Gallic infifada - "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists"
Paris is no longer burning - but the unrest and violence in Muslim neighborhoods continues.
United Press International - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper
Turf conscious bloggers in Paris' rundown, mostly Muslim, suburban immigrant housing estates rival in violent messages that threaten to beat senseless and even kill any intruder caught in "our ghetto." Almost every word is misspelled, in both argot slang and pidgin French. And these are not empty threats. An average of 14 policemen a day are injured in bloody clashes with jobless youngsters.
France's Interior Ministry said 2,500 police officers had been "wounded" this year. The head of the hard-line trade union "Action Police" Michel Thooris wrote to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to describe conditions in housing developments turned slums as "intifada." Police cruisers are pelted daily with stones and "Molotov cocktails" (gasoline-filled bottles with burning wicks that explode on impact) and Thooris said cops assigned to what was rapidly degenerating into "free fire zones" should be protected in armored vehicles. Entire tall buildings empty into the streets to chase policemen and free an arrested comrade.
"We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists," Thooris told journalists. Sarkozy, the leading center-right candidate for next year's presidential election, responded by dispatching cops in body armor, equipped with automatic weapons and rubber bullets, stun and teargas grenades into several Paris suburbs with orders to "restore control" from "organized crime." In one recent clash 250 cops dispersed a 100-strong Muslim gang armed with baseball bats.
The chaotic conditions in suburbs like Clichy-sous-Bois, Montfermeil and St. Denis have grown progressively worse since the nationwide Muslim riots in November 2005 that torched 10,000 vehicles.