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The Grave Crisis Facing France

If you haven’t yet read my TAC colleague Scott McConnell’s excellent primer on the political and cultural climate in France on the eve of its election, [1] please do. As Scott puts it:

Think what you will about America’s contentious identity politics; compared with France, the United States remains Mayberry, TV’s symbol of small-town innocence. We may have Black Lives Matter, massive resistance to a president seeking to enforce the country’s existing immigration laws, and urban riots. But in France the riots are bigger and last far longer. It has hundreds of thousands of people possessing French citizenship but evincing no discernible national loyalty. And there are few geographic barriers between itself and the sources of inundating immigration. No one can forecast with confidence the American future—whether it be a more or less successful assimilation of large streams of new immigrants or a transformed country where ethnic division is a norm underpinning every political transaction. But whatever the fate of Western civilization—whether it be a renaissance, or, as Pat Buchanan has predicted, its death—that fate will be revealed in Paris before New York or Chicago.

Note this passage especially:

Last year Michel Gurfinkiel weighed conflicting estimates (between three and six million) of the number of French Muslims in the mid-1990s and contrasted them with present estimates. He concluded that the current figure is roughly six million, or 9 percent of the population, and that it is growing at a much faster rate than the French population as a whole. As early as 2010, fully 20 percent of French under 24 were described as Muslim. A more recent poll in the liberal French weekly L’Obs reported that more than a quarter of French youth described themselves as Muslim.

Because the government does not publish statistics about race, some curious researchers have looked at the number of newborn babies screened for markers for sickle-cell anemia, a test given if both parents are of African, North African, or Sicilian origin. The figure has risen from 25 percent in 2005 to 39 percent in 2015. In the Greater Paris region it has risen from 54 percent to 73 percent. One understands why Houellebecq’s right-wing professor says he wants the inevitable civil war to come “as soon as possible.”

This article from the NYT [2] touches on the impossibility of the French police monitoring every French person on its radicalism watch list:

Jean-Charles Brisard, the chairman of the French Center for the Analysis of Terrorism in Paris, called the idea “absurd” and said France could not jettison civil liberties.

He added that putting everyone on the S List under surveillance was impossible, because there are more than 10,000 names and fewer than 5,000 agents. It takes 20 agents per suspect for 24-hour surveillance, he said, meaning France could perform round-the-clock surveillance of only a small fraction of those suspected of being radicalized.

“My profound conviction is that unfortunately we need to get used to living with this new threat,” Mr. Brisard said. “It’s permanent, it’s diffuse and it can erupt at any moment.”

You begin to see why ordinary French people speculate about a coming civil war within France.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail: [3]

In the wake of the shooting Le Pen called for foreign terror suspects to be expelled immediately and said it was a ‘ceaseless and merciless war’ against France which required ‘a presidency which acts and protects us’.

The killer of the Champs-Elysées was French-born, but Le Pen surely understands that expelling French citizens is not possible. But if France can expel those radicals without a legal right to remain in the country, it should, whether or not they have been convicted of a crime.

Even if that radical step were to happen, it would only put a dent in the problem. The C-E killer was, as I said, French-born, but he was not on the S List (the government’s terrorism watch list), even though he had served a prison term for trying to murder police officers: [4]

The attacker, a 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi, was known to French security services. Media reported he had served nearly 15 years in prison after being convicted of three attempted murders, two against police officers, and was released on parole in 2015.

The attacker was shot dead by police in the van while trying to flee the scene on foot. A statement from the Isis propaganda agency, Amaq, said the attack was carried out by an “Islamic State fighter”.

… A house in the eastern suburb of Chelles, believed to be Cheurfi’s family home, was being searched on Friday. Le Parisien newspaper said the address matched that of the owner of the car used in the attack.

Police found a pump-action shotgun, knives and a Qur’an in the vehicle, while a handwritten note praising Isis was later recovered near the dead attacker, police sources told local media.

They said Cheurfi was arrested in February on suspicion of plotting to kill police officers but released because of lack of evidence. He was reportedly not, however, on France’s “Fiche-S”, the list of people suspected of being a threat to national security.

Here’s a recent NYT Magazine piece on how Gilles Kepel, France’s leading scholar of Islamic radicalism, found himself on a terrorism hit list. [5]Excerpts:

The threats came at an unusual turn in Kepel’s career. He has long been a prominent figure in the French intellectual world, a scholar whose face — a distinctive, narrow-eyed mask of polished sobriety — is often seen on TV news shows. But recently he has assumed a far more combative stance. Kepel has argued that much of France’s left-leaning intelligentsia fails to understand the nature of the threat the country faces — not just from foreign terrorists but also from the Islamist provocateurs in its exurban ghettos, the banlieues. Unlike the Islam-bashing polemicists who haunt French opinion pages, Kepel brings a lifetime of scholarship to this argument. He has always been careful to distinguish mainstream Islam from the hard-line Islamist ideologues of the banlieues, who have no real equivalent in the United States. He has long been a man of the left; his wife’s family is from North Africa, and he has no sympathy for the xenophobia of the right-wing National Front. But he believes that radical Islamists are trying to shred France’s social fabric and foster a civil war, and that many leftists are unwittingly playing into their hands. This view has made him a target for almost everyone.

