Monday, November 08, 2004

What a headline:

"La manifestation antiraciste ne mobilise pas."--Le Figaro.

Read on, if you know French, to hear more about how a protest against racism and anti-Semitism, scheduled for yesterday and to be held in Paris and elsewhere in France, never quite got off the ground. But the headline's all you need, really.


Alex B. said...

Phoebe, I don't think the reason why it never quite got off the ground is because France is racist or hostile to its minorities. That might not be what you are implying, but in any case.. here's a defense of the French on that matter.

The reason why it never got off the ground (and RFI has been talking about it all day long, interviewing citizens and politicians) is because people did not want to be seen demonstrating alonside UOIF (Union des organisations islamiques de France), an islamist group that amalgamates a bunch of pretty nasty characters like Fouad Alaoui or Mohamed Latrèche, famous for having opposed the law on laïcité and for their not-so-kind words regarding Jews. What's more, they are said to be close to Tariq Ramadan, who is famed for evoking 9.11 as an "intervention" and for suggesting a "moratorium" on the lapidation of Muslim women, while justifying it "in theory". Islamists are not France's friends, and they should not be. They are not "fréquentables", even in a demonstration.

So it turns out that we needed a little more than just the headline.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

I agree and disagree with you, Alex. I did not mean to suggest, in absolute terms, that France is an inherently racist place. In theory, France is in many ways better at fighting racism than is the U.S. But the problems you mention that prevented the "manifestation antiraciste" from taking place are indicative of larger problems in France, which is why there's something sad yet sickly funny about a headline, in French, saying that an anti-racist movement was planned but didn't actually take place.