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Why I don’t support the riots in Paris

Posted By Sunny On 7th November, 2005 @ 2:43 pm In Current affairs, The World, Race politics | Comments Disabled

There is a lot of sympathy in Britain, particularly within minority-ethnic communities, for the Paris riots. We have endlessly debated on the inequalities in France and how minorities should “integrate”, and what this means for a government policy on multi-culturalism. It goes on and on.

The problem is that, as my debate on BBC Asian Network showed [1] this morning, it is difficult to find a middle-ground in a heated debate when people take such strong stances. If you heard it then my apologies. It was all over the bloody place and I did not get a chance to say what I wanted. But my point is this.

I fundamentally disagree with the riots, possibly against the opinions of most of my peers, on many levels. On the most basic level it is a very lazy form of political activism, and one that takes you backward not forward.

The French state does talk about equality in theoretical form rather than translating those words into action. The same happens in the UK to a lesser degree but thankfully we have a much better debate on such issues.

Nevertheless, it is too easy to go on a rampage when you are annoyed but less easy to work more intelligently for longer-lasting change. To that extent I cannot support the car-burnings, the school burnings and anything else that is burnt in the name of demanding more equality.

If the Indian Dalits, possibly the most opressed of any minority group on the planet, can get themselves organised (albeit only in the Indian state of Bihar, mind you), then why can’t the French non-whites?

This brings me to my second point. Much of the fault lies with local religious and community leaders because it serves in their interest to keep people in cultural ghettoes and keep them angry so they seperate themselves from mainstream society.

People who are oppressed need a message of empowerment - a way to focus their energies into meaningful change. They don’t seem to be doing much to foster better community relations, to find an outlet for the frustration.

So I oppose the riots also on the basis that is transferring power and control from the state, which is broadly accountable, to self appointed religious and community leaders, who are not.

France needs to change - economically and socially. But this has to be pushed democratically and peacefully otherwise it just ends up backfiring in all our faces.

Update: European Tribe has a [2] good analysis of the situation, cutting through a lot of the left-wing and right-wing media rubbish.

There are lots of minorities, lots of kids with dysfunctional families, an obvious lack of jobs, and decrepit buildings, but it’s not a rundown place, it’s not cut off from the rest of the country, and there is a lot of solidarity between the inhabitants.

What it is is a real political crisis for the government, caught between the Le Pen-light shenanigans and provocations of Sarkozy (which are strongly approved and encouraged by a good part of the ‘law’n'order’ rightwing crowd in the country, but criticised by a majority today, including the moderate right)) and the silence of the rest of the government, led by Villepin, which was hoping that the crisis would burn Sarkozy but did not expect to be caught in the flames as well.

What’s real is that social budgets for these cités (those that allow the associations to run sport activities, literacy classes and the like) have been cut in the past 3 years…

What is real is that local police forces have been reduced…

What is real is that France made a choice 30 years ago to preserve the jobs of those already integrated, and made it difficult to join that core…

And finally, what is real is that everybody is aware that nothing serious will be done before the 2007 presidential election.

Burning cars are not a good thing, but htey are not the end of the world either, and no sign of any Intifada.


Comments Disabled To "Why I don’t support the riots in Paris"

#1 Comment By El Cid On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:08 pm

Yep. I have to side with you on this Sunny.
It works both ways: for ‘no justice, no peace’ read ‘no peace, no justice’.

#2 Comment By khurrum On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:16 pm

If the protesters have a message then it is lost and overshadowed by their violence.

If their goal is to spread a message and have it heard then they need to do it in a way so that it actually spreads.

Their own actions are distracting the world from what ever their message is. I sure as heck don’t even know what their plea is. All I see are a bunch of idiots setting fire to cars and I want them to be stopped and jailed for a long time.

#3 Comment By TottenhamLad On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:17 pm

Send in the French army - shoot the rioters.

Quick, simple, and cheap!

#4 Comment By shihab On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:22 pm

Well it’s not the French army have anything better to do…

#5 Comment By leon On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:36 pm

You weren’t that bad on it Sunny; the show wasn’t helped by the pathetic attempt at popularism showed by Toyin.

#6 Comment By Col. Mustafa On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:38 pm

How would you stop loads of kids running amock in a house?
Put something on the tv to distract them, and settle them down.
Doesn’t always work but given the right film, or cartoon it can.
Thats a short term fix, as trying to teach and make each of those kids understand why they shouldn’t be running around the house and making noise is quite time consuming and may require more than one person.

Trying to then teach them that; you know what running around the house and causing trouble isnt all that bad in the right circumstances is another story altogether.