More:

One of the most common critiques of Kepel is that his relentless focus on Islam casts a shadow of suspicion onto all French Muslims. As [Olivier] Roy put it to me, “If you say it’s a religious issue, then the extremists are seen as the avant-garde of the whole Muslim population.” Jean-Pierre Filiu, another prominent French scholar of the Islamic world, pointed out that several thousand Muslims marched for peace in Mantes-la-Jolie after the Abballa murders, many of them bearing pictures of the murdered couple and posters denouncing terrorism, and laid wreaths on the steps of the local Police Headquarters. There was no one there to greet them, and not much news coverage. “The jihadis want to blur the lines, but the lines should be clear,” Filiu told me. “It’s not the Salafis who are against us, and not the Muslims. It’s the jihadis.”

These are generous sentiments, and no doubt many French Muslims appreciate them. Kepel would say they seem less aimed at truth than tact, the idea that hurting Muslim feelings will poison the atmosphere further. At its extreme, this view risks its own form of condescension: Be nice to Muslims or they will turn into suicide bombers.

Kepel has argued in his recent books that the French Muslim community, once guided by the paternalist figures from the old country known as darons, is now increasingly under the sway of younger and far more confrontational Islamists. These ideologists, Kepel believes, have fostered a rupture with French values that nourishes the ISIS narrative. Yet some French intellectuals naïvely disregard or even embrace these figures in the hopes of “isolating the radicals.” In other words, Kepel turns the accusation of Filiu and Roy — that his own emphasis on Islam is unwittingly doing the work of ISIS — against them. Kepel likes to cite ISIS propaganda urging its followers in Europe to hide behind the language of victimhood, including one document shared among ISIS sympathizers titled “How to Survive in the West,” which includes the following lines: “A real war is heating up in the heart of Europe. … The leaders of disbelief repeatedly lie in the media and say that we Muslims are all terrorists, while we denied it and wanted to be peaceful citizens. But they have cornered us and forced us into becoming radicalized.”

And:

With all this attention focused on them, many jihadis are now adapting, and have become far better at disguising their beliefs. Farhad Khosrokhavar, a sociologist who has spent many years researching Muslims in the French prison system, told me it has become almost impossible to get honest testimony out of the inmates. Many of them shave their beards, Khosrokhavar said, and adopt a mild demeanor, and sometimes they even stop praying and fasting during Ramadan, all so as to deceive the authorities and, presumably, get out of prison faster.

… Just before we left, I asked the North African [Muslim prisoner] whether he expected the recent wave of terrorist attacks in France to continue. This was just after the arrest of several terrorist cells, and two months before a machete-wielding jihadist attacked guards near the Louvre. He gave me a somber look. “This is just the beginning,” he said.

Read the whole thing. [5] The author talks to French Muslims who actually agree with Kepel, and say that the real problem is the spread of Gulf-sponsored Salafism among French Muslims.

Poor France. Like Scott McConnell said, France is in the vanguard of issues that will eventually confront most Western nations.

94 Comments (Open | Close)

94 Comments To "The Grave Crisis Facing France"

#1 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 22, 2017 @ 10:21 am

It’s not clear to me what the goals of the terrorists are, or what their end game is. They don’t like anti Muslim cartoons and attack Charlie Hebdo. While that may stop the cartoons, it provokes a counter reaction. Driving a truck into a crowd may kill a dozen people and make headlines, but a million more people may vote for Marine Le Pen. Shoot a police officers and now even more do so. If that’s the goal it seems like a pretty crazy one.

I think you’re thinking of these guys in terms of having a defined, concrete political goal and ideology. I think of them more like that Surrealist artist (they are French citizens after all) who said something to the effect that murder was an artistic act. They’re not doing this stuff because they want to influence the French election, they’re doing it because striking a blow against the unbelievers is a good thing in itself. (And maybe they want to hasten the apocalypse and the subsequent age of bliss, who knows.)

#2 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 22, 2017 @ 10:33 am

That’s a fair question concerning where such families would be sent, Mr. Dreher: presumably their country of origin, or some other Muslim nation (or perhaps some region of France, if the former areas not unnaturally refused to take them).

I don’t know how the breakdown of political support for the FN looks geographically, but barring simply paying them to migrate to Algeria on a purely voluntary basis, the last suggestion here seems the most realistic. We need to bear in mind that the Ethnonationalist / Multiculturalist divide in Europe (which at this point seems like the biggest dividing line in politics) is really a geographic division. In Austria last year, the Green-liberal candidate won the election by winning Vienna and losing everywhere else: in the UK, London votes massively different than the rest of the country; in Germany opinion in the west is markedly different from the east. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Paris/Marseille and ‘the provinces’ eventually are forced to end up going their separate ways, largely over issues like this.

#3 Comment By Traveler On April 22, 2017 @ 11:13 am

Geez, I read some of these comments and just have to shake my head. I think a great many commenters here are totally misinformed as to what or who France is and cling to some wacky romantic notions of what France ought to be in their eyes to the exclusion of what France actually is.

First of all, France per se is more than what the French refer to as the “Hexagon”. I think a lot of North Americans either forget this or are woefully ignorant of such. France still possesses a number of territories world-wide. (Heck, the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon are in our very backyard.) I think that this is important to note when thinking about France’s history, which brings me to my second point: the different iterations of the French Republic.

