Sunday, November 13, 2005

About The Riots and Islam

Earlier I posted:

Like hell. I do tend to think that the riots are not part of an Al Qaeda plot, and are likely not Islamic per se (in that they are not about specifically Muslim grievances; it's not like they are rioting because France hasn't adopted the Qu'Ran as its national book, and I question how much the head-scarve ban really has to do with it).

To elaborate, I don't think that the fact that the people were Muslim is the precipitating factor in this sort of riot. It doesn't resemble jihad as I understand it, as there is little killing and, as far as I can tell, little demand for war against the infidel (which, I assume, would lead to killing). The fact that the rioters appear to be mostly Muslim (Steve Sailer mentions that liquor stores do not appear to be being looted much) is certainly relevant, but I suspect relevant more to the extent that it unites them into a single "perpetually agrieved minority" class than because it is the motivation for their actions.

I think that trying to blame Al Qaeda or to discuss this in terms of "Islamism" ignores the most salient fact about these riots: that they are being perpetrated by a perpetually aggrieved minority that has been taught to resent the majority culture while expecting handouts from it. Blaming Al Qaeda or "Islamism" is also counterproductive because it leads to people thinking in terms of political solutions; that is, to trying to "root out" terrorists or plant spies in mosques or to try and determine the people's views to see who is and isn't the likely ptoblem. (Which is fine, if the goal is to stop terrorists, but as a response to a semi-spontaneous minority riot is wholly inadequate). Worse, there may be a lot of money wasted on trying to apprehend the (non-existent) Al Qaeda members supposedly responsible for this or trying to trace back the (non-existent) terror network involved in the riot. Worst of all, this could siphon money away from programs aimed at interdicting actual terrorist threats.

This happened because the rioters knew they could get away with it (or suspected they could and had their suspicions confirmed when they were not stopped), because they have been socialized to expect that they are owed things and do not owe society, because so many have been allowed to live off the public teat, because theyt have been allowed to form Balkanized communities where the majority population in fracne is scared to go, because France has allowed them to intimidate the majority population, and because France has made it unacceptable to say or do things that offend the minority communities or to suggest that they owe French society anything or that certain behaviors are expected of them.

What France needs to do is to crack down on the rioters and to physically explain to them in no uncertain terms that such behavior will not be tolerated. They can be nice and polite at first, but anyone who continues to riot obviously will need a little extra persuasion of the kind I mentioned here.

If you exist in a society, you need to adhere to minimum standards. If you do not, the proper response of the government is to teach you the error of your ways. And to "teach you" good and hard.

That is all.

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