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November 7: Rioting in France, primarily in the suburbs surrounding Paris, continued for its 11th night, claiming the life of a 61-year-old, who was beaten into a coma. At least 1,400 vehicles have been burned, 395 people have been arrested, buildings have been damaged and several policemen injured. The riots, involving young, unemployed Muslim men, began with the accidental deaths of two young men at an electricity sub-station. Locals maintain that police were chasing the two, but the authorities deny this.
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy fueled the riots by referring to the youths as “scum” and “rabble.”
Authorities claim that gangs of youths are deliberately confronting police. A local police commander said of the most recent fighting: “This is real, serious violence—not like the previous nights. I’m very worried because this is mounting.” One police union called for curfews and the army to be brought in to quell the growing violence.
From Paris, the violence has spread like a wave across France, and one report even indicated that the unrest was beginning to spread into neighboring Belgium, and possibly Germany.
France has 5 million Muslims (or 8.3% of the population), the most of any country in Western Europe. Conservative French lawmaker Philippe de Villiers, who has said he wants to “stop the Islamization of France,” told RTL radio that the problem has arisen from the “failure of a policy of massive and uncontrolled immigration.”
Ironically, the French riots come shortly after much of Europe sharply criticized the U.S. in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina for its example as a nation that had failed to address or maintain a state’s social responsibilities.
Source: BBC News; Breitbart; ABC News; CNN