The jury is still out on whether or not an Islamic Revolution is underway in France and if so, what will be the implications for Europe as a whole. Many argue that the French riots represent a full-scale insurrection led by immigrant youth who simply resent being marginalized and shunted to the fringes of French society. But there are elements of a wider jihadist agenda that continually creep into this scenario. These elements suggest that the riots are not wholly or solely about economic and social marginalization and that an Islamic agenda may be at the root of it.
French intelligence estimates that al Qaeda has already recruited between 35,000 and 45,000 operatives in France alone and is organizing them into military-style units. Witnesses have reported vehicles without number plates distributing petrol bombs and the discovery recently of a fuel bomb factory in Paris uncovered 150 bottles and gallons of gasoline ready to distribute to the bands of arsonists. Also found were masks to hide the rioters’ faces. These terrorist cells are known to meet regularly for training in the use of weapons and explosives, combat tactics and indoctrination and are controlled from local and district command centers under al Qaeda’s national French command. Lending even more credence to the jihadist theory is that the targets of the rioters have been almost exclusively non-Muslim owned businesses and at least two French synagogues and two churches. The Qur’an 9:29 directs Muslims to wage war even against “the People of the Book.”
Jihadist coordination is also apparent when French jihad websites are reviewed. As Robert Spencer wrote recently in FrontPageMagazine, one such weblog boasted: “The cops are petrified of us, everything must burn. Starting Monday, “Operation Midnight Sun” begins, tell everyone else, rendezvous for Momo and Abdul in Zone 4 … jihad Islamia Allah Akhbar.” Another added: “You don’t really think that we’re going to stop now? Are you stupid? It will continue, non-stop. We aren’t going to let up. The French won’t do anything and soon, we will be in the majority here.”
Despite such evidence, mainstream media reports in France continue to maintain that the riots are merely an economic manifestation of Muslim marginalization in French society caused by racism, French arrogance and the mistreatment of Muslim immigrants. That may well be one possible explanation, except for the fact that France, in particular, has been more than tolerant towards its indigenous Muslim population. It has established an official organization to oversee French Islam (the French Council for the Muslim Religion – CFCM) and is even discussing revising France’s secular laws to allow the government to fund mosques.
Journalist Amir Taheri suggests that French Muslims are not interested in assimilation at all. He believes (and he is not alone in his thinking) that their ultimate plan is to seek autonomy in areas where they form a majority of the population. This would permit the French Muslim community to organize its own social, cultural and educational life in accordance with shari’a or Islamic law. Taheri notes that, in many parts of France, that system already exists – Muslim leaders control a defined territorial area and French police know that they are not welcome there.
France has now come to understand that its multicultural policies have failed. Disparate groups (such as its indigenous Muslim community) cannot co-exist within a nation without any idea that they must share at least some basic values with the country in which they dwell. The French are paying the price today for blithely assuming that France could absorb a population holding values vastly different from their own.
Watch these events very carefully. With it’s estimated 5 million Muslims, France may be the harbinger of a new Europe where, one day, minerets will overshadow Europe’s bell towers and basilicas, new laws will be enacted that will grant them special religious privileges, and a rapidly growing, non-assimilated European Muslim majority will increasingly make its voice heard in the corridors of European power.
The coming of Eurabia may not be far off. What has yet to be determined, however, is whether France (and indeed Europe) will be radicalized by Islam or whether Islam will be moderated by European tolerance.