“The Los Angeles riots could never happen in Paris, because France is the country where the level of social protection is the highest in the world."
- Francois Mitterrand, April 30, 1992
"Katrina's devastation points the finger at the US system . . . Issues forgotten for years are back to the fore: poverty, the state's absence, latent racism."
- Le Monde, Sept. 8, 2005
Let’s look at a few more differences between the US and France:
US response to Hurricane Katrina: After 2 days and much criticism Bush responded.
French response to rioting: 11 days!! Yes, it took Chirac 11 days to respond to the riots at all!
US response to Hurricane Katrina: Americans donated US$2 billion to charity organizations to help the victims.
French response: the French interior minister calls the rioters "scum”.
In the US: Arab Americans and Muslims are better educated and have a higher income than the national average.
In France: Many Muslims are poorly educated, unemployed and live in slums.
In the US: “Arab and Muslim immigrants in the US generally identify themselves as Americans and integrate with relative ease into a society that prides itself on social mobility and has more tolerance for cultural and religious differences” (so says a Muslim scholar in the US)
In France: “The Muslims hate the French, and they hate us.”
Well, there you go. And it was only until recently that European liberals and the left fell over backward to say positive things about their beloved “egalitarian” France. Maybe the terrible US ain’t such a bad country after all, eh?
Besides this, France has 10 million people of ethnic minorities, and there is not one MP that is black or has an Arab or African background. Quite simply it is not that these people are under represented but that they are not represented at all.
Compare this with the US, where African Americans Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice hold senior posts in Bush's administration.
Nonetheless, I do have some sympathy with the average French Joe. After all, is it not unreasonable for him to feel that French society is threatened given that so many of its population do not hold French secular ideals?
In essence, the meltdown in France is the classic clash of the civilizations problem that the Western religious apologists close their eyes to, and even obfuscate the issue by putting all the blame on racism, when actually it is far more complex than that.
Imagine for instance if one million Western atheists went to live in Saudi Arabia demanding the right to get inebriated, have “free” sex and do all those other things that debauched Westerns do? How would the Saudis react to that? Would they try and assimilate Westerners into Saudi society and allow them to open nightclubs there? Somehow I don’t think so.
Ah well, at least there is some good news. Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist is now dead, killed last night in a raid carried out by the brave Indonesian police. But while many bloggers in Indonesia are posting pictures of Dr. Azahari to mark this news, I’m putting up a picture of Rahma Azhari (Sarah Azhari’s younger sister) instead. A far better choice I’m sure you’ll agree!