“French Muslims see widening social divide in wake of terror attacks”

From WaPo, b – (who sucks big time with this pandering gibberish.)

As many as 6 million Muslims are living in France, and the government has long been criticized for failing to integrate them into the nation’s rigorously secular society. The result is what authorities fear is a growing cohort of alienated Muslim youths open the lure of propaganda from the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

That’s all wrong. In reality, there are at least 10 million Muslims in France. That is more than critical mass. The French government has not “failed to integrate” Muslims, Muslims have failed France. Muslims have deliberately failed to integrate in French society because of Islam. The resulting “alienated Muslim youths” are alienated because of Islam, not because of anything else. And It is not the lure of the Islamic state that calls them to jihad, it is the Koran, their clerics, their coreligionists in the mosque, and their ideology. Get to understand that and you’ll begin what we’re up against.

French Muslims see widening social divide in wake of terror attacks
The young Muslim woman’s face is framed by a modest headscarf as she lays out flowers on the beachside promenade, a day after an Islamic State-inspired terrorist mowed down Bastille Day revelers in mid-July.

More reality here:

Teen girl ‘gang-raped then tied up and gagged by 3 illegal migrantsunder Eiffel Tower’

The 19-year-old was found naked, in tears, tied up and gagged in the French capital on Monday morning by a couple out jogging.

She claims she was lured on a Facebook “date” on Sunday after messaging who she thought was a Tunisian 17-year-old boy.

But, when she turned up at public park Champs des Mars by the Eiffel Tower, she was dragged into a bush and raped by three men.

It is understood the suspects, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were trying to flee to Germany…..

NICE, France — The young Muslim woman’s face is framed by a modest headscarf as she lays out flowers on the beachside promenade, a day after an Islamic State-inspired terrorist mowed down Bastille Day revelers in mid-July.

She is somber but determined when asked if the attack would heighten tensions over Muslims in France. There should be no confusion, said the 30-year-old woman, who asked to be identified only as Nathalie. “This man, for me, he’s not a Muslim. He’s a monster.”

Nathalie’s view of the man who killed 86 people on the Nice waterfront may well be shared by millions of other French Muslims. But their public condemnations have done little in the months since the shocking attack to alleviate societal divisions that many say are deeper than the French war against the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

As many as 6 million Muslims are living in France, and the government has long been criticized for failing to integrate them into the nation’s rigorously secular society. The result is what authorities fear is a growing cohort of alienated Muslim youths open the lure of propaganda from the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

In interviews with The Washington Times, French officials and several moderate Muslims worried aloud that the situation has been made worse by harsh government crackdowns in the wake of the Nice massacre and the even deadlier attack in November in which Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in the heart of Paris.

Undercover French police prowl the streets of major cities, and authorities have carried out more than 4,000 home raids since November under a “state of emergency” decree allowing searches without court warrants.

The government says the moves are necessary to contain the Islamic State threat. Muslim rights group say the crackdown, coupled with “Islamophobic” rhetoric from political leaders, plays directly into the hands of the Islamic State by further alienating the largest edgy population of Muslims in Europe.

The Islamic State’s objective “is to antagonize local Muslim communities in the West to make recruitment of new followers easier,” said Marwan Muhammad, executive director of a Paris-based group known as the Collective Against Islamophobia in France. “The higher the level of Islamophobia, the easier it is for [ISIS] to pose as an alternative.”

Mr. Muhammad said the past 10 months have “amounted to the most systematic state-sponsored aggression on Muslim communities ever to occur in France.”

Many police raids have targeted the banlieues, the heavily immigrant suburbs that ring Paris and other French cities. But some argue that the nation’s wider Islamic community — including Muslim middle and upper-middle classes — has also increasingly been made a scapegoat by French politicians keen to exploit public fear of the Islamic State.

“The problem today is that we have politicians who know they can grow their popularity whenever there is an attack, they know they can benefit from it by spreading fear,” said Fouad Ben Ahmed, a community organizer in Bobigny, a banlieue outside Paris.

“Words are important,” said Mr. Ben Ahmed, 40, himself of North African descent. “Nowadays, politicians confuse Islam with terrorist acts even though they know Islam is completely different from terrorism — that Islam for most French Muslims is not the Islam the politicians are talking about.”

Asked if he considers himself a Muslim, Mr. Ben Ahmed, who has lived his whole life in France, said he didn’t want to answer. “It’s a personal question to ask someone about their religion,” he said.

“Look, in France right now, whenever there is a terrorist attack, all Muslims are asked to condemn it,” Mr. Ben Ahmed said. “But then, the rest of the time, they’re asked to keep their faith quiet and at home.”

