Three years ago, a brave Algerian-born woman named Samira Bellil went public with the story of her horrific life growing up in the immigrant ghettos of France. She described a world in which young girls are routinely brutalized by boys, and where violence against women is endemic. Young women who dare to go out on dates or wear makeup or dress immodestly can be punished by gang rape -- also known as tournante, or "passing around."
Samira was first gang-raped when she was 14, by her boyfriend and his friends. "I couldn't say anything, because, in my culture, your family is dishonoured if you lose your virginity," she recalled. "So I kept quiet and the rapes continued." When her parents found out, they kicked her out; her neighbourhood also rejected her. Her book, Dans l'enfer des tournantes, shocked the nation.
The greatest casualties of the Muslim slums of France are not the unemployed angry young men rioting in the streets. The greatest casualties are their sisters, shut up at night behind closed doors. The women suffer doubly -- once because they aren't accepted by the French, and again because, if they try to behave like French women, they are punished for it.
We don't see the Muslim women rioting, do we? It is they who have been oppressed, humiliated, and kept bereft of rights--but not because of the French government (which at worse, is only indifferent to their fate). Here are the comments of French President Chirac (clueless as always):
Chirac deplored the "ghettoization of youths of African or North African origin" and recognized "the incapacity of French society to fully accept them," said Vike-Freiberga.
France "has not done everything possible for these youths, supported them so they feel understood, heard and respected," Chirac added, noting that unemployment runs as high as 40 percent in some suburbs.
Since I seriously doubt that these "youths" are rioting to increase the freedoms of their sisters or mothers, what they have to say in my opinion, is completely irrelevant; and as for respecting it, I would agree with France's Interior Minister.
Read SC&A's entire post and see how much sorrow you can muster for the poor, oppressed rioters. Perhaps instead, it is possible that you will begin to appreciate that the rampaging, angry and violent protesters are hardly the "victims" in this ongoing tragedy that plays out all over the world within Islam.
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