France’s Problems Are in Plain Sight

Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail, January 8, 2015

Anyone can try to assassinate a politician, storm a parliament or blow up the Louvre. But it takes a special kind of terrorist to gun down the people who publish a satirical magazine.

“We have killed Charlie Hebdo,” they shouted. “We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed.” According to one witness, they spoke flawless French.

The terrorists who struck in the heart of Paris on Wednesday were not mentally imbalanced or socially marginalized. They were highly organized assassins who believe the West should live under a caliphate governed by strict Islamist law, and that blasphemers should die.

This attack–the deadliest terrorist attack on French soil in 50 years–may well pitch the country into profound crisis, because it crystallizes what everybody knows. France has a serious Muslim problem, a serious immigration problem and a serious terrorism problem, and the political class has no idea what to do about it. France is an easy target for Islamist terrorists because a large number of French Muslims are sympathetic to their causes.

Ironically, Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue featured a cover story on Michel Houellebecq, a well-known provocateur whose new novel, Submission, predicts that France will vote for Muslim rule in less than a decade. The book has been denounced as a gift to anti-immigrant leaders like Marine Le Pen, the fastest-rising star in French politics. Earlier this week, before the killings, French President François Hollande cautioned that while literary freedom must be respected, the French must not give into “fear” of “submersion, invasion, submission.”

But the critics have it exactly wrong. France’s problem is not that it has too much literary freedom. The problem is the attack on freedom by a murderous ideology.

Among the elites both inside and beyond France, it is fashionable to dismiss anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment as parochial and backward–a symptom of “the bitterness of those who feel alienated in a world they find bewildering and hateful,” as Ian Buruma put it in The Globe and Mail last weekend.

The non-elites see things differently. France’s Muslim population has reached an estimated 6.5 million–roughly 10 per cent of the population–and many of them have assimilated poorly. Despite the billions of euros poured into immigrant-dominated “sensitive urban zones” since the riots of 2005, nothing has improved. Youth unemployment in these areas is upward of 40 per cent, according to The Economist. Sixty per cent of France’s prison inmates are of “Muslim religion or culture,” and the prisons have become breeding grounds for radicalization.

The allure of the Islamic State has drawn hundreds of French nationals to Syria. And support for them is surprisingly widespread. “This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds,” said Newsweek’s France correspondent, Anne-Elizabeth Moutet.

The Western fight against the Islamic State isn’t the only provocation. French Muslims from sub-Saharan Africa have found their own jihad in the conflict in Mali, where Muslim insurgents are battling a French-backed international force. Marc Trévidic, a top anti-terrorism judge, says the French have to get used to the idea that terrorism is here to stay. “We will have to accept this reality without deluding ourselves,” he told Le Journal du Dimanche. “It means we have to accept that attacks will succeed and there will be deaths.”

And whatever Mr. Buruma may say, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment has spread far beyond French society’s left-behinds. An Ipsos survey published in 2013 found that 74 per cent of French citizens view Islam as “intolerant” and “incompatible” with French values. Seventy per cent of respondents said there are too many foreigners in France, and 67 per cent said they no longer feel at home in their own country. As writer and filmmaker Emmanuel Carrère put it, France is undergoing a “huge mutation.”

The elites were shocked when Ms. Le Pen’s National Front scored big gains in last year’s European elections. In retrospect, nothing could have been more predictable–except, perhaps, a fresh horror like Wednesday’s.

France’s agonizing problems are in plain sight. And there’s no easy fix.

Topics: , , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Easyrhino

    “The problem is elites who refuse to act.”

    It’s no different than in the USA where millions of ILLEGALS have simply walked across the border while our treasonous elected officials do absolutely nothing.

  • D.B. Cooper

    The elites act this way because too many white males have become… this.

    • DD-762

      That, in this guy’s mind, is the so-called American Dream.

    • See The Future

      Lazy, fat and stupid.

      • David Ashton

        And that is how the young religious terrorists see them/us.

    • David Ashton

      Bread and circuses, modern style.

  • TruthBeTold

    Does anyone remember the Gabby Gifford rush to judgement? Without any evidence, the suspect was linked to the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and even Jared Taylor of American Renaissance. The unsubstantiated speculations went on for a week linking a cross hair on Palins’ website to inflammatory right wing rhetoric.

