From Jerusalem Post "Nov. 9, 2005 3:19 Updated Nov. 9, 2005 9:45 "Revolt of the 'Arab street' " By MARK STEYN ...
Ever since 9/11, I've been gloomily predicting the European powder keg's about to go up. 'By 2010 we'll be watching burning buildings, street riots and assassinations on the news every night,' I wrote in Canada's Western Standard back in February. Silly me. The Eurabian civil war appears to have started some years ahead of my optimistic schedule.
...The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up transatlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America's Europhiles, France's Arab street correctly identified Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.
...732 AD...the Muslims had advanced a thousand miles north of Gibraltar to control Spain and southern France up to the banks of the Loire. In October 732, the Moorish general Abd al-Rahman and his Muslim army were not exactly at the gates of Paris, but they were within 200 miles, just south of the great Frankish shrine of St. Martin of Tours. Somewhere on the road between Poitiers and Tours, they met a Frankish force and, unlike other Christian armies in Europe, this one held its ground "...
...Poitiers was the high-water point of the Muslim tide in western Europe. It was an opportunistic raid by the Moors, but, if they'd won, they'd have found it hard to resist pushing on to Paris, to the Rhine and beyond. ...There would have been no Christian Europe. The Anglo-Celts who settled North America would have been Muslim. Poitiers...was "an encounter which would change the history of the whole world."
Battles are very straightforward: Side A wins, Side B loses. But the French government is way beyond anything so clarifying. Today, a fearless Muslim advance has penetrated far deeper into Europe than Abd al-Rahman. They're in Brussels, where Belgian police officers are advised not to be seen drinking coffee in public during Ramadan, and in Malmo, where Swedish ambulance drivers will not go without police escort. It's way too late to re-run the Battle of Poitiers.
In the no-go suburbs, even before these current riots, 9,000 police cars had been stoned by "French youths" since the beginning of the year; some three dozen cars are set alight even on a quiet night. "There's a civil war underway in Clichy-Sous-Bois at the moment," said Michel Thooris of the gendarmes‚ trade union Action Police CFTC. "We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting."
What to do? In Paris, while "youths" fired on the gendarmerie, burned down a gym and disrupted commuter trains, the French cabinet split in two, as the "Minister for Social Cohesion" and other colleagues distanced themselves from the Interior Minister, the tough-talking Nicolas Sarkozy, who dismissed the rioters as "scum." President Chirac seems to have come down on the side of those who feel the scum's grievances need to be addressed. He called for "a spirit of dialogue and respect." As is the way with the political class, they seem to see the riots as an excellent opportunity to scuttle Sarkozy's presidential ambitions rather than as a call to save the Republic.
... the rioters aren't doing a bad impression of the Muslim armies of 13 centuries ago: They're seizing their opportunities, testing their foe, probing his weak spots. If burning the 'burbs gets you more "respect" from M Chirac, they'll burn 'em again, and again. In the current issue of City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple concludes a piece on British suicide bombers with this grim summation of the new Europe: "The sweet dream of universal cultural compatibility has been replaced by the nightmare of permanent conflict."
Which sounds an awful lot like a new Dark Ages.
The writer is senior North American columnist for Britain's Telegraph Group.