The severity and spread of the riots in France seem to be beyond the ability of the French government to control. In one report, the rioters are screaming for jihad. As Newsweek’s Christopher Dickey writes, “Decades of French policies intended to force the integration of immigrants and their children-and children’s children-into French society had failed, and no Plan B was apparent. Fears also grew that in the age of terror, rage like this could swell the ranks of radical Islamists in the heart of Europe.”
It is mightily tempting, for those of us indisposed to sympathy for France, to engage in humor suggesting a French solution (retreat) to this French problem. But the issue of immigrant assimilation is not funny. It threatens the foundation of democracy in France and every other nation with a substantial number of Islamic immigrants. It should be at the top of the French government’s agenda. If they cannot manage immigrant Muslim assimilatation — the acceptance of and support for the principles of French democracy, and keep those who do not wish to assimilate out of France — this problem will grow and will sooner or later become fatal to France’s form of government. Even we cannot wish for that.