Its harder to understand each of the rioters, as they all have thier own issues.
They need distraction; maybe even in the form of Playboy bunnies suspended in cages all around the city so they all just stand and stare for a while.

I dunno, what the hell distracts people these days apart from other people misery and car crashes, and obviously explosions, but then we come back to square 1.

#7 Comment By Smokey1 On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:39 pm

It has a scary resembalance to the french film “La Haine”, which portrayed disillusioned youths..

La Haine follows one day in the lives of three young guys, who live by their wits, surviving on petty crime and small-time drug deals on a low income housing estate outside Paris.

It’s no ordinary day for them however, as a riot has just taken place on their estate, a friend has been assaulted in police custody and lies in hospital in a coma.

The film is about the interracial solidarity of a small gang (une bande) of friends, divided by race, religion and ethnicity but joined by the common bonds of geographical and economic isolation.

-
Sound familar?!

#8 Comment By Col. Mustafa On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:47 pm

Humans have been rioting for centuries when they didn’t like thier surrounding circumstances.
Its only now in this day and age were having trouble working out how to deal with it, cos before the solution was fuck em.
They don’t like where they staying, lets kill a few of them.
That should scare them into submission for a while.

Ahh, weve only just begun; peace and harmony is so hard to achieve that i dont think it can be done.
Only on a small scale so other people can admire it, and strive towards it, but then forget about it as soon as someone looks at them funny.

#9 Comment By Don On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:49 pm

The riots are unquestionably bad but last I heard nobody had died. I hope that is still the case and I am not disregarding the injured, but remember that over fifty died in the Rodney King riots, in half the time.

This is something everyone can get over eventually, as long as there is no Bloody Sunday incident. Those advocating a ‘tough’ line should find another way to compensate for their inadequacies. It just makes you sound juvenile. The French had turned a blind eye for years, this is an alarming and unpleasant wake up call, it is not a ’slide to war’, however much of a delicious frisson doom mongering gives you.

#10 Comment By coruja On 7th November, 2005 @ 3:59 pm

Agreed, the rioting doesn’t help any cause, in fact it puts up more barriers to overcome. Not only that, it readily serves to confirm the prejudices of some people.

#11 Comment By El Cid On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:05 pm

I think you’re getting carried away TottenhamLad (not unlike your namesakes).
I assume — hope — you were trying to be funny.
And while I agree with Sunny, as I said earlier, it would be churlish not to deny that the rioters have got one key point across: that France is not the cosy and inclusive republic that it likes to think it is.
We should also not forget what it is like to feel young, disenfranchised and pissed off.
If you’ve never felt that, then count yourself lucky.
Now stop setting fire to innocent people’s cars!

#12 Comment By Vladimir On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:14 pm

All rise for mahatma Sunny!!! peaceful and democratically lol! Some people just do not have the patience to go through those channels, and the time it takes in anorther matter. It seems to me personally that the system of democracy is a western bourgeois principle used to surpress minorities.

In addition if any one has heard the views of the French nationalists, the French people themselves or Nicolas Sarkozy, it would seem that the state is quite against the desired changes that the minorities are demanding. It is all well and good for Sunny to be suggesting peacefull and democratic means ( I agree we should not encourage similar acts to take place in the UK where minorites are surpressed to a degree too).

But in the context of France I don’t thnik democracy is going to work in bringing about change at the pace that the protesters or any reasonable person would like to see them.

#13 Comment By little nicky shabbaz On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:15 pm

The riots are unquestionably bad but last I heard nobody had died. I hope that is still the case and I am not disregarding the injured, but remember that over fifty died in the Rodney King riots, in half the time.

Well for the record at least one person has died but regardless, what is the relevence of this remark? These are nicer riots?

“Hey, nobody has died, don’t worry about it”

#14 Comment By Steve M On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:15 pm

Don, I believe that a man has died now and I fear that his death will not be the last.

There is a lot of sympathy in Britain, particularly within minority-ethnic communities, for the Paris riots.

I’m saddened by this and, to be honest, I don’t understand it.

#15 Comment By TottenhamLad On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:16 pm

No Mr El Sid, I was quite serious. Remember a dead rioter can’t riot.

If one is feeling young, disenfranchised and pissed off then go down the pub and have a few pints to drown your sorrows.

#16 Comment By Sunny On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:34 pm

Vladimir - I don’t thnik democracy is going to work in bringing about change at the pace that the protesters or any reasonable person would like to see them.

Why not? Even if they don’t get organised enough?