    Already the liberal spin masters are downplaying the Muslim connection; the connection that is REAL and at the heart of this case.

    Andrea Mitchell did an interview with a writer who warned us about not to judge all Muslims by this one act and we can’t let Islamophobes take control of the debate.

    Utter foolishness.

    • LHathaway

      I have friends who still do not know that guy was a leftist.

    • archer

      You don’t have to be a genius to see where France is heading, didn’t the muslims just torch another thousand cars in France as part of their usual new years celebration? Wasn’t it about 4 years ago that the muslims were torching about a thousand cars a night for at least a week? Everyone knew they had a problem, a very big problem, and letting them get away with the burning of cars for years only emboldened them.

  • DD-762

    My U.S. Navy ship spent a month in a French shipyard in Toulon, France in 1964. This unscheduled visit was due to a collision at sea. At that time it was a dreary, working class city. There was an area in Toulon referred to by the Navy as the A-Rab District. It was Off-Limits to all U.S. military personnel. We were told that two U.S. Marines entered the District one night and were later found murdered. Did that actually happen? Who knows?

    Remember, this was 50 years ago.

  • je suis paganisme

    The iron has received the blows of the hammer.

    Exciting times.

    Liberal voices will try to dull the blows of the hammer, to seduce the blacksmith with promises of glory if he will dull his powerful blows; they try to rationalize away their own impotent cowardice, as they have always done—-they always try to make weakness appear as virtue, and appeasement appear as nobility.

    They will proclaim that love must reign, that God wants us to bear one another’s burden and that we must welcome, acclaim and support the unfortunate other, as we should with all the ten-million unfortunate Christ-others of the world. To do otherwise is evil, they say.

    Too late. Much too late.

    • The Dude

      Agree except with “too late”. The indigenous French are still a majority, and there’s still some room to maneuver and cut their losses. The 2017 elections will settle it one way or another in my opinion.

      • je suis paganisme

        That is what I meant.

        The indigenous French will smash through the liberal and Christian illusion of universalism.

        It is too late for the Christian, liberal message of inclusiveness of “others”. It has been tried . . . to OUR detriment, to OUR loss.

        Those who foisted it upon us had better look to their own future, because they have come very close to ruining ours.

    • propagandaoftruth

      “It means we have to accept that attacks will succeed and there will be deaths.”

      Not once the New European Order is established. Rivers of blood, then peace.

      Gosh – what treacherous bastards Europe’s “leaders” have been. Imagine if instead of importing millions of dangerous parasites and all the costs associated with, they had devoted even half the resources WASTED on these jackasses on say…

      Encouraging European women to have more kids?

      • je suis paganisme

        And the church better get on board, by-Jesusly fast, or they will be left behind in the debris of the old order.

        I am not asking them to advocate violence, just to stand up for those people whose ancestors made the church possible in the first place; and to say that these people have a right to their own land, their own customs, their own language. Support Pegida—-what is wrong with that?

        It is a fact that church-people have more kids. That would be very good, but the church is letting us down, so we don’t support it. The church has a ready-made opportunity here, and they are letting it slide by.

        It is astounding.

    • Chris R

      I like how sometimes they try warp religion to conform to their twisted views. In a way they are right. That good Christians should forgive and turn the other cheek. But I am no Christian and I won’t turn the other cheek. They have no power over me.

      • Strider73

        One can be a Christian without being a pacifist. Jesus told his disciples to make sure they had a sword (the handgun of its day) for self-defense in dangerous territory (Luke 22:36). Our Founders were overwhelmingly Christian, and they saw no conflict between their faith and the 2nd Amendment. Neither do I.

  • Samuel_Morton

    “France’s agonizing problems are in plain sight. And there’s no easy fix.”

    A good start would be to stop all non-Western immigration.

    But at least she is recognizing the problem.

  • Luca

    “Sixty per cent of France’s prison inmates are of “Muslim religion or
    culture,” and the prisons have become breeding grounds for

    This is the problem. All those repeat, radical, criminals not committing capital crimes should be deported for life and put on an international no-fly list.

    And I don’t care where they were born, strip them of their citizenship and ship them to a country of their choice who will take them.

    They are a drain on society no matter how you slice it. It should be considered a privilege to live in a Western, civilized country.

    • DD-762

      That Prison-Muslim culture you mention in French prisons sure has a familiar ring to it.

