Or is it? Maybe this is exactly what the French want. And if it is, how long will they like it? Then what?
PARIS — Unrest spread across troubled suburbs around Paris in a sixth night of violence Tuesday as police clashed with angry youths and scores of vehicles were torched in at least nine towns, local officials said.
Police in riot gear fired rubber bullets at advancing gangs of youths in Aulnay-sous-Bois — one of the worst-hit suburbs — where 15 cars were burned, said the prefecture that runs the Seine-Saint-Denis (search) region. Youths lobbed Molotov cocktails at an annex to the town hall and threw stones at the firehouse. It was not immediately clear whether there were injuries from the clashes.
Caught in the middleBy Peter Fray, James Clark
April 19, 2004
As he sits outside shelling peanuts at a wobbly table, Mohamed is not outwardly troubled by the arrest of several young Muslims from his neighbourhood on terrorism charges the day before. The president of the local mosque, he seems resigned to the suspicions that he and millions of French Muslims face every day.
"Sometimes the police call me up about young kids burning cars and want to know why they've done this, and I say, 'Mister, they've done something stupid, but it's not because they are Muslims'," he says.
Mohamed, who declined to give his surname, lives in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a suburb of medium-rise flats in Paris's north-west, near Charles de Gaulle Airport. In this area, the satellite TV dishes point to north Africa and the argot on the streets is Arabic and heavily-accented French. There is nothing pretty about Aulnay-sous-Bois.
To authorities, it is a "chaud" — or "hot" — area, a place where young Muslims, mainly of Moroccan and Algerian extraction, are turning to crime and radical Islam. The day before The Age visited, police arrested 13 suspected terrorists from Aulnay and a similar area, Mantes la Jolie, over alleged links to last May's Casablanca bombings, which left 45 people dead.http://www.theage.com.au
The French can intellectualize till the cows come home, but come April in Paris the sauvages will come out to play, and they'll make the French les miserables.
Photo Credit: fr.altermedia.info/index.php?m