Quick Posting for Today…
I’ve been reading alot lately of the portrayal Paris Riots as the Intifada – and I don’t buy it yet. While the rioters appear to be mostly run by Muslims immigrants, the attacks so far has been of random violence and at most against symbols of the state (Trains, Police etc). I don’t see youth with green flags burning churches yet. Heck, I haven’t heard any reports of anyone carrying a political banner yet or shooting a political slogan yet. Have you?
I think much of the blogosphere is jumping the gun on the Intifada slant – but its definitely a realistic fear of what may come if things in France and Europe don’t change soon.
The violence has so far ranged from the usual stone throwing and molotov cocktails to evil and mindless:
A handicapped woman was doused with petrol and set on fire by youths during another night of rioting in Paris.
The 56-year-old suffered third degree burns to 20% of her body in the attack.
Witnesses said a youth poured petrol over the woman and then threw a Molotov cocktail on to the bus she was travelling on in the suburb of Sevran.
Over at Instapundit, a reader, David Mosier, attempts to bring some greater context for the riots:
If the rioting goes on for another couple of nights and spreads to other areas of the country, you’ve got 1968 all over again. France is ready to explode, as it was in 1968, and the all-night riots are lighting the fuse. Will Chirac be able to prevent an explosion that shakes the whole country? I doubt it. There’s too much pent up frustration in France, and not just among young Muslims. They might be the group that kicks off the insurrection, but once it’s kicked off, everybody in France with a beef (and that’s everybody)will join in. Just like they did in 1968. University students started it with student strikes in Nanterre (note, not in Paris)and it spread from there. Before it was done, almost every organized, or unorganized, group in the country had joined in to bring down deGaulle. It would seem Chirac’s time is short. France hasn’t had a proper Gallic explosion since 1968; it’s long overdue.
I am unaware if a large cross-segment of France shares some sort of frustration at the government or the state of the nation. But, I can image that if the riots take a political tinge – antiglobalization, anti-immigration laws etc – then we’ll start to have ourselves a major movement similar to the May 1968 scenerio Mosier is talking about.
On the other side, I am sure there are radical Muslims in France and beyond considering taking advantage of this raw violence and “Islamofacist-ify” the violence.
But the more realistic scenario I still see is that if violence continues to be principally perpetuated by Muslim youth is beginning of Europe’s Muslim Street.
So which scenario will happen? May 1968? Intifada? Muslim Street? Nothing? We’ll have to keep watch.