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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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