Monday, November 07, 2005

France Burns while Chirac Postures

BBC NEWS has the latest on the continued mayhem in France.
A night of rioting in France has left 1,408 vehicles burnt out and resulted in 395 arrests - the highest tolls yet in 11 nights of unrest.

Ten policemen were injured by shots and stones when they confronted 200 rioters in the Paris suburb of Grigny, with two policemen seriously hurt.

President Jacques Chirac has said restoring order is his top priority.

Muslim leaders of African and Arab communities have also issued a fatwa, or religious order, against the riots.

"It is strictly forbidden for any Muslim... to take part in any action that strikes blindly at private or public property or that could threaten the lives of others," the fatwa by the Union of Islamic Organisations in France said.

Hundreds of cars were set on fire in different towns on Sunday night, and police had to use tear gas to disperse a club-wielding mob in Toulouse.

Map of main flashpoints

Unrest has gripped areas with large African and Arab communities since the deaths of two youths in the rundown Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, who were accidentally electrocuted at an electricity sub-station after reportedly fleeing police.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's oft-cited description of urban vandals as "rabble" (racaille) a few days before the riots began is said by many to have fuelled tensions.

Reports of a police tear gas grenade hitting a mosque during the riots further inflamed feelings.

Despite the controversy over Mr Sarkozy's remarks, a CSA opinion poll published in Le Parisien at the weekend showed him with a nationwide approval rating of 57%.
Marvelous governing, Mr. Chirac. Marvelous.

Does Reaping what Ye Sow mean anything to you, sir?

I'll try an compose a more detailed analysis later.