Politics, Race

No, not the American political party, but the French system of government. Writing in The Guardian, Jon Henely blames French anti-semitism on French Republicanism; specifically, their inability to recognize the very existence of a Muslim underclass.

For it seems to me that the real racial and religious problem in France, the real time-bomb quietly ticking away at the heart of 21st century French society, is not anti-semitism, but France’s absolute failure, over the past 50-odd years, to properly integrate its Muslim community (estimated, and only estimated, at 5-6 million strong).

France has created a genuine racial underclass, disadvantaged and discriminated against daily in terms of housing, education and employment, living in those decaying, crime-ridden, immigrant-filled, out-of-town sink estates in which France has sadly come to specialise. And until France understands this, it will not able to address what lies behind its intensifying climate of anti-semitism.

The problem of failed Muslim integration in France is made 100 times worse by the nation’s profound inability to recognise it. …

For the most sacred article in all France’s grand republican and secular creed is the principle that everyone is equal and indistinguishable in the eyes of the state: no matter where they come from, all French citizens are identical in their Frenchness. In the much-vaunted Republican model of integration”, all immigrants go through the Gallic mill, shedding their ethnic and religious differences and emerging as shining new French citizens. In theory.

In practice, this explains why France cannot say, and does not know, how many citizens it has who are of north African origin, or who are Muslim, or who are Jewish. For the purposes of the Republic, it simply does not matter.

This reminded me of California’s racial privacy initiative.”