Hungarian Conservative

The France Riots: Another Example of How Europe Is Committing Suicide with Its Failed Immigration Policy

Mohamed Badra/EPA/MTI/
In 2017, the recent France riots were seemingly foreshadowed by the Foreign Minister of the UAE, who said: ‘There will come a day that we will see far more radical extremists and terrorists coming out of Europe because of lack of decision making, trying to be politically correct, or assuming that they know the Middle East and they know Islam and others far better than we do. I'm sorry, but that's pure ignorance.’

‘Has France fallen because of its mass immigration policy?’ is the question many raised in the wake of the riots that escalated all over France and plunged the nation into total chaos and anarchy. The incident that sparked these riots occurred after a France police officer shot and killed a 17-year-old Algerian Muslim, Nahel M., during a traffic stop in Nanterre, west of Paris.

Nahel M. was driving in the bus lane during a traffic jam when he was pulled over to stop but refused to provide a licence, and tried to drive away instead. According to the Nanterre public prosecutor, the officer shot him in the left arm and chest as he feared the teenager would start a car chase and injure others. 

Although public outrage would be understandable after such an incident, the violent attacks and hatred it provoked were inexplicable. Riots were reported from Paris—where a dozen buses were burned, and store windows were smashed along the Rue de Rivoli—all the way to Roubaix in the north and Marseille in the south, as well as Reims and Lyon. In Drancy, a Paris suburb, a shopping mall was burned down; in Marseilles, the country’s largest library was set to flames. Additionally, the headquarters of the Paris 2024 Olympics in Seine-Saint-Denis was also set on fire. 

As Hélène de Lauzun, a journalist for The European Conservative, reported,

authority in all its forms is unbearable for the rioters as everything that embodies the order was attacked: police stations, town halls, schools, libraries.

Lauzun also noted that while so-called ‘Caisses d’allocations familiales’ (family allowance offices), which are offices that distribute social benefits, escaped unscathed from these scorched-earth operations, elected representatives and mayors, who are local authority figures, were particularly targeted. The mayor of Pontoise—a large town in the northern suburbs of Paris—was recognised while in her car and came under mortar fire, in which she lost her hearing and had her ankle burnt. In Cholet, Vendée, the mayor’s house was looted. In L’Haÿ-les-Roses, rioters attacked the wife and young children of Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun.

Nahel M.’s mother told the France TV 5 channel that she did not blame the police, just the one officer who took her son’s life. The victim’s grandmother also talked to the France television channel and urged the rioters to stop and calm down. ‘They should stop breaking store windows, stop hitting schools and buses as we take the bus, we don’t have cars. These people need to calm down,’ she pleaded. 

Since the 2005 Riots, the Violence in France Only Worsened 

As Sayfo Omar, a researcher at the Hungarian Migration Research Institute (MRI), pointed out in a recent study about the underlying social problems behind the France riots, this is not the first time that tempers have been unleashed in the French suburbs. The study highlighted that

local rioting became a regular occurrence in the second half of the 1990s. Nationwide demonstrations began in November 2005, starting in the suburban town of Clichy-sous-Bois, north of Paris,

following the death of two teenagers who, while trying to escape from the police, had taken refuge in an electricity substation.

The study explained that after the 2005 riots, it became clear to the wider public that the traditional structures of immigrant societies had become dysfunctional, and young people struggling with an identity crisis did not accept their parents or religious leaders as authorities. During the three-week unrest in 2005, 10,000 cars and 230 public buildings were set on fire, and the material damage exceeded €200 million. The police arrested nearly 2,900 rioters, while 126 policemen and firefighters were injured in the clashes. Just like the MRI study, the aforementioned European Conservative article also pointed out that

since the 2005 riots, the situation in France has significantly worsened.

The intensity of the violence and how quickly the news about the riots spread—in which social media had a huge role—is unprecedented. While in 2005, the street upheaval was limited to the suburbs and so-called ‘difficult’ neighbourhoods, the whole country was affected this time. Not only the suburbs, but also the centres of major cities like Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Reims, Saint-Etienne, and Lille, the villages such as Montargis, which is an hour from Paris, or the Burgundy town of Beaune were all affected by the violence.

The MRI study also highlighted that a 2017 law amendment, which gave police officers wider authorisation than before to use weapons by allowing them to open fire if the driver of a vehicle disobeys and/or endangers the life of the police officer, was the main reason why the riot was triggered. According to France24, 13 people were killed last year after they refused to stop for a police road check. The study also drew attention to another key fact: the older brothers and other family members of a significant number of those rioting now took part in the 2005 unrest, so there is no authority within the family which could deter them from violent acts. Also, around 26,000 policemen and gendarmes have left the service since the Covid epidemic, which further complicated the situation for the authorities this time. The federal government deployed around 45,000 officers in towns and cities every night during the time of the continued unrest, and more than 700 violent—mostly immigrant—protesters were arrested.