#17 Trackback By Weapons of Mass Destruction On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:36 pm

Chirac Draws a Line in the Sand (Sort Of)

Molly Moore reports for the Washington Post that Chirac Speaks Out on Riots: On 11th Day of Unrest, French President Vows to Restore Order. Chirac promised the rioters will be arrested, tried, and punished for their actions. Unfortunately, to this

#18 Comment By Sunny On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:42 pm

Leon - yes Toyin has a bit of a habit of doing that I feel. Its all very good being proud of your roots and stuff but we all have to live together and everyone has to compromise our stances.

Regardless of that, I cannot really support mass violence which has descended into gang violence and harassment of people who can’t easily defend themselves.

It’s too easy for people to riot. If they’re that pissed off, then get organised.

#19 Comment By David T On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:43 pm

Sell out

#20 Comment By coruja On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:51 pm

“democracy is a western bourgeois principle used to surpress minorities”

Vladimir - by the very nature of democracy the minority will be supressed - it is after all the choice of the majority that rules.

However it is hardly a bourgeois principle, sadly most of the poorest in society must feel that way too and by abandoining it, they are helping to pervert the system for the benefit of the richest.

Sunny has mentioned this many times and I also agree, a part of the reason why a lot of these young men are not getting access to mainstream politics are the so-called community leaders. Unfortunately it is to these few un-democratically elected leaders that the media and politicians turn to at each and every instance.

#21 Comment By Sunny On 7th November, 2005 @ 4:58 pm

Hmmm… maybe I need more revolutionary fervour David T ? :P

#22 Comment By ContraryMary On 7th November, 2005 @ 5:08 pm

Are we not forgetting France’s fine history in revolutions. from 1789 and the beheading of Louis XVI (a reaction of the middle classes and have nots rising up against an unfair and greedy monarchy/state) through to the student riots of the 1960s, France has an honourable line in violent protests.

Out of the french revolution came the most forward thinking and democratic approach to government of its day.

what are you supposed to do if your voice is not heard or limited and your lot is no different your first generation immigrant parents. despite the world, and non white peers, progressing around you. It smacks of frustration and anger and La Haine couldn’t be a more prescient film at this moment in time.

Sure there may be criminal elements stoking up tensions, but organised across 300 cities? that reflects a groundswell of similar opinions amongst immigrants
across france. who are railing against their perceived lot in a first world, western democracy.

And Sunny, it’s far from lazy. if anything it’s brave. would you take on the riot police for anything? to me it’s an indication of just how far ill feeling, frustration and resentment has simmered thanks to government inertia.

#23 Comment By El Cid On 7th November, 2005 @ 5:08 pm

Tottenhamspud: No, a dead rioter can’t riot. You’re right. But neither can he grow up, be reformed, vote… etc.
I tell you what he CAN do as well: he can become a martyr, a rallying cry for others, the catalyst for yet more violence, a recruitment propaganda tool.
Think Bloody Sunday, think the current Iraq War.
Don’t be so naive as to think there’s an easy “shock and awe” solution to all this.

#24 Comment By Vladimir On 7th November, 2005 @ 5:29 pm

coruja If you should see the process by which we have arrived at the democratic system we have at the moment from a historical context, and also the people who ‘democratically’ represent’ us you shall see it is a system of bourgeois rule, which by its very nature surpresses minorites.

Well Mahtama Sunny if you should look back into the past you shall see a lot has been achived by protest. The very name Mahtama should ring bells.

I do not think that the French are prepared to listen to a minority group who would adopt democratic means to express their desire for change. It may be good for a twin approach very much like what the IRA did in Norther Ireland (though I do not condone terrorism on that level)

#25 Comment By leon On 7th November, 2005 @ 5:31 pm

“yes Toyin has a bit of a habit of doing that I feel. Its all very good being proud of your roots and stuff but we all have to live together and everyone has to compromise our stances.”

Exactly. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I don’t even think the guy is sincere. I reckon he’s just out for making a name (and a pot of cash) for himself and we’ll see him in years to come sitting on the labour back benches or something similar…

#26 Comment By Antiflow On 7th November, 2005 @ 5:42 pm

I support the riots myself.

2000 less cars, a cleaner environment, and more space to leave my Motorbike next time I decide to pop over.

#27 Comment By Sunny On 7th November, 2005 @ 6:08 pm

Well Mahtama Sunny if you should look back into the past you shall see a lot has been achived by protest. The very name Mahtama should ring bells.

I agree with you and Vladimir and Contrary Mary but Mahatma did the non-violent protest thing, which is what I think these guys should be doing. Violence has the danger of getting out of control, people getting hurt and then public opinion turning against you.

