In line with routine contemporary moral inversion, in which the perpetrators of violence are excused and their victims blamed instead by an alliance of Muslims and western decadents (Britain was blamed for the July bombings of its citizens because of Iraq) the French authorities are being blamed for fanning the flames of discontent by discriminating against the country’s Muslims. Should we also blame the Danes for refusing to accept self-censorship and asserting their own values of freedom of expression? Is every country to be held responsible for the jihad being waged against it - despite the fact that in every case the alleged provocation is different — rather then responsibility being properly assigned to those who have declared war upon the free world?
Much of the coverage of the Paris riots has blamed the policies of France’s Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy for abandoning French Muslims inside squalid ghettoes and failing to integrate them. But as Robert Spencer points out, it is the Muslims themselves who insist on not being integrated.
Also, Betsy's Page had a great discussion on the sense of impending...doom:
There has been a lot of schadenfreude here about what is going on in France. It's not hard to have a rather childish sense of satisfaction taht the French who have so longed looked down their oh so superior noses at les Americains. But, the time schadenfreude has passed. What is going on in France will probably spread to other countries in Europe. And we can't forget that some of the 9/11 hijackers came through Europe. It wouldn't be difficult for other such men to hide among those stuck in their wretched projects. What goes on there can come here and spread elsewhere. I just feel a sense of doom about this malevolence spreading throughout Europe and then to our shores.
And if it does, historians will look back at these days of rioting as one of the stepping stones towards that day. They will look back on these days as we now look back at the 1850s. They'll wonder why people didn't take some action to forestall what was heading their way. I don't know what the solution is and if any country would have the fortitude to confront these violent youths head on and change fate. I just have a very sad sense of oncoming doom when I read about Europe.
Both ladies are absolutely correct. The poulets have come home to roost and we should not be glad of it, because this could mean the beginning of the end for a free Europe.
Europeans--especially the French--must feel that the world has gone topsy-turvey. But the truth is that decades long policies of appeasement based on a mantle of moral superiority; the glorification of multiculturalism; and the economics of Mr. Marx (Karl, not Groucho--although it might result in the same consequences) have brought Europe to its knees, passively awaiting the killing stroke.
I pray there is still time for them to stand up for what we and they once valued, and be willing to fight for it.
UPDATE: ShrinkWrapped also weighs in with some psychoanalytic commentary:
It would be difficult for anyone to miss the point as much as Smith does without an underlying philosophy and linguistic bias which blinds him to reality. In the simplest terms, the American, black underclass may be alienated, angry, and bitter (consider Rap music, keepin' it real, if you will) but the majority share a fundamental middle class American outlook: they all want the American Dream, material success, though some want a devalued version of money, drugs, women, and a life of leisure and pleasure. On the contrary, the Islamists want none of this worldly corruption (oh, they will gladly steal what they can and use the wealth of the dhimmis for their own purposes, but their goals and aspirations are loftier than mere material goods.)
The soft Utopianism of the French model (Western socialism-lite; see Paris Burns, The Second Leftist Utopia Burns With It, for an excellent explication of this point) requires that there be no mention of Sharia law, French "Occupation" of Islamist areas, or that the rioters have no interest in assimilation; they see the French as decadent sensualists who are to be despised and forced into dhimmitude, not as people to emulate. Even worse, from the French point of view, the Islamist youth have tasted power. They run the ghettos and have shown themselves able to fight off the authorities, should they desire.
In reality, the French can re-assert their authority, even over the worst of the ghettos, but only at the cost of significant blood shed and a long campaign. The problem for the French is that in order to re-assert such authority, they first must recognize who they are fighting. If they are fighting discrimination, joblessness and despair, then more social welfare programs and entitlements are in order. The weakness of this approach is obvious. However, to recognize the enemy as Islamist fascism, a true Intifada, requires jettisoning some of the basic tenets of the multi-cultural, socialism-lite, PC world. The model cannot survive if its basics are found to be incorrect (it is dialectical, I suppose).
Whether or not the French, who have always loved language more than action, can survive, is in the balance.
Read it all, of course.