Mayor Demailly added, “For months I’ve been asking for the means to alleviate the neighborhood’s problems because tension has been mounting here. You’ve got gangs of youths playing at being gangsters who have turned the area into a no-go zone. You can no longer order a pizza or get a doctor to come to the house.”
The Fafet-Brossolette district of Amiens is home to mostly Muslim immigrants from former French colonies such as Algeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia. Unemployment in the riot-hit part of Amiens runs at 45%. Among people under 25 years of age, who account for half the population, two out of three are out of work.
Despite the scale of the damage, French police have hesitated to make arrests in fear of sparking more riots. Police did not, in fact, make any arrests until more than three days after the riots ended. A spokesperson for the local police said that four people between the ages of 15 and 30 were arrested in an overnight swoop on August 17 in connection with arson, robbery and trafficking stolen goods. Two of the individuals were immediately tried atAmienscriminal court, but were quickly released on probation.
YET ANOTHER disturbing example of Muslim violence occurred in the southwestern French City of Toulouse, which became infamous among world Jewry due to the shooting of three Jewish students and one teacher at the Ozar HaTorah Yeshiva there in March. The city’s Bagatelle district remains classified as a Sensitive Urban Zone.
In Toulouse, there have been five days of violence between rival Muslim gangs. Police in the Bagatelle district have characterized the Muslim-on-Muslim violence as “a kind of guerilla war” between two gangs of individuals between the ages of 15 and 20. The violence was apparently due to “the result of a settlement of accounts between drug dealers, as well as because of old resentments exacerbated by boredom and the heat of the month of Ramadan.”
On August 14, two local imams in Bagatelle organized a street march calling on the youths to stop the violence. Local media reports say the residents of the neighborhood know the names of the perpetrators but “nobody dares to speak for fear of reprisals.” According to the deputy imam of Bagatelle, Siali Lahouari, “it looks as if we are inBosniaorAfghanistan, not Mirail [a suburb of Toulouse].”
IN THE SOUTHERN city of Grenoble Muslimyouth went on a rampage in July 2010 after police shot and killed an armed robber, Karim Boudouda, who had led police on a car chase after holding up the Uriage-les-Bains casino, nearGrenoble.
The rioting, which occurred in the suburb of La Villeneuve, started when an imam recited a prayer for the dead robber in the presence of 50 Muslim youths who had gathered in a park. One of the youths fired a gun at riot police who were deployed to the neighborhood; the police then opened fire to disperse the crowd — who then went on to torch 80 cars and several businesses.
The violence even extends to France’s capital,Paris. In August 2009, around 40 Muslim rioters in the Parisian suburb of Bagnolet hurled Molotov cocktails at police and firefighters; torched cars, and one person fired a handgun during a rampage.
The cause of the rampage: the death of an 18-year old deliveryman, who fled a document check by police, lost control of his motorcycle, hit a barrier and died en route to the hospital.
In July 2009, Muslim youths torched more than 300 cars acrossFranceafter the suicide death of an Algerian youth held in police custody on charges of extortion.
In October and November 2005, thousands of Muslim youths inParisand other major cities inFrancewent on a rampage after two young men in theParissuburb of Clichy-sous-Bois were electrocuted when they entered an electric power substation while running away from police. Overall, the riots affected 274 towns and cities acrossFrance, and resulted in more than €200 million in property damage. In response, the French government declared a “three-month state of emergency.”
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute (original article contains links/ references to French sources).
About the Author: The writer is the Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.
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