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July 29, 2013 1:30 pm

France is Losing Hearts and Minds of Native-Born Muslims

avatar by Richard Landes

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Police vehicle in France. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Granted that it’s Ramadan, which skews the sample, but every day, certainly every week now, it seems, there’s a new indication that France is losing its battle for the hearts and minds of its native-born Muslims.

This week, for example, a convert to Islam attacked a police officer who stopped his niqab-clad wife. Some reports stated that his aggressive disrespect justified the husband’s anger and fueled outrage in the Muslim community. That evening after the fast, several hundred of his “brothers” rioted for hours outside the police station where he was detained, injuring six. The police, worried that too strong a reaction might lead to a reprise of the rioting of Ramadan 2005, only reluctantly intervened. The next night, after the fast, the violence began again and spread to nearby neighborhoods. For the moment, public calm reigns during the daytime fast, but the battle has already been won: police will not willingly fine women veiling their faces. And now (and for the foreseeable future), every Ramadan night will be a tense one all over Europe.

Last week, a train derailed in Bretigny, killing ten and injuring hundreds. Some “youth” (the French media’s euphemism for Muslim gangs), responded first, despoiling the corpses. When the ambulances arrived, the predators stoned the rescue workers, forcing them to wait until the police arrived. This gruesome scene illustrates the deeply disturbing and aggressive contempt for French civic norms among many Muslim “youth” in France today. The shocking story rapidly spread, only to be literally “recalled” by a collective decision of the political classes and mainstream media, including the police who experienced the stoning,who dismissed the reports as rumor. Only reluctantly did the issue return to public discussion.

Such a decision to erase from public discussion the behavior of an aggressive “tribalism,” within the Muslim community, and the ability to implement this erasure across the mainstream news media, represents a pattern of (ultimately self-destructive) behavior whose roots go back over a decade. It started in earnest with the inverse pattern: namely the mainstream media published material that provoked a kind of tribal vengeance in their immigrant communities and then covered up the ensuing violence.

At the beginning of the Oslo Intifada in September 2000, the French media (and most Western news outlets) fell prey to and broadcast what has now been revealed (even the Israelis have weighed in officially now) as a cheap hoax: a Palestinian cameraman’s claim that he filmed Israeli troops targeting and killing a young Palestinian boy, Muhammad al Durah, who “died in the arms of his father.”

It is difficult to exaggerate the eagerness with which the French seized upon this malicious and invented lethal narrative and gave it mythical import. “This death [sic] erases, replaces the picture of the boy in the Warsaw Ghetto,” intoned one news anchor, referring to the symbol the deliberate extermination of a million Jewish children by the Nazis. Apparently, Europeans thought that the Holocaust Inversion theology involved – Israelis are the new Nazis, the Palestinians the new Jews – liberated them from Holocaust guilt, and they showed the image repeatedly in their news broadcasts of the Intifada, themselves laden with further lethal narratives credulously recycled “as news.”

The French intelligentsia didn’t understand, however, that while they waved their “get-out-of-Holocaust-guilt-free-card” in front of themselves, they were waving the flag of Jihad in front of their already restive Muslim communities, especially the “jeunes.” Literally the next day, outraged “jeunes” started attacking Jews, and, with a steady drumbeat of hateful images about Israel appearing in the mainstream media, the assault grew in the weeks, months, and years to come. The “new anti-semitism“ arising from the muck.

For each time in the succeeding decade that the Israelis moved against bombers targeting their civilians, the news again filled with lethal narratives about Israeli brutality, and European streets filled with angry and increasingly violent mobs. These were significant moments when a Muslim “Street” made its presence felt in the European public sphere, starting with the worldwide demonstrations of October 6, 2000 protesting Al Durah’s death. There, for the first time since the Holocaust, the cry “Death to the Jews,” rang out in a European capital.

And yet, rather than inform the public about these ominous clouds of war on French civil society, the media played the violence down and French officials denied there was any anti-Semitism of any sort in France… anti-Zionism, perhaps, but no anti-Semitism. José Bové, on a return from his pilgrimage to Arafat’s beleaguered bunker, argued that it must be Zionists who were bombing Jewish synagogues in France, because French Muslims would never do that, lest they lose the support of people like himself.