    • OyVey00

      The problem is: No country will take them.

      • See The Future

        The ocean is vast. Consider it as recycling.

      • Homo_Occidentalis

        I’m sure France can use some of its Great Power cred to browbeat some lesser muslim nations into taking back their vermin. Cash, loans, or debt forgiveness to any Moslem nation willing to take their refuse back could accomplish this as well. France isn’t lacking the means to deport the criminal foreigners It’s lacking the will due to the fifth column “establishment” politicians and MSM. Remove the bloodsucking lefty elites from power and you’ll be surprised what can be accomplished.

      • Luca

        Yemen, Somalia, Liberia, Uganda, Libya, etc. Pay them a fee equal to one-year’s incarceration costs with a list of terms and conditions. Here in the US that fee would be about $20k. Some 3rd-world countries desperately need outside money.

    • See The Future

      This is only a problem when you have no strong men.

      In history there are men that would have solved the problem in one afternoon.

  • Ron Cheaters

    This coming from a Canadian newsrag..
    Perhaps maybe the winds are changing.

    • Homo_Occidentalis

      I too am surprised to see the Globe and Fail publishing something like this. Their editorial view has always been pro-invasion. This is the paper that advocated DOUBLING Canada’s national invader intake from 250K to 500K per annum. I guess the neocons will occasionally give us some vague anti-Muslim rhetoric in order to appease the drooling masses.

      • Ron Cheaters

        I have read some of her article’s before.. but this is the first one that showed any teeth… i’ll bet if she saw her article here at amren she’d shrivel up… but I hope not… finally a journalist reporting the truth…
        I dont get it..

  • 4321realist

    Actually, there is a way to reverse radical Islamists wanting Sharia law.

    Secularize them, as a good part of the US, and even more so in Britain, has been done.

    Embark on a campaign to create doubt about their imams, their mosques and their religion itself by any means necessary. Then lightly ridicule religion as something only the ignorant and uneducated adhere to, and be sure to have the tactic included in with normal school curriculum to brainwash Islamic students and create doubt in their minds about religion in general.

    Then, after years of this, comes the coup de grace. Proceed with a years long programming to lessen the morals of their adherents, slowly at first, then a stepped up period wherein you have their women getting jobs as nude pole dancers and the men working as procurers and selling dope.

    Voila! A secular society where the jihadist threat has been eliminated.

    • I understand your line of thought, but that will take too many years and will be far too expensive. During this time, the muslims will only further outbreed us.

      Moreover, the Islamists will simply create their own schools and communities (as they’ve already done). They will always have an endless supply of new converts.

      The answer does not lie in a full-blown secularism because it is vacuous and meaningless ultimately. Humans will always be seeking to fill the void that secularism brings. In fact, much of Europe’s moral decline has been the direct result of abandoning its Christian heritage. Nihilism, atheism, and hedonism cannot ultimately fill the human soul, something only the true and living God can fill.

      After almost 70 years of pure secularism throughout most of the West, isn’t it clear by now that that has, in many ways, disastrous for us?

    • Chris R

      Or they could just be deported. Better option in the end.

  • See The Future

    Elected time and time again……….insanity

  • Jacobite2

    The French deserve to disappear. They deny that any such being as a “Frenchman” even exists. Fine, let it be so. The raunchiest rag-heads are educated enough to know that they are totally different people from the French, by birth and by DNA. Their great-grandchildren will still not be French. Of course, by then the French themselves will be communing with the Tasmanians.

    • HamletsGhost

      How about making the alien tribe that rules over France? Don’t they deserve to disappear? After all, there are a lot fewer of them.

      • Jacobite2

        An alien tribe rules the USA today. They ruled Weimar Germany in the 20s. But I do believe France has created its’ own native ‘alien tribe’. Or, better, France destroyed French society 200 years ago, so there is no framework in which a French people can exist. The French gave up their religion and their culture centuries ago. They still value the French language, but that’s not enough to define and maintain a society. The French elites are deracionated — that is, they do not, and can not, constitute a viable nation.

  • Paleoconn

    Solution: President Le Pen

    • HamletsGhost

      Alternate Solution: Marshall Petain.

      • Jacobite2

        Vichy was the first effective government in France since 1789. The last too. Of course, with no Leftists allowed, things had to be better.

  • >>>