept blacks in America on welfare, and completely dependent on the state, so they could threaten them with what would happen to their welfare if Republicans were elected.
The French have enacted all of the economic policies that liberals would like to see implemented in this country. So, for example, jobs are protected. If a French company employing more than 600 people wants to fire someone, it must endure administrative procedures that last an average of 106 days. Because it is so difficult to fire employees, French companies are less willing to take risks in hiring.
And they don't want to hire people that can't speak French.
This hurts young, inexperienced workers disproportionately. Once unemployed, 40 percent of French workers can expect to remain so for more than a year. Not only are jobs hard to find, but joblessness is softened by generous benefits. Unemployment benefits range from 57 to 75 percent of the worker's last salary and can last as long as three years (with a cap of 5,126 Euros per month).

Diana West wrote in JWR At least the once-Western world is consistent: Like the terrorism that has engraved the blood-drenched anniversaries of 9/11, 3/11, and 7/7 into collective memory, and has transformed Amman, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bali, Beslan, Davao, Hadera, Haifa, Jakarta, Jerusalem, Nairobi, New Dehli, Sharm al-Sheik, Tel Aviv and Tunisia into hallowed outposts of mass murder, the rioting that has convulsed France has nothing to do with Islam. At least, that's the agreed-upon narrative. It's Our Story, the subtext, the thread to which we cling. The problem driving "youths" to incinerate lines of parked buses or immolate the occasional grand-mere on crutches is French racism, institutional neglect, failure to integrate. It's also snobbery, and don't forget George W. Bush. But not Islam. Not anything to do with Islam and its non-assimilable legions in the heart of Europe.

That's the word from intelligentsia all over. Even before the riot's last fires have been kindled, let alone cooled, The Washington Post editorial page, for example, said — no, it insisted: "Islamic ideology and leaders have played no part in the disturbances and many of those who are participating are not Muslim." Writing in The New York Times, Olivier Roy ruled Islam out with equally categorical and doctrinal confidence.
Socialism may have spawned the riots rather than Jihad, but as France shows how weak it is, Jihadist demands will not be far behind
How do they know? Yes, the thugs we see depicted through the smoke of burning civilization aren't dressed for the part by Central Casting — either in the beards and robes of the mosque, or the mask and scimitar of the jihad. They look like urban punks, "scum," as French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy called them before diving under the covers with the rest of the Gallic government. They are, we hear tell, unemployed toughs and secular criminals, devoted not to Allah so much as to what you might call, loosely and very grimly, French "culture" — French pop culture, that is.... These are the motifs, at least, of brutal conquest, patterns and expressions familiar to students of jihad for having repeated themselves over the centuries as non-Muslim lands — Dar al Harb (Land of War) — were conquered and subjugated as Dar al Islam (Land of Islam). Is that what's going on in France? Without doubt, such music prefigures a state of war, although no one but the rioters seems to have been listening. Too bad no one is listening still.

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