The riots have certainly got the nation bringing up the issue and maybe the French will have a bit more shame regarding their forgotten people (like Katrina did).

But after the media has departed and the policy papers have been written etc, the only thing that can push for change is political clout.

I remember an Algerian minister recently (in a recent conference in Paris on media) saying that the French are great at policy and coming up with papers. In fact I bet a year down the line the French will still be debating and mulling over this.

Political action is the only way to resolve this issue IMO.

Leon - maybe but I doubt it. He’s not a fan of the political system and I reckon he’s too much of an activist for them. but I could be wrong.

#28 Comment By Ahrimahn On 7th November, 2005 @ 6:25 pm

The rioters are scum who should be deported back to Africa immediately.

#29 Comment By The Don On 7th November, 2005 @ 6:35 pm

Democracy can be little more than the rule of the majority, which is why a democracy also needs institutions which protect the rights of minorities. (This is one of the major concerns with the Iraqi constitution. ) If you don’t acknowledge the existence or rights of minorities then that can’t happen. France has put its collective head in the sand for too long. In effect it condemned a large number of its citizens to an oubliette while the majority enjoyed their civilised, subsidised lifestyle, so admired in our Sunday supplements.

@little Nicky. I think El Cid (#23) has more or less answered your point.

#30 Comment By leon On 7th November, 2005 @ 8:13 pm

“maybe but I doubt it. He’s not a fan of the political system and I reckon he’s too much of an activist for them. but I could be wrong.”

Yep and Blair used to be a CND member, Paul Boatang used to be a black man and Peter Mandleson was a communist. I reckon that once he gets within a wiff of power and prestige he’ll change. The painful point here, in my view, is the damage his leadership of Ligali and those that follow it will incur. What divisions will he help build within the African (against other minority ethnic communities) community within Brum and to what end?

To be honest I just don’t trust people who attempt to be that charismatic or the voice of a people (he’s in my view not dissimilar to faith leaders in that respect)…if there are to be leaders they must be the conduit of the people; a vessel for our collective will not the other way round.

Apologies to getting all soap box about this! It’s just one of them things that get goat.

#31 Comment By Sunny On 7th November, 2005 @ 9:51 pm

Lol, no you have a point… I generally hate people who do the righteous soap-box thing too. Maybe Toyin believes in what he says, but as you say it might change after a whiff of power. Who knows.

He has his own perspective and that is important. The danger is when anyone claims to represent an entire community on little basis. Personally I prefer as many leaders as possible constantly arguing and debating with each other. Then at least we have better representation.

#32 Comment By The Land of Oz On 7th November, 2005 @ 11:26 pm

I have heard tell that the riots in France are not isolated incidents and that rioting is occurring in many European countries, but that it is not being reported in any English language media at the moment. I am not sure if this is accurate or not but if it is it would be a very worrying development.
I defiantly don’t think that France is the only country in Europe that treats its black or Muslim immigrants poorly.

#33 Comment By Steve M On 8th November, 2005 @ 1:03 am

There’s an interesting piece [3] chez Judy’s.

#34 Comment By Sunny On 8th November, 2005 @ 1:55 am

I’m saddened by this and, to be honest, I don’t understand it.

Steve - Well I guess its because they relate to the idea that the french arabs and africans also have no voice and are badly represented by the media. I’m not saying they approve of the violence, specially since Asians are quite conservative by nature, but of the struggle.

And cheers for the link to Judy. She has probably hit the nail on the head.

#35 Comment By sonic On 8th November, 2005 @ 2:44 am

One of the reasons they have rioted is the failure of the French left to engage, a friend of mine wrote an interesting article here

[4] http://sonicsplace.blogspot.com

#36 Comment By Mirax On 8th November, 2005 @ 3:41 am

Judy’s comment piece does seem fairly accurate.

What I have heard from my own friends in Paris (one of them a policeman of african origin) is similar. That the tensions were always there, no surprise certainly .The policeman friend says the car burning happens round the year, about 100 000 go up in flames annually, a figure that another friend found incredible and actually doublechecked with a government report.
The policeman works in the Seine Saint Denis area thus he knows and confirms that most of the troublemakers are very young (10-15) and out of control of their parents. He would advise to impose a curfew
but the police do not have the means to impose,
supervise and control such a curfew.
He also told me that most of the police are very tired and if it does not stop soon, excesses of the police (because of provocation, nervous breakdown, lack of sleep, etc.) could fuel more violence….
Interestingly, it seems the french police began recruiting ethnic minorities to help police these trouble spots a few years back but the policy was not a resounding success because the minorities hired were actually harsher than the white fench guys. Why I asked? It seems the minority policemen had their own cultural and racial prejudices (they are not all the SAME, duh!) which they took out on other minorities. The French seemed blissfully unaware of such and did not counteract with proper police training even when it became apparent. Short-term thinking all around.

