Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Racial Problems In France

This is a great article I found at Bouillabaisse. The article was written by “WhyNot” of Pourquoi Pas? in response to an ongoing conversation concerning rampant racism in France. The article has a very interesting discussion that includes both Muslims & Arabs and Jews. I chose to only post the part about Jews, because of space. To read the whole article- which I highly recommend- click here

“Just recently, I yet again came across articles/blogs inferring France is the dark pit of anti-semite sentiments.

Jews
Only 3 hours ago, on the 8pm national news, we saw the inauguration of a monument, right in the heart of Paris, in commemoration of the holocaust. A Great Wall of Names of French Jews deported during the war, some 76 thousand names, carefully researched by historians to avoid painful mistakes - not such an easy task in the midst of people whose identity papers disappeared and whose bodies went in smoke, literally.
Anyway, more to the point:
Whereas I can observe a subjacent anti-arab feeling at the grass root level in this country, even if unspoken, it is obvious that there is no such anti-jew/anti-semite sentiment equivalent. It is pure fiction. It exists NOT.

Of course, there are nutcases around, like everywhere else. Whether caucasians or arabs, there are a few psycopaths who will scream for the death of every jew on this planet. What's new? Same with nutcase jews who scream for the death of every palestinian. And so on. Take you pick.

The reality though is that claiming there is a rampant & wide-spread anti-jew sentiment here is not only bullshit, it's actually ridiculous. Anyone who would like to spend 6 months here would realize it. It simply doesn't make sense. One of the reasons is simply that to the average French caucasian, nothing differentiates a jew from a caucasian. Furthermore, jews who practice their religion do it here in a very private manner. Half the staff at my work place could be practising Jews and I wouldn't have a fuckin' clue, nor would anyone else.

And lastly, for those religious paranoiacs, religion in France is all but dead. Nobody gives a fuck about what religion you belong to. The only thing ppl care about is the preservation of a secular system by which anyone can practice any religion they want so long as they don't try to shove it down other ppl's throats. The still overwhelming *christian/catholic* population is so reserved and private about their *religiousness* that once again, you'd be hard pressed to know, even after working for 5 years with a colleague, whether (s)he is catholic or atheist.

And so a *possible* religious motive for anti-semite sentiment clearly does not stand to reason. Religion conflicts here are a thing of the past, thank goodness. Religious-based hatred of other ppl, let alone entire sections of the population, is pure fiction. Chritians fanatics are as rare as hen's teeth. So are Jewish ones (Jewish in the religious sense). Muslim fanatics are also a very tiny minority even if they get very vocal.

Bullshit headline news
A few months ago, France got the world media focus, mostly thanks to the US mass media always in search of a good French-bashing story. It was about the jewish cemeteries desecrated in Alsace, region north east of the country, right next to Germany. Oh boy, what a brouhaha there was. Even asshole Sharon made his grand ignorant speech calling for all French Jews to urgently go home to Israel as if their lives were on the line.

Strangely enough there was no international coverage on the fact that as many catholic and muslim cemeteries were also desecrated. And when, just recently, the investigations at last bore their fruits and found that in all cases, it wasn't at all a case of *broad* anti-jew sentiment born by either caucasions nor arabs, but in fact the product of a handful of neo-nazi youths, then the entire world media was silent about it.”