Unlike the USA’s experience of a fairly consistent republic over time (at the very least the USA has in theory), the French Republic is at present in its fifth iteration. To this end, these iterations have had different impacts on the various religious and political realities that exist in present-day France. This brings me to my third point: France’s declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen.

Just a quick glance at Wikipedia already sets out the reality here in terms of French citizen rights:

“France is a country where freedom of religion and freedom of thought are guaranteed by virtue of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The Republic is based on the principle of laïcité (or “freedom of conscience”) enforced by the 1880s Jules Ferry laws and the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State.”

Therefore, you cannot deport a French citizen to some country that is not their own. You can no more do this in France than you can in most other nations in the world. (Under international law, no person can be nationless either, so it’s not like people can be thrown around like some hot potato.) Could you imagine any American saying the same of its own citizens?! Why would one think that it’s not okay for Americans to do this but okay for the French? That’s illogical if not entirely ridiculous thinking.

With respect to religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are also guaranteed for French citizens. France, relative to the USA, has only recently made it the law of the land to separate Church from State. I shake my head at commenters here who would rather see this notion, so fundamental to the USA’s very foundation as a nation, be done away with in France. This too seems very illogical to me, if not, again, entirely ridiculous thinking.

I see a lot of mistakes in reading the French situation today by North Americans who have a, well, very North American view and experience of what Republicanism is and how it ought to be. Most interpretations are made through some lens that ignores the realities of what France is as a nation.

#4 Comment By JonF On April 22, 2017 @ 12:12 pm

Re: By what legal grounds were the several hundred “US citizens” deported to Mexico in the 50’s by “Operation Wetback” under President Eisenhower?

As the name suggests “Operation Wetback” deported illegal aliens. The net was cast too wide and some citizens were swept up in it– a shameful thing. Unless stripped of their naturalized citizenship by judicial (not legislative or executive) action they had every right to return, and to sue for damages.
And as others note above a person with birthright citizenship cannot be stripped of it unless he has also taken citizenship with a foreign nation, and no one can be deported to a foreign nation unless that nation agrees to accept him. The entire apparatus of international law militates against anyone ever becoming a person without a claim to citizenship in some nation.

#5 Comment By Mark VA On April 22, 2017 @ 12:40 pm

Even a casual acquaintance with European history (East and West) should clarify that many European lands have been, and remain, contested areas between the Muslim, Christian, and now Secularist faiths (France is but one such place). Approximately the same can be said of the history of parts of North Africa and the Middle East. There have been pauses and accelerations in this contest – it seems today we are “accelerating” along this trajectory again;

In my view, the future of France is cloudy, and any such speculation is both risky and tempting:

(a) Perhaps both sides (the Secularist and Muslim) will agree to resolve the issue peacefully, say along the lines of the Warsaw Confederation of 1573? This would require the French Muslims to contain belligerent influences;

(b) Perhaps increasing numbers of the French will convert to Islam, or the allure of militant Islam will fade – in either case, the present contest will be finished;

(c) Perhaps the country will be physically partitioned, as regularly happens in Europe (Marseillestan?);

(d) Perhaps the Great Powers will impose a solution they think is best (for them and maybe for France)?;

(e) Perhaps the status quo will continue, and the French, like the English, will “muddle through”?

(f) Perhaps the Secularist French will come back to the Church, and invite their Muslim neighbors in as well?

The speculation is endless. However, the mechanisms of state change and demise constitute an area of historical scholarship. The book “Vanished Kingdoms” by Norman Davies brings this scholarship to us, the public. The last chapter, “How States Die” lists five such mechanisms.

#6 Comment By Stefan On April 22, 2017 @ 12:43 pm

“The Republic is based on the principle of laïcité (or “freedom of conscience”)”

Really? Since when does laïcité mean “freedom of conscience”? Laïcité is one of those vague terms that official France associates with itself, and which it uses to pretend that it has some unique sensibility regarding state-church separation issues that render the application of foreign paradigms or criticism by foreigners inappropriate. (Much like the Japanese claim that there exists a taste known as “umami”. Might be true, but the primary function of the claim is to establish and normalize ethno-cultural difference.) So “laïcité” is really nothing other than a placeholder notion for “the thing that supposedly requires the policy approach to religion advocated by the speaker, especially if he or she if a French elite from a grande école or a philosopher”. Like “freedum” in the U.S. Or like “facism” in Russian-speaking countries, but in reverse: facism is “whatever denies the relevance of the Russian perspective on world affairs”.

#7 Comment By DavidinMN On April 22, 2017 @ 12:44 pm

There are no simple solutions. France will go through a similar struggle to integrate their Muslim citizens that we are still going through with our Black fellow citizens. We also had to deal with a few Black citizens who became militant.

The struggle is already very similar. Arab Muslims demand an end to the discrimination in education, housing and employment that is rife. Non-Muslims deny that any exists but call for the banning, deportation or internment of all Muslims just the same. Many French non-Muslims side with the Muslims and blame it all on racism and imperialism. A few Muslims commit acts of terror. All other Muslims get blamed for it. Governments will enact laws to end discrimination that will be imperfect and cause backlash. And on and on it will go.

No civil war. No Final Solutions. It should be a mostly peaceful struggle for people to learn how to live together in peace. I don’t see any alternative.