#37 Comment By Kulvinder On 8th November, 2005 @ 5:15 am

I doubt theres any coherence to the rioting, its probably little more than venting. I’d agree with the sentiment that peaceful and honest dialogue has more lasting impact that violence.

Since we’re talking about the History of France, and its seemingly innumerate revolutions (a sign of perpetual failure surely?) its worth remembering that the last incarnation of the revolutionary spirit, the 5th republic, was at the end of French empire. Infact a comparison of the relative ways that both Britain and France adapted post empire is as telling as anything else.

Britain generally (and i emphasise generally) ended its occupation as well as it could. There were failures in preperation, but nevertheless it left. The immigrants from those countries have settled here quite well. Yes there are problems, there is tension, people are afraid of difference and change, but thats to be expected.

France on the otherhand fought a brutal war against Algerian anti-colonialists/freedom fighters. It is the decendants from that period and that area France has never come to terms with. Britain never sustained the tailend of a colony in anything resembling that manner. And despite the persistant badgering of social conservatives, it never enacted a rigid ideologue of what it means to be British.

#38 Comment By nukh On 8th November, 2005 @ 5:23 am

sunny, kudos to you. for your unequivocal condemnation of the riots.

for a moment, imagine the effect, if all those people going nuts in france would borrow from gandhis civil disobedience strategy and go on an indefinite hunger strike in front of the champs elyse [excuse my spelling]. with the world media watching…from cnn to aljazeera. that would shake the french establishment to its core and foment unprecedented change in that [hypocritical] society.

#39 Comment By Mirax On 8th November, 2005 @ 6:15 am

hmmn the civil disobedience campaign needs charismatic leadership, steel resolve to stick it out longterm and a unity of purpose, a single, simple agenda -not just the tv cameras (which i doubt will stay long in any event- blood and gore is much sexier and better for ratings). Taking the moral high road is not a tactic that wins you attention these days. Witness Tibet’s Dalai Lama and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi (my hero!) -sidelined in international politics. Middle class western kids find donning a palestinian kefiyeh in the occupied territories and showing the IDF their middle finger- never mind if one or two of them get bulldozed- much sexier , more of an adrenaline rush than worrying about the poor suppressed burmese.

#40 Comment By DavidP On 8th November, 2005 @ 4:27 pm

I’ve been reading some heavy French stuff ([5] at lmsi), so apologies for the next sentence.

Immigration is often the daughter of colonialism and the same techniques are used to marginalise the values of the minority.

However, the majority view, the ‘hegemonic’ view, even on the left, is dominated by secularism, or laicité which says: stop oppressing your women and be more “like us”.

Fortunately, in Britain this is a minority view (unless you go to Harry’s Place).

[6] http://davidp1.blogspot.com/2005/11/notes-on-violence-part-2.html

#41 Comment By Sunny On 8th November, 2005 @ 4:37 pm

Fortunately, in Britain this is a minority view

Well, with the sensible left at least David. Though we do have a problem with opressing our women to a certain degree, that ties in with this issue. As I told someone else, financial independence makes the situation better for women, not worse. So arguing for better rights for minorities in France (incl the women) is also fighting for women’s rights at the same time.

#42 Comment By coruja On 8th November, 2005 @ 5:13 pm

It is always bemusing when ‘immigrants’ are told to stop oppressing their women (as if this is a particularly ethnic minority trait). It begs the question so if these people only subjugate their women to “Western” standards will these people on the whole not be subjugated by the host nation?

Violence against women should be seen as that - not a cultural issue and if the women involved are domiciled in a country that does not condone such oppression & violence (to the same degree) then it really is a criminal matter.

Of course the last wave of mass immigration to Europe was a result of colonialism - the immigrant demographics of each country proves this. And to an extent it results in the recreation of the former colonial situation between the hosts and the immigrants.

The question is do we continue our learned behaviour towards each other? For how long? It has been about 50 years or so in Britain. It is saddening to see that other countries are making the same mistakes; nothing seems to have been learned from what has been achieved in Britain (as well as from our mistakes).

Wishing these ‘immigrants’ were “more like us” is a bit of denial; it is trying to wish away differences between groups of human beings because you cannot negotiate successfully with those differences.

