Thursday, October 26, 2006

At least they're a good bad example

Looking back on the anniversary of the French Muslim rioting:

Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the start of three weeks of rioting in suburbs across France, sparked by the accidental deaths of two teenagers who hid from police in an electrical sub-station in the poor, immigrant Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.

The story became a top international news story, as television viewers around the world watched pictures of burning cars and schools, dramatic evidence of the failure of the country's integration efforts.

"The riots were watched with great interest," recalled Arnauld Miguet of the London School of Economics.

"The British considered that the French model had failed in a way but at the same time it wasn't all negative as there were plenty of things to learn," he told AFP.

....For Italian centre-left senator Andrea Manzella the French riots revealed a "social fragility".

....Belgium was "concerned and horrified" at the situation in neighbouring France, says University of Liege philosophy professor Edouard Delruelle.

"The no-go zones, this type of incipient civil war, the de facto ghettos... create an image seen with a certain amount of fear," said Delruelle, a former Belgian rapporteur on intercultural dialogue.

....Fyodor Lukianov, chief editor at the "Russia in Global Politics" review, said parallels were drawn between what happened in the French suburbs "and what could happen in Russia if we don't seriously face up to our own problems of integration".

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