Another tabu word, on a par with 'Arab'. In French, if not most European police stations, the dossiers for crimes committed by the Maghrebins are much thicker than those of 'Europeans', if one is still allowed to use this word to differentiate. Even there, one hesitates. Is it allowed? Is it politically correct? Could one be accused of racism by daring to point out such facts and alluding to differences of 'race'?
According to an article published in Le Monde the 25th February 2006, a general information report concluded that from a study of 436 young delinquents, taken from 24 sensitive districts, 87% have 'French nationality', 67% are of Maghrebin origin, and 17% African origin. Only 9% were of French non immigrant origin. Organisations such as the MRAP and SOS Racism categorically rejected such findings and announced their intention of taking legal action to denounce them.
A study in Le Point published the 24th June, 2004- "On the 1st January 2004, incarcerated foreigners numbered 12,241 in French prisons of a population of 55,355 prisoners (22%).
The police are tacit about this. It's in their interests to be, because they are in the front line. They are amongst the most vulnerable to have to contend with the terror of being accused of racism.
So we are already conditioned to avoid using European words that could insinuate latent racism. 'We', being the host nations of Europe.
Yet phrases such as, 'we shall take over Europe thanks to the bellies of our women' are sometimes heard. That's ok. 'They' have every right to express themselves in such an open way in a democracy. And it's also thanks to democracy that Europe could well be taken over by such radical Muslims, if it only depended on polygamy, time and numbers.
There are a great many Muslims however, who would prefer that Europe and the European cultures remain as they still are, and that they are protected as such for posterity. These intelligent Muslims are fully aware of the value of cultural diversity.
In order that the European cultures and identities be allowed to exist for the appreciation of future generations, it's obviously important that they be respected.
We hear in Egypt, a country that prides itself on its history and has every reason to, that there are elements bent on destroying Copt Churches and even murdering the Copts themselves. Don't they realise that they are destroying a part of the identity and the essential roots of their own civilisation? With the same illogic they could try to destroy their pyramids, sphinxes, temples and all the fabulous vestiges and art-treasures of Ancient Egypt.
The Taliban thought similarly by trying to destroy the Buddhas of Bamiyan. It only takes enough ignorance and degeneracy for one to consider oneself important enough to reject or negate history, including one's own.
A deputy of the French UMP, made a recent comment which caused feigned shock to the establishment regarding Mediterranean immigrants. She suggested that they be 'put back in the boats'. Naturally everyone totally rejects such a shameful proposition. At the same time they all know that once admitted into Europe, it's far more difficult to persuade the sans papiers to either take to the sea again or board a flight home.
Ironically Europe would also feel obliged to receive Libyans, for example, because of not having been able, at least so far, to help them get rid of their criminal regime.
Yet Europeans are increasingly aware of the danger, not only of reaching a point of saturation regarding how many immigrants Europe can accommodate without bleeding dry the social systems' already spent resources, but also regarding the obsessive objective of radical elements whose veiled ambition is no less than to gradually take over the continent by majority rule..
What has happened in Lebanon, where the Hezbollah has accumulated enough Muslim support to become part of the Lebanese government, could be regarded as a warning signal. It spells out that with time, democracy can become it's own victim. Because there's no reason today why a more radical than moderate Muslim majority would separate religion from politics, and most honest people know that Islam is not essentially compatible with democracy.
All this is reason enough to understand why there is now an increasing political tendency towards the extreme right wing, at least in France. Marine Le Pen is not tied down by 'political correctness'. She says what many feel but have been conditioned not to publicly express. Sarkozy, who is also a realist, is nevertheless restricted by 'club house rules'. In order not to plummet in the popularity poles or lose too many votes, he also has to give more leeway, allowing new members to use 'the facilities' without having to wear a tie, so to speak.
The Socialists never seem to hesitate in unashamedly milking the opportunity of immigration. Apparently they make the equation resulting from wearing the noble mask of generosity, giving the immigrants their papers, and why not a bit of pocket money to tide them over- which would equal to obtaining their vote and fidelity. Temporarily it might make sense, but in the long term it's short-sighted, and self-defeating. When one gains an exploitable privilege, due to the naivety of another, the latter could well end up having less value than a used Kleenex.
There are also other aspects that Europeans should be more aware of. The Koran and the Torah require that all animals destined for human consumption be slaughtered according to an established ritual. One cuts deeply into the throat of the animal sectioning the jugular veins and the carotids. The spinal column must rest intact because the animal's convulsions are necessary to enable adequate haemorrhaging. The animal is therefore conscious during the whole, painful process because modern methods to assure immediate death or total unconsciousness are forbidden. What's worse, as certain time limits have to be respected, animals are often suspended from hooks and pulleys and cut up whilst they are still alive.
It's reported that in France, if not elsewhere in Europe, increasingly more of such meat is being distributed on the open market. Without considering the unnecessary cruelty, specialists maintain that meat from stressed animals is not as fit for consumption as meat from animals treated humanely, yet reports reveal that almost two out of every three animals killed according to religious ritual, will be consumed by the general public. Everyone has the right to know this and to demand adequate controls and restrictions regarding such archaic rituals deemed necessary for religious reasons.
Viewfinder has already alluded to the burqa which isn't, as many claim, a religious garment. Not only is it a mobile prison that degrades women, its use is more political than practical. In fact wearing it wherever allowed in European cities often incurs serious risks, especially when driving or crossing busy roads, due to the obvious vision restriction it imposes.
In principle Islam prohibits speculation, and the gaining of interest on loans. This would seem to clash somewhat with the professions of Muslims engaged with OPEC. It also seems curious that a few years ago, the French minister of the Economy changed the tax law in order to introduce 'Sharia compatible products' presumed appropriate for introducing a University degree in Islamic finances. Last year the Islamic Bank was established in France. The first Islamic (Sharia compliant) bank of Europe was establish in England in 2004. It prides a 'Sharia Portfolio Service'..
Again, by today's ambiguous standards, all this could be considered an expression of 'racism'. But stating facts and findings has nothing to do with racism.
'The world is beautiful because of its diversity', as the Italians say, and our cultural variety should be respected, protected and maintained for the sake of every individual, culture and nation of the world, for posterity.
If certain cultures and religions can coexist without clashing, others are less compatible. In such cases one cannot benefit from both worlds without a degree of hypocrisy and compromise. Fundamentally, Islam and democracy are incompatible. Surely beautiful mosques are far more impressive, preferable and sacred in their true surroundings, than where they seem to impose, and look more out of place.
To return to the boats. The Italians are likely to have to contend with more refugees arriving by sea from Libya. Would it not have helped if the Italian government, without considering the EU as an entity, had officially supported Cameron and Sarkozy, to try to bring about the necessary Libyan transition, rather than wait, contend with the effects, and subject thousands of Libyans to the possibility of suffering from the worst possible consequences?
Text and top image © Mirino. Sources- 'La Voix des Bêtes, Elle, Le Point et Le Monde. Marche, 2011