#43 Comment By Mirax On 8th November, 2005 @ 5:52 pm

‘However, the majority view, the ‘hegemonic’ view, even on the left, is dominated by secularism, or laicité which says: stop oppressing your women and be more “like us”.

David,

Oh, so bringing up the issue of immigrant women’s rights is simply another way of sticking it into these poor immigrants as a whole is it? Sorry but I do not buy crap arguments like that.
When the ‘culture’ of the immigrants involves serious abuse of the human rights of women and children- genital mutilation, forced marriages, spousal abuse,honour killings, gangrapes to teach ‘wayward’ females a lesson- then that ‘culture’ is a fair target for ridicule. ”Values” that dehumanise women do deserve to be marginalised.

Sunny, you are getting mightily confused.

Minority rights? What do you mean by that? How is human rights subservient to that ill-defined entity? Females from immigrant groups, given the opportunity , do significantly better in schools and in employment than their male counterparts. Even in the banlieues.

Financial independence is everything but when your ‘culture’ or rather, your blinkered menfolk , dictate your dress, your right to make independent decisions like attend college or apply for a particular job,and even your socialising, that independence vaporises.

#44 Comment By Col. Mustafa On 8th November, 2005 @ 7:45 pm

“Mr de Villepin said curfews would be imposed under a 1955 law that allows the declaration of a state of emergency in part, or all, of France. The law was passed to curb unrest in Algeria during the war that led to its independence from France. ”

So basically thier temporary solution is to place a curfew on the particular areas.
So im figuring anyone out after the curfew time will get arrested or shot. Not too sure about that.

#45 Comment By Col. Mustafa On 8th November, 2005 @ 7:48 pm

“More than 5,900 vehicles have been destroyed and 1,500 people detained since the violence started on October 27″

In chaos the streets and cars and buildings are all toys for them to ruin.

#46 Comment By Mirax On 8th November, 2005 @ 7:53 pm

Breach of curfew could mean a fine or two-month jail sentence.

That’s it. No shooting. At least not yet.

#47 Comment By Mirax On 8th November, 2005 @ 7:54 pm

They’ve also taken the highly strategic step of banning under 16 year olds from buying petrol…

#48 Comment By Kulvinder On 8th November, 2005 @ 8:47 pm

Oh, so bringing up the issue of immigrant women’s rights is simply another way of sticking it into these poor immigrants as a whole is it? Sorry but I do not buy crap arguments like that.
When the ‘culture’ of the immigrants involves serious abuse of the human rights of women and children- genital mutilation, forced marriages, spousal abuse,honour killings, gangrapes to teach ‘wayward’ females a lesson- then that ‘culture’ is a fair target for ridicule. ‘’Values’’ that dehumanise women do deserve to be marginalised.

Noone is condoning those actions, but seeking to frame them as the central (and in many cases only) reference point doesn’t get anywhere.

Minority rights? What do you mean by that? How is human rights subservient to that ill-defined entity?

Noone said that (how the hell are you extrapolating from these posts?!?!)

You are doing exactly what David said, taking one narrow aspect of how people live their lives, using it as the only reference point, constructing an incredibly authoritarian and statist pov around it and dismissing anyone challenging it, even though the point of the thread is about the failure of that very policy.

If anyone (man, woman or child) has been harmed or is being harmed, you prosecute the offender. If its happening within a specific community you educate them about what is wrong. You do not impose in a fairly arbitary manner how you think they should live their life. Its admitedly a fairly long road to Stalinism from that, but the general direction is the same.

#49 Comment By Clive Davis On 8th November, 2005 @ 9:04 pm

Good piece, Sunny.

#50 Trackback By Clive Davis On 8th November, 2005 @ 9:14 pm

THE RIOTS - A BRITISH ASIAN’S VIEW

Sunny Hundal, editor of Pickled Politics and Asians in Media, explains why he’s not a street-fighting man. He’s found he’s out of step with many of his peers.

#51 Comment By Mirax On 8th November, 2005 @ 9:39 pm

Hey Kulvinder, you should read more carefully!
I was not the one who brought in the issue of women’s rights and certainly am not guilty of framing it as THE central issue.

DavidP snuck that one in apropos of nothing and two more (men, I dare say) jumped on it, rather hastily imo. DavidP’s shoddy reasoning that secularism was somehow at fault for tarring and feathering minority ‘culture’ while looking out for women’s rights simply could not go unchallenged.

Sunny actually, said this : So arguing for better rights for minorities in France (incl the women) is also fighting for women’s rights at the same time.

