The reaction to a recent Muslim robbery of a priest in France is a sad indication of where the country is headed. A Catholic official pointed out, “If it had been an imam or rabbi, he [the Interior Minister] would already been on the spot.” This is no surprise, as Socialist President Hollande’s pandering to the Muslim population played a large role in his election.
The incident began when four Muslims surrounded the priest and told him to hand over his cell phone. One thief knocked him unconscious. The attack may have been motivated by criminality and not jihad, but the two are part of a common trend.
There are over 750 government-designated “Sensitive Urban Zones” in France, referred to as “No-Go Zones” by Dr. Daniel Pipes. About 5 million Muslims live in these areas of France where law enforcement doesn’t exercise decisive control. When the authorities do have to step in, a violent backlash quickly arises. There are many videos of Muslim worshippers holding illegal prayers in the streets when their mosques overflow without any response from police.
On New Year’s, about 1,200 cars were set on fire and police clashed with residents in the Muslim-majority districts of Strasbourg and Mulhouse. In August, a two-day rampage was sparked when a Muslim was arrested for driving without a license around the time of a funeral. Massive riots have broken out in these no-go zones because of the hostility to reasonable law enforcement. Over half of the French prison population is Muslim, where many are radicalized.
A lack of integration is the most common factor in Islamic terrorists. These unassimilated areas are not just breeding grounds for criminals, but for extremism as well—particularly when foreign Islamist governments and organizations get involved.
The Saudi Arabia-based Muslim World League, described by Andrew McCarthy as “the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology,” is helping finance the construction of 200 new mosques. The French Council of the Muslim Faith wants to eventually double the 2,500 mosques in the country.
Qatar, the supposed U.S. “ally” that subsidizes the Muslim Brotherhood, is also active in France’s Muslim community. It is financing mosques and the Union of Islamic Organizations in France, the Muslim Brotherhood’s main branch there. It demands the government to pass a law against “Islamophobia.” The Qatari government is also investing $65 million in the suburbs where over 1 million Muslim immigrants live.
This isn’t purely an act of humanitarianism or a business investment. The Qatari constitution is based on Sharia Law. The Christians in Qatar, almost 6% of the population, are allowed to practice their faith but cannot proselytize to Muslims. Hypocritically, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani publicly pledged in December 2011 to “spare no effort” to proselytize the Islamic teachings of Muhammad al-Wahhab, the founder of what is often called “Wahhabism.”
In 2011, a secret French intelligence report warned of extremist trends in the city of Marseille, thanks to “self-appointed” and charismatic imams. Only a “relatively low” number of the 250,000 Muslims living there support violent jihad, but “Islamic fundamentalism has progressed to the point where it has won over the majority of the Muslim population.”
French President Sarkozy was not afraid to challenge the Islamist trend, even if it opened him up to false charges of “Islamophobia” and bigotry. In the months leading up to the election, his government instituted new requirements for citizenship, including language fluency, passing tests on history and culture and pledges of allegiance to “French values.”
On the one hand, Soeren Kern, who has closely watched the underreported Islamist trends in France, said Hollande’s victory over Sarkozy was “the first time that Muslims have determined the outcome of a presidential election in a major western European country; it is a preview of things to come.”
Hollande’s government has endorsed 150 new mosque projects including a mega-mosque in Paris that was touted as a step towards “progressively building a French Islam.” Hollande also promised to grant amnesty to all 400,000 illegal Muslim immigrants and to modify the laws so non-citizen Muslim residents can vote in the municipal elections in 2014.
On the other hand, Hollande’s government has taken some action to encourage assimilation.
In August 2012, the French government re-designated 15 of the no-go zones as “Priority Security Zones.” Soeren Kern reported that this was part of a plan to reassert authority over the most crime-ridden zones. Aware of the resistance ahead, the French government deployed riot police, detectives and intelligence personnel. If the campaign is successful, another 40 of the no-go zones will become “Priority Security Zones.”
The Islamist trend in France must be reversed. Pew found that the current 6.5 million-strong Muslim population in France, which is 7% of the population, will grow to about 10.3% by 2030. That’s nowhere near a majority, but it’s enough to swing elections, politically Balkanize the country and create a cesspool for criminals and terrorists.
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.