Jewish voices, on the other hand, whether questioning al Durah and all the other lethal narratives that came pouring into the public sphere, or claiming victimization by a now militarized Muslim “youth,” were dismissed as partisan (communautariste). As one Jewish observer noted in the mid-aughts (’00s), “Jews cannot bear witness.” In a sense, just as censorship had spread Sharia law to the West through the Rushdie Affair in the 1990s, it now imposed another aspect of Sharia on a compliant West: Dhimmi cannot testify against Muslims.

In 2004 and 2005, Europeans got explosive evidence that they too were the targets of the Jihad they thought only beset the (Israeli) Jews. And yet when, during Ramadan 2005, the Zones urbaines sensibles (ZUS) all over France exploded with vandalism for weeks, both the press and the “scientific” researchers assured the public this had nothing to do with Islam. They too adopted the submissive posture of not testifying against Muslims.

Indeed, all over Europe, just as tribal Jihadis became more and more openly belligerent, Europeans became increasingly reluctant to discuss their behavior. Police hesitated to intervene, and the media, replicating the pattern of journalism from Israel, systematically played down any Jihadi violence – including gang rape of infidels. “Jeunes” became a euphemism whereby the media reported only their most egregious offenses.

When a “jeune” French-born, Algerian Jihadi, Mohamed Merah, killed three Jewish school children in Toulouse last year, it gave the public a brief pause. But few connected Merah’s remark – that he killed these children “to avenge the way that the same Jews are killing innocents in Palestine“ – to their own journalists’ constant and incorrect depiction of the IDF as child killers.

On the contrary, in a sad variant on the Dreyfus Affair, over the course of a decade of litigation (still ongoing) in which the journalist (Enderlin) and his corporation (State-owned France2) tried to silence criticism in the name of the “honor,” both the (communautriste) guild of journalists and the politicized courts, chose the “honor” of Charles Enderlin and France2 over the right of citizens to denounce these journalistic abuses.

This immensely successful campaign of cognitive war conducted by Jihadis against the West, by means of a compliant and dominant school of lethal journalism, has left the French intelligentsia in complete cognitive (and moral) disarray.

Thus, this summer, curators of the Jeu de Paume raised their glasses to high art, exhibiting photos of Palestinians who turn their mass murderers of (Jewish) children into heroic martyrs. In response to (“communautriste”) complaints of Jews, the museum posted a formal notice denying that this was propaganda. It was not only the ugliest of war propaganda, but Jihadi propaganda that targeted the French as well as the Jews. Meanwhile, only miles away, French “jeunes” treat the murderer of French children, Mohamed Merah, as a heroic martyr.

Thus, when those “jeunes,” inspired by this drumbeat of war on the infidel, behave in the most alarming fashion every occasion that arises, pushing out the boundaries of areas dominated by the Muslim “Street,” and intimidating the police, the French mainstream public voices do not know how to voice their criticisms. So they prefer the submissive posture of silence.

The picture is perhaps not as somber as I draw it. There are an increasing number of voices speaking out in France, but they have yet to make more than momentary appearances in the conversations of the intelligentsia. But even these voices of alarm are still far from a realization of just how deeply the strains of Jihad penetrate into “Islam,” and their “Muslim community” the strains of Jihad penetrate.

And they are still further from the ability to connect that Jihadi problem to the way their lethal press has poisoned them on Israel, and the way their intelligentsia has celebrated some of the ugliest Jihadis on the planet as heroes and martyrs. And yet, it is precisely their politically correct tolerance for and silence about Muslim anti-Semitism that permits Jihad to makes inroads into their societies.

It’s hard to see when they will get around to defending something as great and valuable as French democracy.

No sane person can find comfort in Europe’s condition… except the Jihadis, who look at our cognitive disarray and rejoice. As a friend put it, “If someone had told a signer of the Hamas Covenant (which calls for the “Liberation of Palestine” as the first step of a global Jihad), that within twenty years, infidels would be shouting “We are Hamas” in the streets of European capitals like London, and exhibiting pictures of suicide terrorists on the walls of their museums, he would have replied, “Only Allah can make someone that stupid.”

