france violence riot
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Street violence: Absolute majority of Muslims are outraged

Street violence: The overwhelming majority of Muslims in Europe have no sympathy for outbursts.

Islamic Times – “More crèche places, job promotion, measures against radicalisation – and more police” were announced by French President Macron in 2017. Obviously, these measures have not been sufficient to solve socio-economic problems in the banlieues so far.

Photo: Marianna, via Wikimedia Commons | Lizenz: CC BY-SA 3.0

Street violence: Banlieues cannot be pacified this way

The suburbs of large French cities with their bleak housing machines can hardly be pacified. After the killing of a youth by a French police officer, who is now rightly in custody, violence has erupted in recent days.

In his Topology of Violence, Byung Chul Han reminds us that “massive resistance to the ruler testifies to a lack of power.” Thousands of young people experience in street fighting, if only for a short time, the feeling of putting pressure on the other side.

Participation in French society is hardly encouraged by these chaotic actions. The most serious crimes are being committed here – the absolute majority of Muslims in Europe have no understanding for this.

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Violence and counter-violence lead to a dead end

Violence and counter-violence lead to a dead end. The brutalisation of language, the lack of differentiation, the logic of friend-enemy distinctions – driven by whatever side – is a precursor to escalation. “Violence is the rift that allows no mediation, no reconciliation,” Han admonishes in his treatise.

Where do things go from here in France? Unlike the marauding youths in France, the French right does have a power option: it could win the next presidential elections and profit from the polarisation of society.

Strategy of tension

Their strategy is clear. Attempts are made again and again, on the symbolic level, to link the signifier “Islam” with the collective perception of the events. The impression is fomented that the enemy comes from “outside” and goes hand in hand with a biopolitics that claims that the young people, who were born in France in large numbers, are not French.

What no longer appears in this image of the enemy is another fact: Islamic doctrine fundamentally rejects violence and civil war. The majority of French Muslims have shown solidarity with the victim, regret the incident like many French people, but do not sympathise with the street violence.

It is part of the usual media spectacle of some media to present radical outsiders, who often live in the big cities without any connection to Muslim practice, as members of the Muslim community.

The thesis is not that there are no Muslim criminals in Europe. Rather, it must be rejected that Islamic teachings, mosques or Muslim communities encourage them.

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Situation in the suburbs is complex

The situation in the French suburbs is complex and can hardly be explained with monocausal theories. Yes, part of the overall picture is to mention the machinations of Muslim ideologues in the banlieues, who in turn spread an enemy image against French society.

Paradoxically, the Rassemblement National also wins elections among voters with an immigrant background who hope that a shift to the right will lead to effective measures against the criminal street gangs.

The song describing France’s social problems has often been sung. How do you solve the problem? Presumably the French president will announce: “More crèche places, job promotion, measures against radicalisation – and more police.”

Whether the brutalisation of morals can only be fought with money remains an open question.

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