Wade's World

Just leave it where Jesus flang it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"But it’s not jihad, and never has been."

From Jim Dunnigan at Strategy Page comes this assessment of the Parisian riots (excerpted below):

Thus, the street violence is partly a lark, because the kids know the cops are not going to use lethal force, and anyone who gets caught will, at worst, do maybe a year in the slammer (for burning cars looting stores). The drug gangs encourage the violence as a way to intimidate the cops. When the violence dies down, the gang bosses can threaten the local cops with a revival, if the cops do not back off (when it comes to the drug trade).

There are some Islamic radicals running around in all this, but they are a minority. The Moslem kids like to talk about respect and payback, but very few see this as a religious war. It’s become a sport, with various groups competing to cause the most destruction. Text messaging, Internet bulletin boards and email made it possible for the rioters to stay in touch and compare notes. The media coverage also encouraged the violence, giving the kids some positive (for them) feedback.

But now, nearly two weeks of street violence have thoroughly embarrassed the government so much that curfews and more arrests have taken some of the joy out of these Autumn antics. But it’s not jihad, and never has been.
(h/t Instapundit)

Those of you who have read my previous post (hint, hint) will know that I disagree entirely with this assessment. However, for reasons I realize I did not make entirely clear in that post, I do agree with Mr. Dunnigan that the riots are not being primarily driven by radical Islam and its clerics ... yet.

The structurally deficient and decrepit French system is largely to blame for creating the riotous situation it currently faces, and the seemingly self-destructive myopia with which the French government chooses to comprehend the unrest only serves to make things worse. The real problem is that France is in no position to address the problems underlying the immigrant discontent, therefore putting an unceremonious stop to the rebellion, and will only quell the violence with its own state violence. Such a solution not only allows the unrequited rebellion to fester, but encourages it to grow stronger.

The end result, I fear, is that those rioters who have little or no fealty to France (or Western style democracy) will not only begin to find common cause with radical Islamicism (jihad) outside the country, but that they will increasingly find direction and purpose in the teachings and urgings of local imams (and others) who are antagonistic to the West in general. Consider for a moment that the French Revolution started with attempts mollify a starving peasant population and to create a new Constitution and ended with the Reign of Terror and Babouvism (and the birth of "communism"), and that the Russian Revolution started as a peasant revolt before being deftly steered by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin into total (and bloody) state control by the Bolsheviks. What's to stop the same sort of revolution from taking place in modern France? Certainly not the ineffectual and apparently impotent French government.

Perhaps I am being overly dramatic, and in fact the riots will die out by themselves. Maybe this is all about poverty, French racism and bored youths. Judging by all the evidence, however, and in light of human history, I am not at all persuaded that we are witnessing anything other than a violent, bloody overthrow of the European welfare-state paradigm by those who wish to replace it with an equally statist radical muslim presence in the homeland of Rousseau.


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