In France last month, riots spread — not only to Aulnay sous Bois and other suburbs of Paris in Seine Saint Denis, such as Le Tremblay-en-France, Villepinte, Bobigny, Torcy — but farther, to Argenteuil (Val d’Oise), Mantes la Jolie (Yvelines), Grigny, Les Ulis, Lille (northern France), Marseille (southern France), Dijon (Burgundy) and, of course, right to the heart of Paris.
How many million euros of goods, shops, cars and buses were destroyed? Nobody knows. The daily Le Parisien published a confidential police memo saying that between February 7 and February 11, in Seine-Saint-Denis alone, 200 cars were burned, 160 garbage trucks were burned, hundreds of projectiles were thrown, 40 fireworks were fired at police, and 108 people were arrested.
Amid these riots, three other “explosions” took place.
Mehdi Meklat and Badroudine Said Abdallah affair. Mehdi Meklat and Badroudine Said Abdallah were until very recently, two cultural heroes. These two young Muslims were the darlings of the left mainstream media.
In March 2016, they even had the honor of an article in The Washington Post:
“At 23, they are already celebrities, France’s youngest public intellectuals…. neither sees the point of a university education, and their world begins where Paris ends, which is the point of their entire intellectual project.
“Their columns for the Liberation newspaper’s Bondy Blog, their documentaries and their 2015 novel all reveal the two friends’ overarching intent: showing the world the complicated reality of the Paris suburbs where they were born and raised.”
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It’s not a bad joke; it’s a very bad joke. Turkey, where all variants of ethnic and religious xenophobia are a national pastime, is accusing the West of being racist.
Speaking after a spat with Austria and Sweden over news reports and tweets from those countries that accused Turkey of allowing sex with children under the age of 15, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed that the behavior of European countries reflected the “racism, anti-Islamic and anti-Turkish (trend) in Europe.”
He is talking about the same Europe where the inhabitants of one of its biggest cities, London, recently elected a Muslim as its mayor. In Turkey, not even the smallest village of a few hundred inhabitants has a non-Muslim mayor.
In “racist” Austria, the police immediately arrested two suspects in connection with an attempt to set fire to a Turkish cultural center in the northern Austrian town of Wels — and at a time of rising tensions with Turkey. By contrast, Turkish law enforcement officials arrested five former gendarmerie intelligence officers just recently — nine years after the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. These officers would probably never have been implicated if the two Islamist allies, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Fethullah Gulen, his staunchest political ally when Dink was assassinated, had not turned into each other’s worst nemesis in power-sharing fight in 2013.
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Xenophobia in Turkey is well-documented. The 2007 Pew Global Attitudes surveys, for example, showed that negative views of the United States were “widespread and growing” in Turkey, a NATO member and European Union applicant. According to the Pew Research Center:
“Of the 10 Muslim publics surveyed in the 2006 Pew Global Attitudes poll, the Turkish public showed the most negative views, on average, toward Westerners.
“On this scale, the average for Turkey is 5.2, which is a higher level of negativity than is found in the other four Muslim-majority countries surveyed (Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Pakistan) as well as among the Muslim populations in Nigeria, Britain, Germany, France and Spain.
“Large and increasing majorities of Turks also hold unfavorable views of Christians and Jews.”
The 2014 Pew survey of Turkish public opinion also found a major rise in xenophobia, revealing that Turks expressed a strong dislike for just about everyone.
“Such anti-Americanism inherent in the population of an American ally is noteworthy,” wrote Professor Doug Woodwell. “Turkish public opinion as a whole is perhaps the most xenophobic on earth… Whatever the future, at least Americans can rest assured; while Turks may have a lower opinion of the US than any other country, they are equal opportunity haters.”
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