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Rage without a cause
A policy of appeasement will not ensure peaceful co-habitation in Europe's multi-ethnic cosmopolitan community


November 9, 2005

Chirac has played its foreign policy of 'pacification' partly to keep its 5 million immigrant population mollified. In the first disturbing assertion that a European country and its capital can be brought to a halt by the massed forces of Islamist militants both within and outside its borders, French police warned there was evidence Islamic militants had played a role in inciting vandals, albeit "not on the front lines."

The French have so far said the right things, and done the right things. They have stood up to "American Imperialism tooth and nail" beyond the call of duty, for them war in Iraq has created more intolerance and frustration within European community immigrants, undoubtedly "one nation" these North African immigrants should really be grateful too is "France." But militants have no friends, the weakest link and most opportune one for them is the one that is going to give in. Paris sounds to them the weakest link; it is where they have made their first stand. It is in this city we should nail them down, let's say a loud 'no' to their medieval practices.

They trade on 'emotions' and 'coffins.' It looks like the unfortunate death of two electrocuted youths was a trigger point, but the lava was about to erupt anyway. The ease by which a civil commotion was tuned into "clash within nation" is most heart rending. These youths are Parisians, they live in Paris, they should love Paris as their cradle, and no one burns their own cradle, what loyalty is bigger than loyalty to your own city of birth? This is the ugly visage festering within these suburbs. The pointless anger, rage without a cause. The acute sense of superiority of belief, a sense of self- disenfranchisement as a result. These collective emotions help these disgruntled youths become easy prey to the machinations of the extremists. It is these extremists message that has to be tackled. The cancer is deeper than arson, carnage and riots; it is the way of thinking that needs to be repaired. Lets stop being ostrich now, and look out for clear and present dangers.

Civilisations don't just disappear. Others that are hungrier, more aggressive and more energetic overtake them. The demographic changes in Europe are one pointer towards the shape of things to come in the next century. According to Mona Charen, about 5 percent of the European Union is now Muslim. Historian Bernard Lewis has told a German newspaper that Europe would be majority Islamic by the end of this century "at the latest". Timothy Savage has noted in The Washington Quarterly that according to United Nations estimates Europe's native population is projected to decline by 100 million or more in the next 50 years.

'French Intifida' is betrayal of French policy of 'appeasement' and 'buying their quiet' at the cost of national honor. French socio-economic structure is a remnant of a socialist era and ensures that most of these immigrants exploit the loopholes within French law so as to avoid work. Much as it not much work is available, but 35 hours week, and 100 different kinds of taxes on those who work hard beyond 35 hours, plus hefty "chomage" ensures these youth to play havoc with the suburbs in their leisure time.

French unlike their Anglo-Saxon neighbours have been unable to get the best out of their ex-colonies, on one hand "India" the jewel of the crown of British Raj is taking off to become a world class power in intellectual property rights domain and leader of service economy, part of 'Chindia' dream of global bankers and economists. French ex- colonies are struggling to even survive mired with all kind of problems.

Those of them, who have come to Paris, are today talking of "Parisian Intifidas." Much as French "exclusion" is blamed for less than average progress of the immigrants, it is definitely French temperament of appeasing these people which have resulted in these eruptions on lines of 'Intifida.' But the relevant question is not about a takeover of Europe by Muslims through a swelling population. It is about the threat from radical elements. The danger can only be averted through a pro-active effort.

A policy of appeasement will not ensure peaceful co-habitation in Europe's multi-ethnic cosmopolitan community. The calm integration in future European societies will happen only if the fanatical fringe can be contained. This is the only way to realise the dream of ideologically accommodative societies in countries having sizeable immigrant communities. Such countries include Germany, France, Sweden and UK. Turkey might add its name to the list. Bosnian Muslims, seen by their Serb and Croat neighbours as remnants of Ottoman intrusions in Central Europe, as well as the present day Turks, are moderates by design.

There is no justification of this, no reason for this, In France; it should be the 'French writ' and not the writ of Intifida. Paris is 'The city,' a city with a global heritage, if God would make any city "capital city" of its heavens than Paris would be the model platter for such a city. To see this city under carnage and enveloped by the hooligans and arsonists is most excruciating. We Parisians call, it murder of a dream! We denounce it and condemn the perpetrators of these crimes. The Muslim minority in Europe will meanwhile double in size by 2015. Is the fast-changing demographic pattern a ticking time bomb for Europe? Is it possible that what Muslims could not achieve in the battle of Tours-Poitiers in 732 they may achieve by 2032? Several prophets of doom have said Europe is haunted by a 1,300 years curse. Sultan Abd al-Rahman's 732 campaign has been blown well out of strategic and historical proportions.

This is best exemplified by Edward Gibbon's account of the Sultan's defeat at the Battle of Poitiers by Charles Martel: „The Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or the Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet. From such calamities was Christendom delivered by the genius and fortune of one man [Martel]. "?What could not have been militarily achieved in Tours is now spectre person that frightens people."

The culture of entitlements should be rejected and culture of hard work introduced in these suburban towns, these are new Harlem's which are growing, Giuliani changed Harlem, today's France needs some iron clad measures to put these hoodlums to work. The purpose of these riots is to teach a new lesson to the restive immigrant populations of Europe. The lesson of collective 'Intifida' is to hold government's hostage with a threat of 'minority violence.' Imagine terrorists watching all this with glee, knowing well the most opportune way to bring the governments down riots and arson. This is civil terrorism of new kind, these needs unwavering determination and a collective resolve.

It is a shame that of all the countries French had to suffer this fury. Where is the Margaret Thatcher of France, come on Chirac, it is your call, change the face of France, bring order to our burning city. Don't give in, these are not disgruntled youths, but this is an expression of a rebellion, of an entrenched hatred of the society they live in. A definite dispense is the answer to the crisis. Like their forefathers who worked hard as immigrants, these first and second generation French need to know the values of perseverance, honesty and hard work. These leafy suburbs of Paris are marked with redundancy, drugs and blackmailing, exactly contrary values based on which these great societies have come about! This is the very reason most of them are here. The freedom of expression they enjoy, in their own countries they will be part of desperados.

The large immigrant populations - Turks, North Africans and South Asians are at the crossroads of destiny. They carefully study the reactions of their host governments. An accommodative posture like Chirac's encourages radicalism. A firm position like Blair's promotes moderation. Extremists like Osama bin Laden are eyeing Pakistan and Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. They want control of the holy land and its energy resources, Pakistan's nuclear weapons, Iran and Turkey's proximity to Europe.

A determined response to extremism in these countries will save a huge populace. Any other course will lead to wars of ethnic cleansing. Imagine a burgeoning Europe that would be majority Islamic by the end of this century raised on sights and sounds of radicalism. Failure of fanatics in the war on terror can be the success of moderates. Nothing works better than success.

The "French" resolve of eradication of terror on all foreign fronts will help cooling down of this new wave of violence on domestic front. France has to act bravely and resolutely. This blackmail to destroy peace and tranquillity of "France" in name of a new "Intifida" is a new change of modus operandi, like suicide bombing this will become a fashion for "European cities" to erupt if government policy does not meet the approval of minority immigrant wishes. This is what is called "true tyranny" of minority. France needs to rethink its entire posture.

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Iqbal Latif

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