Thursday, November 10, 2005

if it's not about religion...

If the riots in France have nothing to do with religion, we should be seeing some data about the gangs of disgruntled, unassimilated African Christians setting fire to everything. My point isn't that membership in a Christian church automatically leads to civil conduct-- Lord knows the followers of Jesus can be assholes like everyone else-- but that it's a bit simplistic to dismiss the Muslim angle.

What we're looking at appears to be the product of a whole, interconnected network of causes. Government neglect is undeniably a problem. Racism against Africans is a problem. But non-assimilationism is also a problem, and a large part of that stems from certain forms of Islam that have taken root in the banlieues. Religion is very much a part of this equation.

I don't expect or trust simple answers to the questions facing France; a multifaceted problem of this scale, decades in the making, deserves a well-thought-out, measured, and equally multifaceted response.


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