by Guy Millière  •  July 11, 2023

  • The riots grew bigger. Schools and theaters were destroyed…. churches were burned to the ground; graffiti in red paint on a church in Marseilles declared: “Mohammed was the last prophet”. Bank branches were ransacked and ATMs opened with chainsaws. Slogans were shouted: “death to the police”, “death to France”, “death to the Jews!”
  • “We are Muslims,” one angry protester shouted, “if the police kill us we have the right to kill; it is written in the Koran!”
  • Since the 1970s, France has welcomed an ever-increasing number of immigrants from the Muslim world… Only a tiny minority have assimilated into French society. The others live as they lived in their countries of origin. — Sorbonne University Professor Bernard Rougier, author of the book Les territoires conquis de l’islamisme (“The Conquered Territories of Islamism”).
  • Radical imams came from the Muslim world and allege that France is guilty of having colonized their countries, that Muslims should continue to live according to the law of Islam and that, in the imams’ view, France should pay for its crimes. Many politicians have told the newcomers that France is racist and had exploited them.
  • Criminal gangs formed and began ruling these neighborhoods. Radical imams justified the gangs’ criminal activities by claiming that the French must pay for what they did in the Muslim world. French political leaders closed their eyes. Meanwhile, these Muslim neighborhoods have grown and crime from them increased.
  • During the riots of 2005, then President Jacques Chirac asked imams to restore calm and promised to give even more money to Muslim neighborhoods. The police were ordered not to intervene in them at all; they fell entirely under the control of gangs and imams. It was then that these neighborhoods effectively became lawless “no-go zones” (zones urbaines sensibles), of which there are 750.
  • President Emmanuel Macron suggested that creating a “French Islam,” supposedly quite different from Islam in the rest of the world, would be the solution, but he quickly gave up on that plan. He then said he wanted to fight against what he called “Islamic separatism” (the no-go zones, neighborhoods where Muslims live separately from the rest of the population). He, too, has done nothing.
  • Macron seems to imagine that he has found explanations for these problems: Parents of rioters, he said, do not exercise their parental authority, and video games poison the minds of young people. His comments seemed completely disconnected from reality…
  • “The violence is increasing day by day… those who run our country must imperatively find the courage necessary to eradicate the dangers.” — Open letter by 20 retired French army generals to the French government and Macron, April 26, 2023.

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