#8 Comment By John Dixon On April 22, 2017 @ 12:55 pm

[NFR: What you say repulses me, and I hope to God it doesn’t happen. I hope there are enough good people in France, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to keep this from happening. But there does seem to be a terrible logic at work here. — RD]

Who today remembers the expulsion of the Moriscos?
Congratulations on your profound cultural and epistemological innocence at this very late stage.

#9 Comment By Donald On April 22, 2017 @ 1:35 pm

I want to expand on my previous post with a couple of anecdotes about NYC a few decades back. My future wife saw an attempted shooting on her subway stop. Started as an argument, turned into a fistfight, then someone pulled a gun, the other guy fled and the gunman chased after him shooting as people scattered. Another friend of mine in his affluent neighborhood was robbed at gunpoint. I saw a mugging myself. One guy snatched something and went off running. NYC was a low level war zone then. Let me know when violence in France rises to somewhere near what it was in NYC around 1989.

#10 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 22, 2017 @ 1:40 pm

Therefore, you cannot deport a French citizen to some country that is not their own. You can no more do this in France than you can in most other nations in the world. (Under international law, no person can be nationless either, so it’s not like people can be thrown around like some hot potato.) Could you imagine any American saying the same of its own citizens?! Why would one think that it’s not okay for Americans to do this but okay for the French? That’s illogical if not entirely ridiculous thinking.

As pointed out above, it’s happened before. The Warsaw Pact countries expelled Germans after WWII, and Arab countries expelled Jews after the formation of Israel. I certainly *hope* it doesn’t come to that, and I doubt it will any time in the near future, but it’s not totally inconceivable that down the road, if the French feel that they’re in the last extremity, they will throw liberal values like freedom of religion and racial equality out the window.

Could you imagine any American saying the same of its own citizens?! Why would one think that it’s not okay for Americans to do this but okay for the French? That’s illogical if not entirely ridiculous thinking.

It’s not in principle illogical: what’s right for America given our own history, culture and demography will not necessarily be right for other countries. France isn’t an “ethnic homeland” sort of country in the same way that Poland or Greece is, it bears (as you correctly note) more similarity to a liberal “civic” nation state like America. It’s not *totally* analogous to America either though, because (unlike in America) there was a France before liberalism and there might be one after liberalism too.

#11 Comment By Ken’ichi On April 22, 2017 @ 4:11 pm

>>Hector_St_Clare

My political statistician friend likes to say, glumly, that if we continue down the increasing diversity / mass immigration route, the future of many western countries is going to resemble Malaysia, where Malays vote for the Malay party, Chinese vote for the Chinese party and Indians vote for the Indian party… he thinks that in diverse societies most voting is going to boil down to ethnic tribalism.

Your friend is in good company.

Why should I be against democracy? The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people’s position. In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I’d run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them.

—Lee Kuan Yew, in a [6] with Der Spiegel.

#12 Comment By Reactionary Intellectual On April 22, 2017 @ 5:39 pm

Here’s how I think the election will go (shorthand: bad for France, and advertised in advance by Michel Houellebecq): [7]

#13 Comment By Land of Lincoln On April 22, 2017 @ 9:09 pm

“Therefore, you cannot deport a French citizen to some country that is not their own. You can no more do this in France than you can in most other nations in the world. (Under international law, no person can be nationless either, so it’s not like people can be thrown around like some hot potato.) Could you imagine any American saying the same of its own citizens?! “

You don’t have to imagine it.

As a young politician in Illinois before the Civil War, Lincoln often voiced his belief that blacks and whites would live best if they lived separately. It was a belief he shared with the two American statesmen he revered most: Thomas Jefferson, an early advocate of gradual, voluntary emigration of blacks; and Henry Clay, a leader of the Whig party during the 1830s and 1840s and a founder of the American Colonization Society. The society, founded in 1816, sought to remove black Americans voluntarily to Africa. In 1821 the society purchased land in northwest Africa and set up the colony of Liberia, which remained a U.S. colony until it gained independence in 1846. The colonization movement foundered in the late 1840s but was resuscitated in the early 1850s as the American Colonization Society intensified its recruitment of black emigrants. [5]

Lincoln first proclaimed an interest in colonization during his eulogy for Henry Clay in 1852, when he admitted his allegiance to the esteemed Kentuckian’s dual creed of gradual emancipation coupled with colonization. If slavery could be eliminated and the slaves returned to “their long-lost fatherland,” claimed Lincoln, “it will indeed be a glorious consummation.” Impressed by Lincoln’s commitment to colonization, the members of the Illinois Colonization Society repeatedly asked him to speak at their meetings, and he obliged them in 1853 and again in 1855.

#14 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 22, 2017 @ 9:39 pm

Hector is on to something… the problem we have in the world today should properly be called Islamic Surrealism.

#15 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 22, 2017 @ 11:01 pm

Siarlys,

I looked it up BTW. The guy’s name was Andre Breton (I have no clue who he is outside of that memorable quote), and the quote was:

“The purest surrealist act is walking into a crowd with a loaded gun and firing into it randomly”.

This doesn’t improve the already dim view I had of postmodernist artistic trends, but it does indicate that ISIS and its imitators are at least as much a product of the twentieth and I guess twenty first centuries as they are of the seventh. And maybe its French iterations partake of some of the worst aspects of French culture as much as they do the worst aspects of Moroccan.