“It’s like schizophrenia,” he said.

The ban on ‘burkinis’

Article 1 of the French Constitution declares the nation to be a “secular republic,” a reflection of the long historical battle over the role of religion and the Catholic Church in political life. For centuries, the French have frowned upon outward expression of religious faith, and the government doesn’t even collect statistics on the religions of its citizenry.

But divisions over Islam began to surge in the years after the 9/11 attacks. In 2004, the government banned the hijab in state schools, a move that rights groups decried as a sign of rising Islamophobia. Tensions intensified in 2010 when the government banned the niqab — the full-face covering of deeply conservative Muslim women — and generated debate and global headlines again this summer when authorities imposed a ban on “burkinis” — women’s swimwear covering much of the body and head.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front party, has likened Muslim prayer in France to the early 1940s Nazi occupation. But centrist and even liberal politicians have jumped into the fray. Former center-right President Nicolas Sarkozy wants the veil banned at all universities, saying recently that France “will require assimilation” of its Muslim citizens.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls, a Socialist, drew ire from Muslim groups for publicly denying the legitimacy of the word “Islamophobia.”

“‘Islamophobia’ is a term that was spread by the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the world to give a guilty conscience to the people by blowing up the situation related to discrimination,” said a senior official in Mr. Valls’ office, speaking on background.

“Of course there are anti-Muslim acts, but I don’t want to use the word ‘Islamophobia,’” said the official, who acknowledged a rise in violence targeting Muslims in France but touted a government campaign encouraging citizenry to speak out against it.

Videos on national television have called for an end of discrimination against all minority religious groups. One showed a Muslim man being beaten and said such acts were affronts to the French ideal of tolerance.

The government has also put out online clips aimed at countering the appeal of Islamic State recruiting propaganda to young French Muslims.

“They tell you, ‘Sacrifice yourself with us and you will be defending a just cause,’” one clip said. “In reality, you’ll discover hell on earth and you’ll die alone, far away from your home.”

We ‘too’ are French

Mr. Muhammad’s Collective Against Islamophobia in France has clashed with the government for years. It publicly criticizes what the group says are Islamophobic officials and garners headlines by filing lawsuits against Ms. Le Pen for the “incitement of hatred.”

But the collective has engaged in a publicity campaign around the group’s artistic re-creation of a famous image from French revolutionary history: the “Tennis Court Oath,” drawn in the 1790s to depict a new era of religious tolerance.

In the rendition from the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, the drawing’s original subjects, a group of white French men, have been replaced with modern-day French citizens wearing religious garb of multiple faiths, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. A message above the image reads, “We too are French,” with the word “too” in dark red.

The French government was so outraged that it banned posters of the revised image from the Paris Metro subway system, saying it violated a policy against the display of religious symbols in public.

“This campaign is at the heart of the tensions in France right now,” said the aide to Mr. Valls. “From the U.S., you may think the government acted in an extremely secular way, but the fact of the matter is that CCIF is actually an extremist activist group.

“They hate what France is. They hate what we are. They are as dangerous as those who take up arms because they are preparing people’s minds to take action against the state,” the official said. “CCIF promotes an identity that is immigrant-community-based and goes against French identity. But the overwhelming majority of French Muslims feel French, are proud to be French and to have French identity, and France is proud to have them.”

The official added that the government has a long-standing and positive relationship with a far less activist Islamic group known as the French Council of the Muslim Faith.

A ‘war inside Islam’

The council’s 75-year-old president, Dalil Boubakeur, offered a mixed assessment of the situation during an interview inside the Grand Mosque of Paris in July.

What is happening within France’s Muslim communities is a reflection of a larger “war inside Islam,” Mr. Boubakeur said. “[The Islamic State] is like a poison, a cancer on the world we live in, and we must destroy it.”

On one hand, French authorities are justified in implementing more security, he said, but more needs to be done to address the disenfranchisement of Muslim communities.

“In France, there are 6 to 7 million Muslims inside these communities, and there are many young people who are very abandoned, people with no success in school or work. So this is a good basis for an explosive situation.”

One Muslim man told The Times that he agreed with Mr. Boubakeur’s assessment but argued that neither the government nor the council is “in touch with real Muslim communities” in France.

“They don’t represent the youth at all,” said the man, a 29-year-old of North African descent who grew up in a poor suburb of Paris and called himself “Walid.”

“The police generalize everyone,” Walid said. “It’s a problem. Maybe in downtown Paris you don’t see it, but in the suburbs, they provoke you. It’s more racist and anti-Muslim here today than it was 10 years ago. Muslims who live here feel less safe because there is a lot of confusion between terrorism and being just Muslim.”

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