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For the ninth night, the cities of France burn. The nation of Charles Martel and the men of Tours suffers the blows of the enemy it once turned back from Europe’s heart. So it comes to pass that insurrection spreads, destruction and havoc reign, and the very elderly are burned alive at the hands of the jihadists of the Fifth Republic.

The corrupt bargain of 1962 is at last bearing its bitter fruit: the pieds noirs were expelled from Algeria, but a France in decline needed the Algerians to fill the ranks of the working and the young. Algerians in ghettos formed the nuclei of Muslim communities in the heart of the Republic; and these in turn attracted more of the flotsam of empire. Senegalese, Nigeriens, Malians, and Moroccans joined their co-religionists and co-nationals in equal measure in the once-conquering colonial power. It might have been a just and worthy immigration, but for the lie of the évoluéthe lie that France accepted all, and that a Frenchman was a chosen state of being. It might have been a just and worthy emigration, but for the chronic inability of too many Muslims to live in ordered peace as a minority in Europe.

Indeed, the Muslim rebellion in France is hardly the first — nor the last — example of jihadist barbarism in modern Europe. From the predations of the Albanians, to the Arab insurrection in Belgium, to the ritual slaughter of errant Dutchmen, to the massacres in London and Madrid (a perpetrator of the former, by the bye, was just buried with honor in Pakistan), to the present little-known riots in Denmark: Islam is truly the enduring challenge of and to European identity. If the thesis of European integration (particularly in light of the emergent Turkish accession and the rejection of a mere acknowledgment of Europe’s Christian heritage) is one of the essential sameness of first principles of all nations and peoples — geography, rather than values, is the defining characteristic of “Europe” — then a starkly murderous demonstration of that thesis’ falsity can only be met with one of two responses. Truth can be acknowledged, or it can be denied.

Ponder which option the French elite, so heavily invested in the European project, will pick. Ponder what it says about their own first principles.

I call them jihadists, and thus it is. Popular press would have it that the grievances of the rioters are functions merely of class and condition. These are aggravating factors, to be sure — but there are as many non-Muslim poor, ghettoized, “real” Europeans who fail to resort to aggression. French Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy, one of the more forthright of the French ruling class, has averred that the present uprising was planned. The rioting in Denmark was apparently planned as well. Many of the French insurrectionists are demanding not jobs and bread, but the imposition of the millet system. And in an implicit acknowledgment of the root causes of the troubles, it’s a pitiably few Muslim clerics who have better hope of placating the discontented than the powers of the state.

France burns. In time, the flames will be doused — but the embers will smolder on.

Share  Posted by Josh Trevino at 1:04 AM | Permalink

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