News that a man brandishing flags professing faith to Islam carried out a fatal attack at a gas plant near Lyon sent the French political establishment into a frenzy, pulling President Francois Hollande out of his meetings and into a specially convened council of defense advisers.
This seems, in the light of day, to be an overreaction to an incompetent criminal act. Compared to January’s events, when three men turned heavy arms against targets of high symbolic value — the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher market in the capital city — Friday’s attack was a dud. There was a personal connection — the victim reportedly knew his alleged killer — and it was limited in scope.… Seguir leyendo »
Two weeks ago, dozens of cars were set alight in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand after a 30-year-old truck driver, Wissam El-Yamni, was roughed up and then died while in police custody. The uproar underscored the hostility of young minority men toward authority across communities in Europe, an antipathy that has at times led to deadly violence.
The failure of Islamic integration in Europe is often attributed — especially by right-wing parties — to an excess of tolerance toward the large-scale Muslim immigration that began in the mid-1970s. By recognizing Muslim religious requirements, the argument goes, countries like France, Britain and the Netherlands have unwittingly hindered assimilation and even, in some cases, fostered radicalism.… Seguir leyendo »