Local Time

Monday, January 16, 2006

Rage on Rue Picasso

As the Muslims all over the world celebrated the end of Ramadan with
Eid ul Fitr, Paris was burning; reaction to death of two young boy of
African-Muslim background but real causes firmly rooted in years of
neglect, discrimination, and forced integration into French society; turned
into hopelessness, confusion, bleak future and eventually rage, by a
group of youth and young men of Islamic heritage.

I am not a social scientist, so I cannot speak about the long-term
consequences of this event or how best to tackle the situation. Someone
like Tareq Ramadan, who I thought has a very strong following among the
youth in France, would be a great person (I am hoping to hear something
from him).

One of the problems that I know the Muslims in France are facing (there
are many, compare to the US) is deliberate secular integration into the
French society. As bad as some of us think of US, it is still the most
religious society in the western hemisphere, as opposed to France,
which is the least.

Among the urban African-Muslims of France, the average unemployment is
21 percent, double the national average. Among men under 25, the rate
jumps to 36 percent.

“Disconnected from their past in the Muslim world and uncertain about
their future in Europe, they've come to see themselves as citizens of
nothing but "Neuf-trois," 93, the postal code for the outer edges of the
Paris urban area.”

“In Clichy-sous-Bois, where it all began, calm was restored after the
fourth night by young men from the local mosque. The government was
thankful and hopes similar measures can work elsewhere.”

However this didn’t bode well for many secularists France.

They are saying, “Calling on mosques to restore order "validates the
postulate that Islam is the answer to everything,"”

The author of the following article says, “Yet without the mosque, it
would seem, the only option for the people along allee Albert Camus is
what the author of "The Stranger" called "the tender indifference of the
world."”

Will it ever be possible by the secularist to install anything other
than Islam as “the answer to everything” for the Muslim youth of France?

I pray to Allah that it never happens.

I also pray for calm, patience and guidance for the Muslim youth of
France that has been engaged in violent acts for the last 10 days.

Maqsud Sobhani

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