The Spectacle Blog

French Fried

By on 11.4.05 | 3:18PM

One of the storylines of the fires in Paris is: Muslim youths aren't listening to the authorities. And why is that? One reason is that the Imams who might be telling them to knock it off are seen by them as stooges of the French government. Young Muslims aren't fooled by "French Islam," and reject the "French Council for the Muslim Religion" as a joke. They realize that Frenchifying Islam means removing Islam from Islam. Consequently, as this secularizing campaign has accelerated, French Muslims have been looking abroad for the real thing, turning to global Islam for money to finance private schools. Nicolas Sarkozy "reaped jeers and whistles," according to a Time story from 2003, when he "used a speech before more than 10,000 Muslims...to vow that women must remove their veils for the photographs on their French identity cards." Malek Chebel, a Muslim anthropologist, said to Time prophetically that the popular militant Muslim leaders in France have "endless money, great numbers on their side, and they have time...The fundamentalists are working toward a shock, one that is dangerous for the equilibrium of the state."

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