Still according to the study done by MRI, the violent riots revealed that the French state had abandoned an entire generation of young people with immigrant backgrounds. Due to the failures of the education policies, labour market opportunities for young people are limited; therefore, crime has become a way of life for many in the suburbs. Immigrant youth, in particular, are more likely to engage in criminal activities due to poor education and high unemployment rates.

The Anti-Semitic Side of the Riots 

For the French Jewish community, the riots also sparked fear that they would become the targets of violence. Radical Muslim protesters shouted Allahu-Akhbar while setting vehicles on fire and vandalised a Holocaust memorial site in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. Video footage of the incident shows rioters shouting and writing anti-police slogans on the wall of the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation, which honours the 200,000 people who were sent from Vichy, France, to German concentration camps during WWII. ‘The vandalisation of this monument desecrates the memory of the victims of the Nazis. Amid the social unrest currently roiling France, Holocaust memorials must be respected and protected,’ the Combat Antisemitism Movement said in a statement.

European Jewish Congress on Twitter: “It is truly horrifying to witness the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation in Nanterre being vandalized.This shameful act of disrespect for the memory of the victims of the Holocaust must be unequivocally condemned and those responsible held accountable. pic.twitter.com/B0HT3L9TiF / Twitter”

It is truly horrifying to witness the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation in Nanterre being vandalized.This shameful act of disrespect for the memory of the victims of the Holocaust must be unequivocally condemned and those responsible held accountable. pic.twitter.com/B0HT3L9TiF

Jewish-Israeli rights activist Rudy Rochman’s Instagram post went viral which shows him reacting to the recent anti-Semitic violence in France by holding an Israeli flag in front of the Eiffel Tower while wearing the Tefilin and Kippah. In his post, he wrote

‘The question of if Jews will be in danger in France is not a matter of if, but when…4,000 years of history prove that when Jews begin to assimilate, hide & divide is when antisemitism starts to rise. Unfortunately, the response to rising Judeophobia has usually been met with Jewish fear & laying low as a short-term means of protection.’ 

He also highlighted that ‘in France, being yourself is not socially acceptable or “laic”, and wearing a Star of David, Tefilin, or a Kippah in public is considered “provocation”!’ He concluded by addressing those in France who consider openly proud Jews as provocateurs the following: ‘If being a strong Jew provokes you, then be offended and provoked to know the new generation of Jews do not fear you or your feelings.’ 

Europe is Committing Suicide Through Mass Immigration  

In his 2017 book The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, Douglas Murray, a renowned writer, journalist, and associate editor of The Spectator, argues that ‘Europe is replacing its population and committing suicide through mass migration because large numbers of illegal migrants do not appear to have minimal inclination or desire to integrate into the surrounding society and culture and absorb democratic norms and behaviour.’ 

According to an article by The Spectator, the recent violent events in France have boosted the popularity of Eric Zemmour, the leader of the opposition right-wing Reconquest party. The article explains that the reason why Zemmour entered into French politics in late 2021 was to solve the failed immigration policy. After losing last year’s elections, the Reconquest party was considering broadening their platform so they would not only focus on immigration and Islam. However, the surge in migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe last summer and a series of violent attacks committed in France by foreigners made them make up their minds, and they decided to stick to their existing strategy. Nicolay Bay, the party’s vice-president, declared last December that ‘France is waging a civilisational war to preserve its age-old identity, which is threatened today by the combined effect of uncontrolled immigration and an Islam that seeks to conquer’. 

While the United Nations and the magistrates’ union in France blame the riots on the ‘racism’ of the police, Zemmour believes immigration is the underlying cause.

He highlighted that ‘over the last 20 or 30 years, France has continued to receive hundreds of thousands of people from North Africa and [sub-Saharan] Africa’.  

Ironically, French President Emmanuel Macron was attending an EU summit which focused on the migrant crisis when the riots started to worsen, and was forced to cut short his trip to Brussels to participate in a crisis meeting in Paris.

At a recent session of the National Assembly, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó also pointed out that the events in France showed the failure of Western European social integration efforts, as it has become clear that it is impossible to integrate large numbers of illegal migrants from other cultures. 

As Hananya Naftali, a leading Israeli Jewish influencer and human rights activist, put it in his recent video about the France riots, the violent rioters abused the freedom they were given in Europe by other freedoms, cultures and peoples.

‘Violent protesters punished all of France, the country that welcomed and nourished them, and the only cause they will achieve by violence is anarchy and radicalism,’ he added. Naftali pointed out that the Muslim Foreign Minister of the UAE predicted the France riots in his 2017 speech. The foreign minister foreshadowed the recent events by saying the following:

‘There will come a day that we will see far more radical extremists and terrorists coming out of Europe because of lack of decision making, trying to be politically correct, or assuming that they know the Middle East and they know Islam and others far better than we do. I’m sorry, but that’s pure ignorance.’


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In 2017, the recent France riots were seemingly foreshadowed by the Foreign Minister of the UAE, who said: ‘There will come a day that we will see far more radical extremists and terrorists coming out of Europe because of lack of decision making, trying to be politically correct, or assuming that they know the Middle East and they know Islam and others far better than we do. I'm sorry, but that's pure ignorance.’

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