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November 14, 2005
France To Extend Emergency Powers Amid Continued Rioting

France went through yet another night of rioting, pressing on towards three weeks worth of violence, without question coming from its heavily Muslim immigrant areas. While the world press largely downplays the uprising as a "youth" rally, the French government will ask for a three-month extension of government by fiat as a result of their inability to end the revolt:

The French cabinet is to ask parliament to extend a state of emergency aimed at tackling unrest in impoverished suburbs by three months.

The laws, which allow local councils to impose curfews and ban gatherings, were introduced last Wednesday for 12 days.

Parliament is expected to approve an extension of the laws, which officials say have helped curb the rioting. There were scattered incidents overnight.

So far, it seems that the curfews have kept the bandwagoneers off the streets, as well as any citizens that might oppose the hardcore, organized effort to force France into creating official autonomous no-go zones. While the French police have long treated these neighborhoods as such, the Muslims want official status so that they can introduce sharia law in the center of Europe.

With the Chirac government looking like a deer in the headlights, the French have to ask themselves what they have gained so far from the emergency powers and loss of assembly rights they have already granted to Chirac. He's barely been seen since the crisis first arose; where is his leadership? Has Nicolas Sarkozy and Dominique de Villepin simply bypassed him in favor of a split executive? French ennui at the highest levels of society demonstrates a decadence that gives a strong impression of impending collapse. If the French leadership cannot bring itself to care about a direct challenge to its authority, can another Vichy be far behind?

Addendum: Jack Kelly isn't fooled by the "poor youths" meme, either:

As Theodore Dalrymple noted in a prescient article in the City Journal three years ago ("The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris"), those whom the media choose to describe as "French youths" have cell phones, cars, boom boxes, gold chains around their necks. "They enjoy a far higher standard of living than they would in the countries of their parents' or grandparents' origin, even if they labored there 14 hours a day." ...

The elephant isn't really there, the media assure us. "The violence in France has not taken on religious overtones," said The New York Times. "Islamic ideology and leaders play no role in the disturbances," said The Washington Post.

But the "disaffected youth" shout "Allahu Akbar" as they toss Molotov cocktails into churches and synagogues. They talk of turning Paris into "Baghdad on the Seine."

They certainly aren't shouting, "Vive la France!" and declaring their love for France as they burn hundreds of cars every night.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 14, 2005 5:43 AM

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