I've had a very lazy day today which I have mostly spent dozing and idly reading magazines. I came across a very disturbing article in Marie Claire, which I'd love to link to for you, however they don't appear to have an online edition.
Anyway the article concerns the lives of young Muslim women in the Paris suburbs where last years riots took place. From this article the lives of these young women appear to be brutal, degrading and hardly worth living at all. There are a number of horrifying stories cited in the article, for example that of Sohane Benziane who was burned to death by a local gang leader and his friends for 'refusing to obey'. Unusually the French police bothered to investigate this and made an arrest. The reaction of the local community to this arrest beggars belief 'As the police brought him out in handcuffs, people cheered and applauded him'....... 'They shouted Raoul, we love you.' Even mothers clapped him.'
The boys in the suburbs when not rioting and setting fire to seventeen year old girls also like to indulge in a spot of gang rape. Why a whole gang is required to humiliate and abuse a terrified fourteen year old girl is not explained. My guess is that it is simply because they can, given that the French police don't appear to take this kind of thing very seriously. One case cited in the article is that of Samira Bellil who reported being gang raped to the police. Rather than investigate this crime the police told her that she must have consented and sent her on her way. She then told her father what happened. Naturally her father was outraged, so much so that he called her a whore and booted her out the house.
Crime happens and will always happen. However I find it very disturbing that such serious crimes can be committed against vulnerable teenage girls and be at worst applauded and at best ignored. Particularly in a supposedly civilized country.
The reaction of the French authorities to this is even more alarming, rather than do something sensible, like increase policing in areas where these crimes are being committed, they have all but turned policing in these areas over to the local youths. It gets better though these young men are subsidised by the state, to 'police' the suburbs and enforce that peculiar brand of Islam which seems to operate on the basis that men can do whatever the bloody hell they like but women have to be watched like hawks and beaten like dogs. It may be the case that I have a different Qu'ran to everyone else but I'm having a hard time finding anything in it to justify this savagery.
In addition to the masterstroke of turning policing over the criminals, the French authorities have also banned Islamic dress from state schools which has improved the lives of young Muslim women no end by vastly increasing the number of Muslim girls withdrawn from school at sixteen and kept in isolation in these hellish suburbs.
The French authorities also seem curiously selective about which cultural differences to accept and which ones to clamp down on. Wearing a Hijab heralds the end of western civilisation as we know it whereas forced marriages are apparently just fine. One young woman who fled such a marriage approached the French authorities for help which was refused due to 'cultural issues'.
I note that after the riots there was much hand wringing and the usual calls for something to be done for alienated young men. It might be nice if the plight of Muslim women, who have not rioted, raped, murdered and assaulted, but confined themselves to peaceful protest and awareness raising, were given the same level of attention.