I am not extrapolating wildly- but trying to make sense of the thinking or lack thereof behind that statement. What are the better rights that minorities in France deserve and how come the rather glib implication that women’s rights (which I consider human rights)are secondary to this because they will be fully served anyway by the achievement of the first ?

“You do not impose in a fairly arbitary manner how you think they should live their life.”

Show me one sentence I wrote about imposing arbitrary, nevermind western, any lifestyle choices upon the poor put upon minorities. I simply said that any abusive bit of anyone’s culture is up for questioning, even if they are poor brown people. That makes me a feminist and a humanist, not a wanna be stalinist. Sheesh!

#52 Comment By Ratbane On 9th November, 2005 @ 1:17 am

I don’t doubt that the ethnic french have caused much of the problem, but the African immigrants should accept their own share of the blame for their own situation. If you don’t take advantage of the free educational opportunities and you don’t bother to make the effort to become fluent in the language of the country you reside in, then you have marginalized yourself. Even if there were jobs available, just exactly what is it that these rioters would be qualified to do? If you wish to be a social parasite, as many of these people are, don’t be surprised when that portion of the population which provides your food and shelter tends to view you with contempt.

#53 Comment By Kulvinder On 9th November, 2005 @ 1:50 am

DavidP’s shoddy reasoning that secularism was somehow at fault for tarring and feathering minority ‘culture’ while looking out for women’s rights simply could not go unchallenged.

He never said the abuse of women should be condoned. His arguement was about the prevailing and overwhelming view of the French left.

What are the better rights that minorities in France deserve and how come the rather glib implication that women’s rights (which I consider human rights)are secondary to this because they will be fully served anyway by the achievement of the first ?

What the fuck are you on about?!!?!?! Noone said that! you’re taking every statement, re-mapping it and turning into a ‘i define you defend’ stance

I simply said that any abusive bit of anyone’s culture is up for questioning, even if they are poor brown people.

Acha, my mistake. Its just when David said that the views of those people was dominated by secularism and the oppression of women, and then when you went on about the culture invloving abuse of women etc etc, i thought you were in favour of said secular policies. It appears i was mistaken. I apologise.

I am however even more confused about what your position is.

#54 Comment By Sunny On 9th November, 2005 @ 2:14 am

I am not extrapolating wildly- but trying to make sense of the thinking or lack thereof behind that statement. What are the better rights that minorities in France deserve and how come the rather glib implication that women’s rights (which I consider human rights)are secondary to this because they will be fully served anyway by the achievement of the first ?

Errr no. My thinking is this. Some people have said that the Arabs are sexist chauvinist pigs anyway and complain too much about economic deprivation etc. They say that it is more important that womens rights should be focused on first.

As David quoted: : stop oppressing your women and be more “like us”.

What I’m saying is that the two concerns, womens rights and anti-racism, in this case are related. Without better economic opportunities, Arab women in those areas have little freedom and therefore lesser rights.

If a minority group does have womens rights issues, then I totally agree we should raise them and not hide behind our race. All I’m saying is, in this case both the causes are served by working on getting rid of economic deprivation from the areas.

#55 Comment By Bikhair On 9th November, 2005 @ 3:52 am

Ratbane,

In Islam there is nothing more dishonorable than a man who takes hands outs and relies on the people.

From Sahl ibn Aa’d (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said: Jibreel came to me and said: O Muhammad! Live as you will for you must certainly die; love whom you will since you must certainly leave him; act as you will since you shall certainly be given due reward for it; know that the believers eminence is his standing in prayer during the night, and his honour is having sufficiency without dependency upon the people.

#56 Comment By Sunny On 9th November, 2005 @ 4:39 am

In Islam there is nothing more dishonorable than a man who takes hands outs and relies on the people.

Yeah, try telling that to the UK’s biggest rabble rousers Sheikh Omar Bakri and Abu Hamza - both sponging off state benefits for years.

Its great in theory, but not so great in practice. Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in the UK have the highest unemployment and are much more likely to claim state benefits. That is not propaganda, just a cold hard fact.

#57 Comment By leon On 9th November, 2005 @ 2:00 pm

Some interesting posts regarding Paris: [7] http://sketchythoughts.blogspot.com/

#58 Comment By susano On 9th November, 2005 @ 11:30 pm

[8] http://infowars.com/articles/world/french_riots_engineered_by_globalists.htm

French Riots: Plan Engineered by Globalists
France erupts as rampant immigration reaps its vengeance

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones | November 8 2005

COMMENTS:
These riots are all part of the Globalists’ divide and conquer strategy to get the populations of sovereign nations to accept global government.