Indeed. If I were a Jihadi, I would consider the current European scene a QED. Let’s hope I’d be wrong.

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  • ishlame-mirage

    Finally the pinch is being felt in Europe. All should know the evil evil behavior of Muslim. There is no soft or moderate muslims. The systematic destruction of other minorities in Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Iran etc., reflects the barbaric Prophet’s attitude. It is contradict to what they expect from their contry of migration as minorities. It is the appeasement that is taken as advantage by the muslims to raise voice for Jihad. Compare Muslims to a camel or a BIRD. Better cut these muslims to size or else they will do damage like camel entering, FIRST, the head into the tent, or like like Hitchcock’s great movie ” BIRDS ” where silently muslim birds assemble and attack.

  • Fortune


  • Marco

    some pretty virulent posts here… that anyone would desecrate a wounded or dead persons body is shocking and sad. Did you know in the 1800’s there were people called mooncussers that use false signal lights to get ships to crash so their cargo could be stolen? Poverty can make a person do some pretty awful things.

    Why didn’t Mohamed Merah kill himself if he wanted to protest Israli violence against children? Anyone that targets children deserves a special place in hell, IMO.

    I think there needs to be extensive dialog between the general citizenry and the Muslim youths, and it will NOT be an easy task. There are centuries of hate and distrust between Jews and Muslims, and those that favor the status quo will not go quietly into the night.

    Peace, not war, love, not violence…

    • the people who would wreck a ship just to get the jetsam were also known as chouans. and it’s a good example of a kind of calculus of minimal self-advantage at the cost of huge damage to others that modern civil society considers inhumane.

      as for your analysis of religion it’s got the same quality of contemptuous dismissal of the other that the religions you dismiss practice. congrats. you’ve managed to bring everything down to its lowest level.

      but i do agree with you that certain form of post-modern xnty (eg world council of churches) enable islam.

  • colin nicholas

    Whatever happened to ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’?
    That was excellent advice. But Muslims drag their superstitions behind them wherever they go, and pretty soon they expect the native population do as they do. And the trouble is Christianity enables Islam. They’re both in denial of the obvious truth of death. And both posit an invisible skyfella who watches over us. The only brain that uncritically accepts this nonsense is the child’s brain. And when the child becomes a man – god is already installed in his brain, usually for life. To anyone who missed the indoctrination – religion has nothing to do with the truth; it’s just a comforting fantasy for the fearful.

  • Islam is undefeatable! You cannot extinguish the Light of Almighty Allah! educate yourselves on Islam before it’s too late. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain. Step out of your comfort zone and ask yourself why is Islam always being demonized by the media. Why isn’t anything good being told about Islam? Do you honestly think you know all there is to Islam.? You’ll find your
    answers in Islam. The haters are mad because it is the fastest growing religion in the world. More women convert in Europe than men. Yet Islam oppresses women? Rather the opposite. Free yourself from the media and THINK for yourself.

    To be honest, people are just attracted to Islam because of the sincerity in its pillars of faith. We aren’t invading. They just invited us over hahahaks. “If we judge greatness by influence, he (Mohammed) was one of the giants of history. He undertook to raise the spiritual and moral level of a people harassed into barbarism by heat and foodless wastes and he succeeded more completely than any other reformer; seldom has any man so fully realized his dream. He accomplished his purpose through religion not only because he himself was religious, but because no other medium could have moved the Arabs of his time. He appealed to their imagination, fears and hopes and spoke in terms that they could understand. When he began, Arabia was a desert flotsam of idolatrous tribes but when he died it was a nation. He restrained fanaticism and superstition, but also used them. Upon Judaism, Zoroastrianism and his native creed, he built a religion simple, clear and strong, as well as a morality of ruthless courage and racial pride which, in a generation, marched to a hundred victories in a century to empire and remains to this day a virile force through half the world.”

    • mika

      You laugh now, Ahmed, but the secret sponsorship of Islam by Rome is now more and more widely known and understood. Rome uses its Jihadists as proxy to attack and genocide people that Rome considers “heretics” and adversaries to Romanism and its global imperial design. These people include Orthodox Christians (in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Russia, Turkey-Armenia, Kosovo, Germany, etc), Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Jews, Liberals, etc. This has been Rome’s long term agenda and in fact if it wasn’t for Rome’s conception of Islam and continued sponsorship of Islam, Islam would not exist.

