stroll around Paris fully veiled from the waist up, but in hotpants and high heels waist-down, to protest the burqa ban in France. Also calling themselves Mi-putes, Mi-soumises, a pun on the admirable organization called Ni-putes
, they believe the ban is unconstitutional
, as calls for similar bans occur in other European countries
A Moroccan man whose wife wears a veil has been denied citizenship
on the basis
that he has failed to assimilate
into French society. [more inside]
Quitting France: French Jews are leaving the country in ever-growing numbers, fleeing a wave of anti-Semitism. They are moving to Israel, the United States, and increasingly, Montreal -- where the mostly English-speaking Jewish community is preparing for its greatest demographic change in decades.
An interesting if slightly anecdotal look at the situation for Jewish people in France from Canada's National Post.
- Barricaded in Paris, Part 2
- Taking leave of 'the fear', Part 3 tomorrow deals with the impact of the influx of French Jews in Montreal.
Rioting continues in the suburbs of Paris. In Clichy-Sous-Bois
, a predominantly (80%) North African muslim banlieu of about 28,000 people, night battles have been raging
(video) between youths and the police after two muslim youths died by electrocution while they thought the police were chasing them, a charge the police denies. That was 5 nights ago. Since then, 27 people have been arrested, 3 convicted, numerous cars destroyed and property damaged, and 23 police officers wounded in street battles involving "up to several hundred" participants. The muslim community now accuses the police of firing tear gas into a mosque
, and things look far from calming down. These tensions are hardly confined to Paris, however - In Lyon, 800 cars have been burned
in "low level" violence this year; Across France, 9,000 police cars have been "stoned" this year, and 20-40 cars are destroyed a night
(!!!), according to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy
. I knew that relations between "the French" and the "Beurs
" were somewhat less than pleasant, but am I the only one that was unaware that France has been in a state of low-level but direct civil and religious war
for the last few years?
Salman Rushdie defends fellow writer Michel Houellebecq,
the autonomy of the literary text and its right to be considered on its own terms with characters of every sort.