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November 8, 2005
Demographics Are Destiny

The above title actually came from the lips of David Walker, who used the phrase to show the eventual time bomb of Medicare on the American financial system. However, it could have also headlined Michael Gurfinkiel's article in today's New York Sun regarding the ongoing uprising in France. Despite the collective silence by the Exempt Media on the ethnic and religious components of the riots that have engulfed the French, the fact remains that the areas where the violence originated and where it still flourishes find themselves with a common demographic component:

It is one thing to know in theory that France has undergone major ethnic changes over the past 30 years and another thing altogether to confront a mass ethnic insurgency. The figures are inescapable. There are about 60 million inhabitants in continental France, plus 2 million citizens in the overseas territories (essentially the French West Indies and La Reunion island in the Indian Ocean). About 20 million, most of them white and Christian, are over 50.

Out of the remaining 40 million or so, 10 million or so belong to the ethnic minorities: Muslim North Africans, Muslim Turks or Near Easterners, Muslim Black Africans, Christian West Indian, African or Reunionese blacks. When one regards to the youngest age brackets, the proportion is even larger. It is estimated that 35% of all French inhabitants under 20, and 50% of all inhabitants in the major urban centers, belong to the ethnic minorities. Islam alone may claim respectively 30% and 45%. Since war is essentially the business of youths, the combatant ratio in any ethnic war may thus be one to one.

Which brings us to a second question: How ethnic is the present violence in France? Liberal commentators, both in France and abroad, tend to say that poverty and unemployment, rather than race or religion, are the driving force behind the riots. Mr. Villepin himself tends to share this view, at least in part. He said yesterday on TV that he is earmarking enormous credits for housing rehabilitation, education, and state-supported jobs in the areas where the unrest has developed. But the fact remains that only ethnic youths are rioting, that most of them explicitly pledge allegiance to Islam and such Muslim heroes as Osama bin Laden, that the Islamic motto - Allahu Akbar - is usually their war cry, and that they submit only to archconservative or radical imams.

The fact also remains, according to many witnesses, that the rioters torch only "white" cars, meaning white owned cars, and spare "Islamic" or "black" ones. One way to discriminate between them is to look for ethnic signs like a sticker with Koranic verses or a picture of the Kaaba in Mekka or a stylized map of Africa. Further evidence of the animating influence in the riots lies with the French rap music to which the perpetrators listen. Such music obsessively describes White France as a sexual prey.

Why does the media decide to play this down? The Washington Post editorial board dimissess such talk altogether without even bothering to argue it, a disappointment considering that their newspaper was one of the only American media outlets discussing any Islamist connections to the violence. It's doubly ironic, as their own John Ward Anderson warned Post readers just a fortnight before the riots that French citizens had been trained in urban-warfare techniques in the Middle East the past few months, including bomb making and mobile attacks on police.

The Sun's reporting gives a better look at the demographics involved in the riots and the areas in which the violence occurs than any other media so far, and more than suggests that the French and the media elite want to fool themselves as well as us that poverty alone explains why all of France has been on fire for the past several days. We shall see with whom the French wind up negotiating an end to the riots to determine whether they had it right.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 8, 2005 7:27 AM

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» Twelfth Night from A Blog For All
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Tracked on November 8, 2005 9:06 AM

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Tracked on November 8, 2005 9:26 AM

» Watch Who Negotiates an End to the Riots from Gina Cobb
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Tracked on November 8, 2005 11:22 AM

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Tracked on November 8, 2005 11:58 PM



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