      As I said, the secret is out now. It will not be long now before a critical mass of people become aware of this fact and conspiracy. ALL the evil that you subjected billions of people to, will be redirected at you. Enjoy!

    • ChristianDH

      The time has come for the world to shake off the chains that Islam is binding it with. The Islamist immigrants are not coming to our countries to enjoy our prosperity and freedom. Their xenophobic hatred of anything other than their own beliefs is not conducive to free countries. Islam’s resemblance to the Nazis is so striking, that it puts shivers down one’s spine. We should do everything in our power to stop and then reduce the spreading of this hateful ideology. Do not allow this cancer to grow, or greater hardship and destruction awaits us.

      If Muslims wish to continue their beliefs, they should be returned to the countries they emigrated from. Nobody, Muslims included, should be given free reign to instigate violence and hatred within our society. If we do nothing, we will end up resembling Syria, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, or Saudi Arabia. Stand for freedom or you will to Islam. Pass legislation to outlaw this ideology of war and Islamic supremacism.

    • YeahRight

      Mohammad preached taqiyya and so do you. Once anyone joins islam they do have something to lose….their freedom. You are a prisoner in your own religion. Please provide proof of your claims and please have a good read of your koran as it will open your eyes or maybe you are so brainwashed that you can’t see the filth that’s in it and that my friend is the truth.

    • Marco

      just as you honor Islam, I have no interest in being Muslim and will gladly defend my right to drink beer, have women vote and drive cars and have unmarried sex if I want. Maybe if the suicide bombers were getting laid they might be less murderous/suicidal. Have you actually read the laws in Saudi Arabia? Women have few rights and in other Muslim countries they have even fewer rights. That is called oppression.

      BTW, I have read the Quran (twice – the Pickthall translation), been to an Islamic country and my main complaint was that the call to prayer is shockingly loud. It would be so much more civil if they turned the amps down. I do not like being woken up at 5 AM…and…

      I just want to point out that Buddha and Jesus never had a sword and bow & arrows. They were men of peace, unlike the Prophet…

    • J

      Your allah is a pagan god who had four daughters. No wonder you have a moon and a star. In islam a woman needs four male witnesses to prove rape, have you not heard of DNA. Oh the west invented that like everything else. Muhammed is a pedophile. Question? How can you prey to mecca without having your back to mecca, the world is a sphere not a carpet. Why would allah chose a language which is in its infancy and today not many people understand the dialect? During Ramadan you must fast during the day, if I live above the article circle where there is months of light, will I not starve to death. allah, black stone seven times around the kaba etc all pre muslim. Oh seven times around fire in Hindu, pagan the same as islam. islam is nothing but heresy Christianity, it is retrograde. The bible says it will come back, enjoy it while you can if you wish. Israel is protected. YHWH is the one true GOD and not satan who you love. As far as islam being the fastest growing religion is just fanciful, loosing ground in Africa, conversions down. In Australia it is up as the country has had 45000 illegal arrivals, mostly muslim. Christians are in all countries in the world, islam is not. Christians still out populate the muslim world. No Christians have murdered in the name of JESUS. No islamophobe has murdered in the name of anything, but islam has murdered in the name of allah (satan). Jesus is the way and the truth. YHWH is always the same where as your god is called the greatest deceiver, looks like you are the one being deceived

    • ishlame-mirage

      You are a truthful Muslim. You follow the Qur’anic principle. It is that Muslims are not always bent on fair play in debates – the main thing is to win the discussion, not how they win it or what is right or wrong.
      Muslims have a private small theory saying that may be it is the tradition for al-Taqiyya (the lawful lie) , tawriya, a doctrine that allows lying in virtually all circumstances—including to fellow Muslims and by swearing to Allah—provided the liar is creative enough to articulate his deceit in a way that is true to him and Kitman (the lawful half-truth) at work – and not only tradition; when it comes to defending or forwarding Islam, it is a duty to use it if it is necessary.
      Mirage is not truth. Islam is a mirage. A maya. A satanic spell. God is Great. Greater than Allah.

