the Arab Street is in Europe

While waiting for war, Steven Den Beste mentions off-handedly:

I'm worried about the unassimilated and angry Muslim masses of Europe. The ones in France have been stockpiling weapons, and there are other populations in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Will they rise in armed revolt, and plunge most of Europe into civil war? I remember the Watts riots in 1965. There was a period of several days in which a section of Los Angeles became a lawless anarchy. Will there be many large urban areas in Europe where order breaks down? How will the governments respond? How many people will die? Might the resulting disturbance seriously damage the already-weak economies of Europe?

which sparked a thoughtful analysis by Russell Wardlow of French-Arab relations, in contrast with US-negro relations. They are analogous in several ways, but the main difference is that in France, the seeming equality could be argued to simply be a veneer, whereas in the United States there has been actual progress towards ideals of tolerance and diversity. The seething anger of Arabs in France towards their host/master is evident in Theodore Dalrymple's disturbing essay, Barbarians at the Gates of Paris (mirrored on UNMEDIA list). But could the EuroArab masses revolt?[1] Russell makes a compelling argument, which is a must-read, and then draws the following conclusion:

I believe that the type of unrest that Den Beste describes, something that's been brewing for years, would bring a swift and absolutely merciless crackdown. For one thing it would cause the pretense of benevolence to be cast off. For another I don't believe for a moment that the French have the means or the mindset to address any kind of large scale civil unrest in any but the most brutal ways, and I would not be surprised to see death tolls (nearly entirely of French Arabs) climb above a thousand people.

In such a scenario, along with however many were killed, there would also die the pretension of French benevolent post-colonialism. It would be another Ivory Coast moment, but rather than exposing the falsehood of French rhetoric about multilateralism, it would be a bloody testimonial to France's dishonesty regarding its colonial legacy and its true nature towards the Arabs, and would leave them with a lot of hard questions to answer in the aftermath.

However, strictly speaking, this is not a reason a EuroArab revolt could not happen. It's really a persuasive argument about what would happen should the EuroArabs revolt.

Ultimately, this is the legacy of imperialism. Whether it begins as "just war" or not, imperialism, colonialism, and occupation are ultimately slow-acting poison to tolerance and freedom - even in the conqueror state. These are lessons that we in the US can learn from as applied to Iraq - and likewise Israel as applied to its conquered and occupied colonies, the West Bank and Gaza.

[1] Steven refers to rthe threar as the EuroMuslim masses, again demonstrating a blindnes towards the fact that not all Arabs are Muslim, and not all Muslims are Arab. I am sure Steven understands this on an intellectual level, but his consistent use of Arab and Muslim as synonyms immunizes him from taking that reality into account in his own analyses. The most egregious example is quite famous in the Blogsphere. My own attempts at highlighting the reasoin the distinction is important have earned me the label, Islamic apologist.

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