The intention is plain and simple: seperate the tribes along racial, religous, and ethnic lines and set them off against each other. When a terrorist act might be too obvious, riots are the next best thing. Both accomplish the same goal of getting people stirred up, frightened and most of all to make otherwise clear-minded poeple willing to submit their liberties to the state in trade for “protection.”

All of this is a device to broaden the police state to be used against the general public.

And just watch, these events will only lead to increased immigration into the country just like in the United States.

The world watches in trepidation as the wildfires of chaos sweep from France across Europe. We are witnessing the fruits of globalization. Rampant unchecked immigration policies and the enforced fusion of multiculturalism form the backbone of the New World Order’s systematic purge of the sleeping middle class.

Empires that have historically dominated and conquered the barbarians will one day wake up to find the barbarians are at the gates.

A sizeable proportion of the secular humanist Westerners who like to think of themselves as part of the establishment, when in reality they are unwitting tools of the true elite, have bought into the cuddly utopian philosophy that the West is a global village which welcomes all comers and has the enlightened innate ability to homogenize millions of different people of all different colors and creeds into one giant melting pot.

…..

#59 Comment By Sunny On 10th November, 2005 @ 12:00 am

susano - that was probably the stupidest article I’ve read on the issue.

#60 Comment By Bikhair On 10th November, 2005 @ 1:06 am

Sunny,

“Yeah, try telling that to the UK’s biggest rabble rousers Sheikh Omar Bakri and Abu Hamza - both sponging off state benefits for years.”

Yeah Yeah Yeah but I was talking about Islam and you are talking about Muslims. See the difference?

#61 Comment By Sunny On 10th November, 2005 @ 2:36 am

True - but maybe someone could have told those fools that their sponging wasn’t exactly compatible with the religion they were using to hate others. Someone like the MCB maybe?

#62 Comment By Rohin On 10th November, 2005 @ 2:43 am

Don’t talk crazy Sunny. That ain’t the MCB’s job yo!

#63 Comment By Inquisitor On 14th November, 2005 @ 7:59 am

“If the Indian Dalits, possibly the most opressed of any minority group on the planet, can get themselves organised (albeit only in the Indian state of Bihar, mind you), then why can’t the French non-whites?”

And what good has it done the Dalits other than, at best, slow down the evils that are afflicted upon them? It’s time to stop talking about getting ‘organised’ and start asking why these organisations are not ‘effective’.

When we learn to value each individual life as much as ‘our own’ children, parents, etc, that is when we will recognise the poverty of methods that basically tell us that more of our children, parents and friends will have to die because we have to address this problem via sensible means.

The means via which we address problems has to taken into consideration the cost incurred whilst addressing them via such means.

#64 Comment By DavidP On 14th November, 2005 @ 4:34 pm

41. Sunny:  Though we do have a problem with opressing our women
to a certain degree, that ties in with this issue. […] financial independence makes the situation better for women, not worse.

If they agree to take their headscarves off !

#65 Comment By DavidP On 14th November, 2005 @ 4:35 pm

43. Mirax : Oh, so bringing up the issue of immigrant women’s rights is simply another way of sticking it into these poor immigrants as a whole is it? Sorry but I do not buy crap arguments like that.

For me to say that immigrants (Muslims) should stop oppressing  their women, I first have to be sure that they  are oppressing their women, systematically, as part of the identity of their community. Well, the idea that “fathers and brothers”, or even fundamentalist groups, are intimidating women into wearing the headscarf, for example, is largely fantasy. Did you see the BBC [9] programme on the issue shown a few months ago ?


Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/129

URLs in this post:
[1] this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/asiannetwork_aod.shtml?asiannet/asiansonia_mon
[2] good analysis: http://www2.eurotrib.com/story/2005/11/6/62039/9755
[3] chez Judy’s: http://adloyada.typepad.com/adloyada/2005/11/paris_is_burnin.html#comment-10970683
[4] http://sonicsplace.blogspot.com: http://sonicsplace.blogspot.com
[5] at lmsi: http://lmsi.net/nouveautes.php3
[6] http://davidp1.blogspot.com/2005/11/notes-on-violence-part-2.html: http://davidp1.blogspot.com/2005/11/notes-on-violence-part-2.html
[7] http://sketchythoughts.blogspot.com/: http://sketchythoughts.blogspot.com/
[8] http://infowars.com/articles/world/french_riots_engineered_by_globalists.htm: http://infowars.com/articles/world/french_riots_engineered_by_globalists.htm
[9] programme on the issue shown a few months ago : http://davidp1.blogspot.com/2005/10/ears-and-forehead.html