#16 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 22, 2017 @ 11:08 pm

It was a belief he shared with the two American statesmen he revered most: Thomas Jefferson, an early advocate of gradual, voluntary emigration of blacks; and Henry Clay, a leader of the Whig party during the 1830s and 1840s and a founder of the American Colonization Society. The society, founded in 1816, sought to remove black Americans voluntarily to Africa. In 1821 the society purchased land in northwest Africa and set up the colony of Liberia, which remained a U.S. colony until it gained independence in 1846.

Of course, as Malcolm X would have said, one of the reasons you could tell this was an oppressive scheme is because it relegated Black people to a country of their own in Africa. Black people wanted to live in North America. To be clear I do not think America, in particular, ought to to follow the ethnic homeland model(Europe is a different story). But if I did, like Mr. X, the fair solution would be to divide America so that different ethnic groups should each get their slice of the pie. Cf his famous quote about the difference between separation and segregation.

Incidentally, if this was done in France there would be something to be said for it on ‘fairness’ grounds: Muslims and liberals would end up with the richest bits of France (around Paris), and the more ethnically conscious French people would be stuck with the poorer bits. I suspect that they’d be happy with that trade, personally.

#17 Comment By Mary On April 22, 2017 @ 11:44 pm

So having solved its “Jewish problem” Europe now has a Muslim Problem?

You ask “Can Islam co-exist with France? If not, then what?” But the obvious answer to that question is “Either France must cease to exist or Muslims in France must cease to exist.” And that is Nazi logic, the kind that led inevitably to “the final solution.” To propose that north African Muslims can’t co-exist with France is to propose ethnic cleansing. Literally.

“Too many babies being born to North African parents? War would be preferable.” That’s literally an argument you make.

This. Is. Nazi-ism.

#18 Comment By Raskolnik On April 23, 2017 @ 12:00 am

Incidentally, if this was done in France there would be something to be said for it on ‘fairness’ grounds: Muslims and liberals would end up with the richest bits of France (around Paris), and the more ethnically conscious French people would be stuck with the poorer bits. I suspect that they’d be happy with that trade, personally.

You place a lot of faith in the ability of a Muslim and liberal-dominated Île-de-France to remain rich. And a similar amount of faith in its ability to have peaceful relations with its French neighboring state, when it inevitably collapses.

#19 Comment By Tristan Sahara On April 23, 2017 @ 12:01 am

“This doesn’t improve the already dim view I had of postmodernist artistic trends, but it does indicate that ISIS and its imitators are at least as much a product of the twentieth and I guess twenty first centuries as they are of the seventh. “

ISIS as Dada for Islamists?

[8]

Note that the words “decapitation” and “rape” do not appear …

#20 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On April 23, 2017 @ 7:07 am

@Hector_St_Clare, thanks for the insight, it is extremely hard for me to wrap my mind around that.

#21 Comment By JonF On April 23, 2017 @ 7:18 am

Re: You don’t have to imagine it.

Land of Lincoln,
There’s a crucial difference though: slaves were not citizens. Per Dred Scott they were not even legal persons. And it’as wroth noting that by the time he became president Lincoln rejected the colonization scheme.

#22 Comment By JonF On April 23, 2017 @ 7:20 am

Re: Who today remembers the expulsion of the Moriscos?

Most well educated people. It’s been mentioned here by multiple people.

#23 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On April 23, 2017 @ 11:43 am

Ethnic cleansing on a vast scale has been ongoing in Islamic countries for many years.

Pakistan used to be 22% non-Muslim in 1947. The biggest city, Karachi, was majority-Hindu. After decades of genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced conversions, Pakistan is now 1% non-Muslim, and the remaining non-Muslims live like whipped dogs, terrified to even speak out against their persecution.

Bangladesh used to be 33% Hindu and Buddhist in 1947. Today, those numbers are down to 7% of the population. A prominent Muslim Bangladeshi economist predicted recently that in a few more years, Islam’s final solution to its kaffir problem will be completed. According to his figures, 11.3 million Hindus have fled Bangladesh to India because of persecution and discrimination.

[9]

However, no one cares about this vast tragedy. My fellow Hindus got used to living like whipped dogs as dhimmis during the 1000 years of Islamic rule, so we do not expect anything better from Muslims. Since the people being persecuted are not white, the West really does not care – on the contrary, the Nixon administration helped Pakistan even as the Pakistani army murdered 3 million people, mostly Hindus, in 1971 in what in now Bangladesh.

The only discussion about these vast atrocities that I see in the West is about why Islam cannot be blamed for them (proof: the AlMohad and AlCapone caliphates in 1000 AD were tolerant), and whether the mass murder of kaffirs in the name of Islam by Muslims screaming “Allah hu Akbar” is an example of Surrealism or Impressionism.

There is a famous Art Spiegelman cartoon that shows a line of Jews being led to the gas chamber, and one Jew is laughing uproariously and explains to another one “What is funny about this is that none of this is really happening.”

It needs to be updated to reflect the surreal world we live in.

#24 Comment By roberto On April 23, 2017 @ 1:06 pm

“It’s not clear to me what the goals of the terrorists are, or what their end game is.”