  • ZbaH

    You can’t win or lose the hearts and minds of those with neither.

  • art frank

    It’s only going to get worse. muslims reproduce like rats. Before you know it the savages will become a majority in France. Then the fun begins.

  • Al47

    The French have a time bomb in throw hands. All European countries with large Muslim populations will have problems with their growing Muslim populations.

    • this is the kind of remark that proves to people who don’t want to give me a platform that they’re right. once you start talking about gangs and predatory behavior it sets the reptile brain to working. we have to learn how to think about this stuff without turning into the people we study and fight.

      just on the subject of reproducing like rats, a) muslim birthrates have dropped preciptiously recently (any explanations?), and b) any living population thrives when it’s in a food rich environment. cut off the lethal journalism and the population of jihadis will shrivel.

      • kaz

        falling muslim birthrates? from astronomical to very high? when the issue is birthrates of muslims, vampires, ticks, roundworms, liver flukes, flies, mosquitoes, Yersinia pestis, staphylococcus aureus, and tse-tse fly, any birthrate is too high. just how many amoral monsters with a superiority complex, and a religion that tells them to rape and kill, does a society need? any muslims is too many.

      • Eric R.

        Mr. Landes:

        Maybe you feel obliged to attack every posting that even smacks of Islamophobia, lest your leftist, Israel-hating colleagues at BU try to use it as an excuse to get rid of you. Bottom line, Mr. Landes is that we Jews have every right to be disgusted with both Muslims and the Euronazi scum that run and populate the continent – and every right to express that disgust.

        The fact is that while Islamic birthrates in Europe have declined, they still markedly outpace those of native Europeans. All this means is that France will become North Algeria a little later, but North Algeria it will be.

        • your analysis was already laid out (now over 10 years ago) points to a fourfold problem: high muslim birth rates and high immigration vs. low european birth rates and high emigration. unquestionably there’s a demographic dynamic that spells real problems for europe in the future. but whether muslims as a whole tip to islamism and jihad is another matter. as always in revolutionary movements, the people who are supposedly the “beneficiaries” are often its first victims.

          that’s why i focus on honor-shame dynamics in analyzing these matters, because, along with physical intimidation, it’s one of the major mechanisms of conformity. breaking that dynamic produced democracies in the first place, and it may be the only way to save european democracies.

          the upshot of all this is that it’s not muslims per se who are the problem.

          indeed, if you want to aim your hostility at any specific target, i’d go after the westerners who act as (often unconscious) agents of jihadi cognitive warfare: the lethal journalists, the apologists, the “Human Rights” NGOs who promote Islamists as moderates, the “solidarity” folk who feed the paranoid sense of grievance of the jihadis (esp in the Israeli conflict).

          most muslims are present and future sacrificial victims of this jihad which the west is inexcusably empowering.

          i recommend Paul Marshall and Nina Shea, *Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide*


  • Dov

    First word should read Can

  • Dov

    an you tell me the difference between this story, in which mobs of Moslems attacked people without justification and the other, in which a person attacked an accused sex offender? Taking the law into ones own hand is wrong, no matter who it is that is doing it.

    • i don’t understand. are you comparing attacking a sex offender (esp if he’s at work) with looting dead bodies and preventing people from coming to the aid of the other wounded? this sounds a lot like the classic meme from moral relativism… “both sides…”

  • Michael Pertz

    Gee sounds just like the US response and that of US Jewry, again Americans choose to focus on and demonise Europe to appease his own concience about America’s own failings in its policies on home grown jihadis (Boston, etc) and the Obama Administration’s support for Islamists abroad and treatement of Israel as its forign policy sacrificial lamb!

    • i’m plenty tough on usa (come to my blog). this article happens to be about france. so a) i’m not picking on france, and b) i’m criticizing them not demonizing. if you think that my criticism of france is “demonizing” (and presumably that’s not “a good thing”), then you must find virtually all criticism of israel demonizing. but i’m guessing that’s not the case.

      so could you please tell me what you mean by demonizing (definition that can be applied to all criticism). when does criticism go over the line?