It’s deeply unsettling to see riots and violence spreading like wildfire across France, with a second week of angry mobs torching cars and battling police in the suburbs of Paris as well as many other French towns.
French politicians have been remarkably tone-deaf and ineffectual in dealing with this crisis. What they seem unable to face: The civil unrest is fueled by years of official French neglect of large Arab and African immigrant communities who find themselves segregated in urban ghettoes with few opportunities for upward mobility.
The French pride themselves on championing liberte, egalite et fraternite, but the riots are a cautionary tale about the dangers of tolerating a huge gap between ideals and practice in social policy.
That said, there is something equally disturbing and dangerous at work here: The failure of European governments to deal firmly with militant Islamic communities who have no intention of assimilating to secular democratic society in countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands.
The social failure plays into the militants’ hands.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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