Their goal n. 1 is civil war. If State does not protect its citizens, first or later someone will organize and do it by himself. This way, polarization and radicalization wull be 100%.
Their goal n. 2 is showing that the State is weak, while they are strong and cruel. I.e., everybody in Muslim enclaves will be hegemonized by jihadists, byy consensus or fear
Their goal n. 3 is partition of the national soil. If the demographic trend is not stopped, first or later there will be too many millions of Muslims, everyone of which will be able to vote for a new confessional party. Then, there will be two alternatives: Muslim party in government area, in coalition with some other party (leftist, multicultural) or partition of national soil.
Not bad, eh? They’re not so silly, those jihadis.

#25 Comment By On To The Elysee! On April 23, 2017 @ 2:52 pm

Viva Marine!

#26 Comment By JonF On April 23, 2017 @ 3:10 pm

Re: ….the mass murder of kaffirs

There were no such atrocities beyond what is (grievously) usual and customary in warfare, which as General Sherman remind us is “all the devils could wish for”. and there were similar such massacres and horrors committed when, say, Edwards III was seeking the French throne, or the Hapsburgs were trying to put the Protestant genie back in the bottle, or the king of Poland sought to make Russia a puppet state shot-gun wed to the Pope’s religion.
And as far as India goes, if you look at its history there is no shortage of atrocities and horrors committed by homegrown rajas, and long before anyone ever hard of Mohammed.
These are the just common sins of mankind. It is right we recoil from them. But adopting a blood feud attitude about them is not helpful, and would leave the world void of humanity as we are all the heirs of carnage.

#27 Comment By next things On April 23, 2017 @ 3:33 pm

Watching the post first-round commentary, it looks like the entire corrupt, discredited French Establishment is rallying behind Macron. I wonder how he feels about that?

It’s shaping up somewhat like the Clinton-Trump contest here. Significant differences of course. Macron is too young to personify corruption and failure as Clinton did, but if accepts the Conservative and Socialist endorsements he’s won’t smell too sweet.

And Le Pen is not Trump. She’s far more knowledgeable and articulate, and she’s free of Trump’s appalling crassness and general vileness – Trump is a classic Yankee huckster personality, Le Pen exudes authenticity. There are also issues like France in the EU, that probably work against Le Pen.

That said, it’s now obviously Macron’s election to lose.

#28 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On April 23, 2017 @ 4:22 pm

“Either France must cease to exist or Muslims in France must cease to exist.” And that is Nazi logic, the kind that led inevitably to “the final solution.”

It’s also similar to Islamist logic. See Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Iraq, Egypt and other countries for ongoing extermination of kaffirs.

#29 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 23, 2017 @ 9:01 pm

It’s also similar to Islamist logic.

Yup. Nazis and Islamists are our enemies. But when WW II was over, we did not kill all the Germans, merely because Hitler had extolled Germans as “the master race.” Most Germans were happy to put down the burdens that entailed.

My fellow Hindus got used to living like whipped dogs as dhimmis during the 1000 years of Islamic rule, so we do not expect anything better from Muslims.

Except India did not have “1000 years of Islamic rule.” Most Muslim conquests were during the 12th to 16th centuries, and they never reached today’s Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan; Travancore and Tamil Nadu; and in the east, such as the Ahom kingdom in Assam. Between the Mughal empire and British conquest was the Maratha empire. The most bloody conquest was Timur — who was definitely not Arab, but mixed Turkish and Mongol. He behaved like Mongol, whatever religion he cared to wrap around himself. And before the Mughal was a patchwork of kingdoms with Hindu and Muslims rulers of uniform incompetence.

Regarding Bangla Desh, the role of the civil war and the massacre’s perpetrated by West Pakistani troops might be considered in the decline of Christian, Hindu and Buddhist populations.

There are many beneficial effects to describing Daesh and its ilk as “Islamic Surrealism.” It makes clear that this is insanity in the name of Islam, not the essence of Islam. It allows us to treat those infected with this surrealism as mad dogs without turning on our neighbors who run thriving businesses providing employment to other friends and neighbors. And it does not require resort to historical mythology.

I too take a dim view of postmodern artistic trends, as well as any school of thought that takes the words “modernist” and “postmodern” seriously. As I never tire of saying, modernity recedes into the past at the alarming rate of one day per day, with postmodernism right on its heels. Modern times are always here, right now.

#30 Comment By Judith Sylvester On April 23, 2017 @ 10:49 pm

“It makes clear that this is insanity in the name of Islam, not the essence of Islam.”

That’s absurd.

#31 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 24, 2017 @ 12:52 am

Siarlys,

The northern half Tamil Nadu (including the major city of Madras) was actually under nominally Muslim rule (“Nawabs of the Carnatic”) starting from the late 17th century, although they never did much in the way of religious conversion. As for the Marathas their power ebbed and flowed (they seem to have been better at conquering than ruling) and they coexisted with a bunch of independent Muslim ruled states.

#32 Comment By discussant On April 24, 2017 @ 1:29 pm

@Traveler – “Therefore, you cannot deport a French citizen to some country that is not their own. You can no more do this in France than you can in most other nations in the world. “

@German reader – “Put the offenders into prison and deport them to Algeria which many will never have seen, being the 3rd or 4th generation of their families living in France???”

It’s worth mentioning that in the 1950s and 1960s, newly independent Algeria expelled the pieds-noir, Christians and Jews who had lived there for generations. Some 800,000 pieds-noir expelled by Algeria were taken in by France.

This is a particularly relevant example, but there are many others from the 20th and 21st centuries. Mass deportation is not a thing of the past, something we have somehow “outgrown”. There’s no reason either to think either that it won’t happen again, or that under extreme conditions it ought not to happen again.

