I've been searching Technorati for expat etc. blog posts covering the riots in France. It's amazing to confront the white supremacist and racist analyses that are out there (conversely, see also the excerpts from Pat Buchannan and commentary over at the Conservative blog La Shawn Barber's Corner). Here are some very useful links w/ pics and analyses from UK blogger 'Adloyada' --
via white pebble:
Adloyada: Paris is burning:
The current riots, although they involve Muslims, seem to me to have much more in common with the riots and slogans of the black consciousness movement of the seventies.
So what story do you want? If you want your flesh to creep, try DebkaFile, which suggests that Al Qaeda infiltrators may be organizing the riots. You won't find much evidence, although the police finding some petrol bomb factories does suggest that there's a degree of organization involved.
And Mark Steyn's variant: the much feared but hitherto quiescent Arab street finally manifests itself. But it's in Clichy-sous-Bois, not Cairo or Damascus.
By way of antidote, there are good blog posts which take issue with these ideas. Greg Drerejian points at fundamental failures of social cohesion. Clive Davis has a good collection of links to more sceptical analyses of the spectre of burning.
Most importantly, there's Theodore Dalrymple and Stephen Schwartz who create similar analyses siting the present riots as the ultimate outcome of years of a statist system which has preserved a higher level of social protection and security for its own, whilst permanently marginalizing the children and grandchildren of the immigrants who were imported to do the work nobody wanted. [read on...]
[...] And I'll end, to my surprise, by referring you to a good analysis by John Lichfield in The Independent, of which this is a good example:
Talk of an intifada is absurdly misleading. Firstly, the rioters are far from being all Muslim (although more than half are from Islamic backgrounds). Second, they have no sense of political or religious identity and no political demands. Their allegiance is to their quartier and their gang. Their main demand, so far as can be established, is to be left alone by police and the Interior Minister, Nicolas Sark-ozy, to continue with their life of low-level violence and drugs trading. The wider significance is therefore not politico-religious but a warning of what happens if problems of deprivation and violence are allowed to fester.
Continue reading Independent article:
No intifada, no cause, just poor kids defending their territory
By John Lichfield, 07 November 2005
This topic is perhaps not quite prescient to the reBlog "agenda" but I have found it very interesting (though not surprising) that the most comprehensive news I have been receiving about the current crisis in France has come from reBlog feeds as well as the multitude of listservs I am subscribed to. Once again I am led to seriously contemplate why the ever increasing circulation of various and layered information and international news through the internet should occur concurrently with an ever increasingly narrow reading of current affair through the so-called mainstream media. It is worrisome indeed. --amc