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France should have listened to its artists
Riots have been presaged by films
Rap lyrics as early as 1991 showed rage
Nov. 26, 2005. 01:00 AM
NEW YORK TIMES
PARIS—So life often imitates art. Yet with the recent uprisings in some French immigrant neighbourhoods, this cliché came with a new twist: art, in the form of movies and rap music, has long been warning that French-born Arab and black youths felt increasingly alienated from French society and that their communities were ripe for explosion.
Certainly anyone who saw Mathieu Kassovitz's 1995 film Hate had no reason to be surprised by this fall's violence. At the time, Kassovitz's portrayal of a seething immigrant Paris banlieue (or suburb) seemed shocking and exaggerated. Today, the movie could pass for a documentary.
Disiz la Peste, a black rapper, captured this sense of hopelessness just a few months ago in lyrics that ended:
``Those who treat me with disdain,
Who make rotten jokes,
Which don't even make sense,
Neither humour nor love,
And France cares little what I do.
Forever in its mind
I'll just be a young man from the banlieue.''
So life has not been imitating art; cinema and rap have been mirroring the life and mood of France's immigrant underclass. The problem is that, in the corridors of power in central Paris, no one was listening.
Until now. This week, a group of conservative legislators asked the justice ministry to investigate whether seven rap groups had incited violence and racism through their lyrics. Is shooting the messengers the best solution?
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Originally posted by Whiskey JackHopefully France will step back and take a good look at the actual causes of the riots, rather than something penned, if you'll forgive the pun, by the FN's racist founder.
In Germany, Muslims grow apart
Alarmed by the honor killings, Germans have begun to investigate the parallel society: a society proud of its isolation; purist and traditional yet, in its own terms, creative, forward-looking and often contemptuous of the German host society.
The recent riots in France have increased the sense of alarm. German politicians and experts lined up to point out why such riots are unlikely in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart or Hamburg. They claimed that young Muslims in Germany - although up to 50 percent of them are unemployed - had full access to the welfare state and were not isolated in high-rise projects as in the suburbs of Paris.
Yet there was an undertone of panic. At stake is German confidence that their nation can continue as it had been: integrating immigrants without an integration policy, remaining true to the traditional German identity and preserving the reassuring post-1945 chronology of advancing modernism.
Originally posted by AceOfBase
The riots were caused by immgrants and their children, just like the riots in Britain, Denmark, Belgium, etc...
Get rid of them and a major cause for future riots will go away.
The isolation of muslims is self imposed by the muslims themselves, not by the French, German, British, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, etc...
Originally posted by Whiskey Jack
Seriously, are you familiar with the history of North African immigration in France? You do know, right, that many of the parents and grandparents were
brought in in the 3 decades following WWII to help rebuild the country?
The Muslims among the immigrants practiced their religion freely, as did the Jews, except during Vichy. Since the Hexagon (European France, named after its shape on the map) had only 100,000 Muslims in 1945, they presented no problem. Algeria was legally part of postwar France, and during les trente glorieuses, the 30 years of rapid economic growth beginning after the war, Algerians were brought into European France particularly to work in the burgeoning automobile industry. Even so, in 1962, when Algeria became independent, the Hexagon had fewer than 500,000 Muslims
Then, le déluge. In 1962, President Charles de Gaulle ended eight years of bitter civil war in Algeria by withdrawing French claims and troops and recognizing Algerian independence.
The simple description of the antagonists—the Muslim natives of Algeria versus the governing French authorities plus a million colons, people whose ancestors had been recruited from across the European shores of the Mediterranean, some many generations earlier—is too simple. Many Algerian soldiers—harkis—had fought on the French side; other Algerians had sympathized with the French, or were thought by the revolutionaries to have sympathized and had well-founded fears of retaliation in the postindependence chaos.
They came to France, which, if it did not exactly welcome the Muslim refugees, admitted them. Mass immigration accelerated rapidly in 1974; before that year, workers were free to come and go between France and Algeria, but the strong constraints on such movement imposed in 1974 had the ironic result of motivating Algerian workers to stay in France and bring their families with them. That, plus high birth rates, doubled the Muslim population to a million in the 11 years from 1962 to 1973, redoubled it by 1981, and then redoubled it again to 4 million in 1995. Ten percent—6 to 7 million Muslims—is the consensus of current estimates.