If Algeria expelled its Christians and Jews to France within living memory, it should not be very surprising if terror-plagued France were to expel its Algerian Muslim diaspora to Algeria.

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#33 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On April 25, 2017 @ 10:49 am

as far as India goes, if you look at its history there is no shortage of atrocities and horrors committed by homegrown rajas, and long before anyone ever hard of Mohammed. These are the just common sins of mankind. It is right we recoil from them. But adopting a blood feud attitude about them is not helpful, and would leave the world void of humanity as we are all the heirs of carnage.

The only Hindu king I know of who committed an atrocity on the scale of what the Muslims did in India is Asoka, who was responsible for the deaths of 100,000 people in Kalinga. However, he was so remorseful that he converted to Buddhism and became a pacifist.

In contrast, the Muslim thug Timur killed 100,000 “idolaters and infidels” in a single day *after* Delhi had surrendered to him, and then wrote about it with great glee in his memoirs. The mass murder of 100,000 Hindus in a single day was an occasion for celebration for this thug and his followers, and after committing these horrors, they no doubt went to their mosque to give thanks to their god and then had a banquet of lamb tikka masala to celebrate.

That’s the difference you are eliding.

These kinds of atrocities are continuing to be committed in Muslim countries against “unbelievers” even as bien pensants in the West provide cover for Islam with false equivalences and historical revisionism.

#34 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On April 25, 2017 @ 10:58 am

Regarding Bangladesh, the role of the civil war and the massacre’s perpetrated by West Pakistani troops might be considered in the decline of Christian, Hindu and Buddhist populations.

Please read the article I linked to in my previous post. Here’s the quote that explicitly contradicts your attempt to whitewash the atrocities being committed against Hindus and Buddhists in Bangladesh:

“From his 30-year-long research, Barkat found that the exodus mostly took place during military governments after independence. Before the Liberation War, the daily rate of migration was 705 while it was 512 during 1971-1981 and 438 during 1981-1991. The number increased to 767 persons each day during 1991-2001 while around 774 persons left the country during 2001-2012, the book says.”

Ethnic cleansing on a massive scale is being perpetrated on Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Yazidi and others all over the “Islamic world.” It is time to stop making excuses for Muslims.

#35 Comment By JonF On April 25, 2017 @ 12:58 pm

Re: The only Hindu king I know of who committed an atrocity on the scale of what the Muslims did in India is Asoka

The kings of Maghada (sp?) routinely fought wars of conquest against their neighbors. One of them (I won’t even try to butcher the name here), more or less contemporary with the Buddha, bragged about turning the Ganges red with blood.

You need to read your own country’s history. Lamentable as it is, such things really are the common sins of mankind– we are all of us the heirs of carnage.

#36 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 25, 2017 @ 2:22 pm

Janwaar… those are statistics about emigration. There is rumored to have been a period of mass slaughter on a considerable scale immediately preceding the Liberation War. In hindsight, despite the justice of the Bengalis case for autonomy or independence, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was not a terribly competent political leader, and it is entirely plausible that one or both of the alternating nepotisitic factions that dominated the country might have opportunistically made things uncomfortable for those who were left.

The kind of ethnic cleansing we are seeing today, particularly in ISIS-ruled areas, is rather an anomaly for most of Muslim history. Most empires, whatever their dominant religion, are happy to have hard working tax-paying subject classes, of whatever faith.

Timur was a thug because his culture and lineage was thuggish. Adopting Islam was incidental, although useful. His heritage was that of Genghis Khan, not Muhammad.

The northern half Tamil Nadu…

I’m not quite clear whether Hector is providing me with supporting detail, or are we having an argument? I think its the former.

It’s worth mentioning that in the 1950s and 1960s, newly independent Algeria expelled the pieds-noir, Christians and Jews who had lived there for generations. Some 800,000 pieds-noir expelled by Algeria were taken in by France.

That may have been a mistake, since some of those pieds-noir made repeated attempts to assassinate the president of the republic.

#37 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On April 25, 2017 @ 11:17 pm

The kings of Maghada (sp?) routinely fought wars of conquest against their neighbors. One of them (I won’t even try to butcher the name here), more or less contemporary with the Buddha, bragged about turning the Ganges red with blood.

Ashoka was the Mauryan emperor whose power base was Magadh so I think you and I are referring to the same person. And my point remains – his actions led to the deaths of 100,000 people in Kalinga, so he became a pacifist and a Buddhist out of remorse, whereas Muslims killed 100,000 “idolaters and infidels” in India and went for dinner at the end of the day (after praying devoutly to their god).

Timur was a Hitler-level butcher but he is revered among Muslims – one of Bollywood’s top actors recently named his kid Timur. To this day, Muslims express no regret about the mass slaughters of kaffirs carried out in the name of Islam by Muslims even as their apologists in the West keep making excuses for their behavior.

#38 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 26, 2017 @ 9:05 am

I’m not quite clear whether Hector is providing me with supporting detail, or are we having an argument? I think its the former.

I’m qualifying or as they say ‘problematizing’ your statement. Muslim rule over India was rather larger in extent (if fairly superficial) than you suggested, and the subsequent Hindu rule was rather smaller. The general outline was correct though.

