Originally posted by frenchpoulbot
I am French. (I use Google translation, sorry) I suffered since I was born
France has the biggest Muslim problem in EU. Liberty,Fraternity,Equality is Nonsense.You have the crusades in reverse.
"FP: Sorry gentlemen, my eyes are starting to glaze over."
Cagaptay: Here is the picture: percentage-wise as well as in cumulative terms, France has the largest Muslim community in the EU. There are no
official figures, since France does not collect numbers on religious affiliation, but according to official estimates, there are 6 million Muslims in
France, that is 10 percent of the population. Unofficial estimates point at an even higher figure, suggesting as many as 8-9 million Muslims. What is
more, given the low birth rate in the general French society, and the continuing immigration of Muslims from North Africa, this number is bound to
The issue I would like to raise in this context is not that we should be concerned that there are so many Muslims in France, rather it is that the
Muslims in France see themselves at the margins of the society and resent that fact. The Muslims in France are the worst integrated Muslim community
in any EU country. Mass Muslim immigration to France is a post-WWII development. Many came from North Africa, especially Algeria, to look for jobs.
However, France has done a terrible job in integrating them. The benign founding myth of the French state, that there are no differences between the
citizens, has worked against the integration of the Muslims. On the one hand, from the very beginning, Muslims in France, already from a background of
conservative--rural Islam, had few avenues towards assimilation into the metropolitan French society, and on the other, the society has acted as if
these barriers do no exist.
The end result is that vast segments of the Muslim population in France have little to do with the rest of the society. The banlieus of Paris,
Marseilles, and other major French cities are full of disgruntled and poor North African Muslims today, who feel discriminated in the school system,
in the public sector and in access to government services. The bottom line is that elite institutions, means of upward mobility, as well as quality
government services are in accessible to most Muslims in France. What is more, with the rise of radicalism in the 1990s, these neighborhoods are now
under the effective control of fundamentalist Muslims. If I were French, I would be very worried.
What ails these people and makes them stick out like sore thumbs in French society is not so much Islam and Islamic teaching but backward traditions
they have brought with them from home. One of most problematic of these cultural baggages is the status of women within these communities. Second or
third generation North African women in France still live under tremendous pressures to uphold the retrograde practices of their paternalistic
communities. Women are treated as inferior to men and are bossed around by their husbands, brothers and fathers.
Sorry, but when I think of the problem of the growing presence of Muslims in France, the first thing that comes to my mind is the heart-breaking
reality of forced marriages and honor killings being perpetrated on Arab-Muslim girls on French territory. I think of forced veiling. I think of the
gang-rapes of Muslim and non-Muslim girls who are not veiled in Arab-Muslim ghettoes. I think of female genital mutilations. I think of the growing
radical element that might perpetrate another 9/11 over there. I think about all we can possibly and hopefully do to crush these forces. Needless to
say, that is what is on my mind, not sitting around worrying what will happen to someone else afterwards, someone that is not even a victim of the
huge crime that is perpetrated and should be thought about and condemned