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France’s Death Spiral

by Guy Millière, Gatestone Institute:

In 1990, the “Gayssot law” was passed, stipulating that “any discrimination based on ethnicity, nation, race or religion is prohibited”. Since then, it has been used to criminalize any criticism of Arab and African delinquency, any question on immigration from the Muslim world, any negative analysis of Islam. Many writers have been fined and most “politically incorrect” books on those topics have disappeared from bookshops.

The French government asked the media to obey the “Gayssot law.” It also asked that history textbooks be rewritten to include chapters on the crimes committed by the West against Muslims, and on the “essential contribution” of Islam to humanity. All history textbooks are “Islamically correct.”

In hospitals, Muslims are increasingly asking to be treated only by Muslim doctors, and refusing to let their wives be treated by male doctors.

February 2, 2017: A “no-go zone” in the eastern suburbs of Paris. Police on patrol hear screams. They decide to check. While there, a young man insults them. They decide to arrest him. He hits them. A fight starts. He accuses a policeman of having raped him with a police baton. A police investigation quickly establishes that the young man was not raped. But it is too late; a toxic process has begun.

Without waiting for any further evidence, the French Interior Minister says that the police officers have “behaved badly.” He adds that “police misconduct must be condemned”. French President François Hollande goes to the hospital to give his support to the young man. The president says he has conducted himself in a “dignified and responsible manner.” The next day, a demonstration against the police is cobbled together. The demonstration turns into a riot.

Riots continue for more than two weeks. They affect more than twenty cities throughout France. They spread to the heart of Paris. Dozens of cars are torched. Shops and restaurants are looted. Official buildings and police stations are attacked.

The police are ordered not to intervene. They do what they are told to do. Few arrests take place.

Calm is slowly returning, but the riots can easily start again. France is a country at the mercy of large-scale uprisings. They can explode anytime, anyplace. French leaders know it, and find refuge in cowardice.

What is happening is the result of a corrosive development initiated five decades ago. In the 1960s, after the war in Algeria, President Charles de Gaulle directed the country toward closer relations with Arab and Muslim states.

Migratory flows of “guest workers” from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, which had started a few years earlier, sharply increased. Immigrants were not encouraged to integrate. Everyone assumed they would return home at the end of their employment contracts. They were settled in the outskirts of big cities. The economy was dynamic, with strong job creation. It seemed there would be no problems.

Twenty years later, serious difficulties became obvious. The immigrants now numbered millions. People from sub-Saharan Africa joined those coming from Arab nations. Neighborhoods made up of just Arabs and Africans were formed. The economy had slowed down and mass unemployment settled in. But the jobless immigrants did not go back home, instead relying on social benefits. Integration still did not exist. Although many of these new arrivals had become French citizens, they often sounded resentful of France and the West. Political agitators started teaching them to detest Western civilization. Violent gangs of young Arabs and Africans began to form. Clashes with police were common. Often, when a gang member was wounded, political agitators would help to incite more violence.

The situation grew difficult to control. But nothing was done to fix it; quite the opposite.

In 1984, a movement called SOS Racisme was created by Trotskyist militants, and began to define any criticism of immigration as “racist”. Major leftist parties supported SOS Racism. They seem to have thought that by accusing their political opponents of racism, they could attract the votes of “new citizens.” The presence of Islamist agitators, alongside agitators in Arab and African neighborhoods, plus the emergence of anti-Western Islamic discourse, alarmed many observers. SOS Racisme immediately designated those who spoke of Islamic danger as “Islamophobic racists.”

In 1990, a law drafted by a Communist lawmaker, Jean-Claude Gayssot, was passed. It stipulated that “any discrimination based on ethnicity, nation, race or religion is prohibited.” Since then, this law has been used to criminalize any criticism of Arab and African delinquency, any question on immigration from the Muslim world, any negative analysis of Islam. Many writers have been fined, and most “politically incorrect” books on those topics have disappeared from bookshops.

The French government asked the media to obey the “Gayssot law.” It also asked that history textbooks be rewritten to include chapters on the crimes committed by the West against Muslims, and on the “essential contribution” of Islam to humanity.

In 2002, the situation in the country became dramatic

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