You place a lot of faith in the ability of a Muslim and liberal-dominated Île-de-France to remain rich. And a similar amount of faith in its ability to have peaceful relations with its French neighboring state, when it inevitably collapses.

I mean, cosmopolitan city states often tend to be more prosperous than their surroundings. Such a vision of Paris (or London, or Vienna) is certainly not one which I’d like to live in, and I don’t think it would be good for human flourishing, but at the strict level of material prosperity it might do quite well.

#39 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 26, 2017 @ 9:16 am

You ask “Can Islam co-exist with France? If not, then what?” But the obvious answer to that question is “Either France must cease to exist or Muslims in France must cease to exist.” And that is Nazi logic, the kind that led inevitably to “the final solution.” To propose that north African Muslims can’t co-exist with France is to propose ethnic cleansing. Literally.

“Too many babies being born to North African parents? War would be preferable.” That’s literally an argument you make.

This. Is. Nazi-ism.

Mary, do you have the slightest bit of evidence of either of these interesting assertions?

Most peoples, at most times in history, want to preserve the demographic and ethnic makeup of their societies. Occasionally this leads to Nazi-level mass murder. More often it doesn’t. Was the population exchange of Greeks and Turks in the 1920s a “Final Solution”? How about the expulsion of Germans from eastern Europe in the late 1940s? This reminds me of some time when someone on Rod’s blog was complaining about some mild anti-Semitism and said “you know the Holocaust? This is where it starts.” Someone else cuttingly responded, “Usually, this is where it ends, too.”

A partition of France would not be a “holocaust”. I don’t support Raskolnik’s idea of mass deportation, but that wouldn’t be a “holocaust” either. And finally it’s possible to an extent that France might solve its problems by successfully encouraging Muslims to lower their fertility rate, or by aggressive assimilation, or by financially encouraging reverse migration. (Most Muslims in Austria say they would leave if they were financially compensated, probably because they’re increasingly uncomfortable living in an Austria where the FPO came within a hairsbreadth of winning the presidency).

The desire for a relatively homogeneous ethnic homeland, and to preserve ethnic distinction, is a very natural trait of our species, and it’s not a bad one. The multiplicity of races, ethnicities and cultures is a good thing. The French have as much right to want to preserve their identity as anyone else, and it’s historically unlikely that it will lead to “Nazi-ism”. It’s a trait they certainly shared with the Nazis (although the Nazis did not, obviously, extend it to any subject peoples), but it’s also a trait they shared with most other people outside the WEIRDO world.

Also, BTW, repeating “This. Is. Nazi-ism” in additional to being ungrammatical is not, you know, actually an argument. Shouting does not get your point across any better.

#40 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 26, 2017 @ 12:19 pm

To this day, Muslims express no regret about the mass slaughters of kaffirs carried out in the name of Islam by Muslims

Most Muslims in India are not descended from Timur or his Turkic warriors. I don’t apologize for slavery because of my skin color either. People make heroes out of long dead men for all kinds of reasons having nothing to do with who they really were or who the admirers really are. Jesse James, John Hunt Morgan, Bonnie and Clyde… there are Mongolians today who consider Genghis Khan a national hero, and I hardly worry that they are going to besiege Milwaukee.

#41 Comment By JonF On April 26, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

Re: Ashoka was the Mauryan emperor whose power base was Magadh so I think you and I are referring to the same person.

No, actually. I am referring to a king who lived earlier. Maghada was a major kingdom for some centuries before Chandragupta Maurya, taking Alexander as his model, chased the “barber King” from its throne and decided to create an empire. But even before that there were warlike kings in India. Really, I don’t understand why you persisting in this. War and conquest have been general throughout human history– whose pages are everywhere writ in blood.

#42 Comment By Ras Al-Ghoul On April 26, 2017 @ 9:26 pm

“Timur was a Hitler-level butcher but he is revered among Muslims – one of Bollywood’s top actors recently named his kid Timur.”

What the…?

This comment is even passing Janwaar’s own standards in precision and fairness, so I could not refrain from clarifying a certain point, even if it might be too late for this post.

What do you mean, exactly, by ‘Timur is revered by “Muslims”‘?
Do you know that he massacred hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Persia and Levant? That his memory is still vilified in these countries? Either you know it and you hide this fact, or you don’t know, which shows how nearsighted you are in your historical assessments.

The actor from Bollywood is no argument to decide about the character and faith of one billion individuals you apparently have no clue to what they aspire. Or in the same vein all Indians must be great genius mathematicians because Ramanujan, and all Christians have orange hair because Trump!

“To this day, Muslims express no regret about the mass slaughters of kaffirs carried out in the name of Islam by Muslims even as their apologists in the West keep making excuses for their behavior.”

Also, to this day, German Jews express no regret about the mass slaughter of Polish carried out in the name of German values by Nazis. I am not supposed to express ‘regret’ for the actions of a ruthless conqueror by whose hands my own Muslim ancestors probably suffered. Perhaps you shall express regret about insulting their memory by claiming that their descendants “revere” Timur to score a cheap point.

#43 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 27, 2017 @ 9:57 pm

On this point, Ras Al-Ghoul is better informed than I am, and has made his point very well.

#44 Comment By Prekkha On August 17, 2017 @ 6:42 am

Timur was a thug because his culture and lineage was thuggish. Adopting Islam was incidental, although useful. His heritage was that of Genghis Khan, not Muhammad.