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Thu Jan 15, 2015, 01:24 PM


Crisis in France Is Seen as Sign of Chronic Ills

France may have just hosted its biggest outpouring of solidarity since the end of World War II in response to the terrorist attacks last week in and around Paris that left 17 dead at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.

But in the disaffected suburbs, or banlieues, that ring France’s largest cities, those appeals for unity hardly penetrated the sense of isolation, even siege, that have left cities like this one living a parallel existence from the rest of the country.

“I am French and I feel French,” said Nabil Souidi, 23. “But here you are forbidden to say, ‘I am Charlie,’ ” referring to the rallying cry of solidarity since the attack on the magazine.

Mr. Souidi recently graduated from a trade school and hoped to find a job as a mechanic. Months later, he is still out of work, searching for a Plan B. “I’ll go to Syria,” he said, with a sarcastic laugh in an interview over a plate of French fries and mayonnaise.

For him and many other French Muslims, the nation’s preoccupation with last week’s attacks at the hands of Islamic extremists presents a mere distraction from a fundamental social crisis that has plagued France’s immigrant neighborhoods for decades.

Here, and in numerous other poor suburbs that ring French cities, joblessness runs around 20 percent, about double the national average. For young people, it can be as high as 40 percent. About half of residents do not have a high school diploma. Police harassment and profiling are taken for granted as the rule.

In a time of budget cuts and austerity, conditions have only deteriorated despite years of pledges by successive governments, including President François Hollande’s, to improve schools and create opportunity.

The men who carried out the attacks — Saïd Kouachi and his brother Chérif, and Amedy Coulibaly, who seized the kosher market, grew up in the French banlieues and had failed to hold down a series of menial jobs in their youth.

All were attracted to Islamic extremism by their teenage years, and many residents in the banlieues consider them bad seeds who were propelled toward the fringe...

Conditions were already bleak in his neighborhood even before the killings, he said, and now, more than ever, he said, he wanted to send a pointed message to the government and the country.

“What we are asking for is to be respected according to our worth,” he said. “The message, quite simply, is to be regarded as truly French.”


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Reply Crisis in France Is Seen as Sign of Chronic Ills (Original post)
ND-Dem Jan 2015 OP
Mass Jan 2015 #1
ND-Dem Jan 2015 #4
seveneyes Jan 2015 #2
ND-Dem Jan 2015 #3

Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Thu Jan 15, 2015, 01:27 PM

1. Most of them do not kill people. While suburbs conditions in Europe (and the States) are bad, the

amalgam is really disturbing.

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Response to Mass (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 15, 2015, 01:57 PM

4. Not sure i understand your point. the amalgam of what?


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Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Thu Jan 15, 2015, 01:42 PM

2. joblessness runs around 20 percent


Birth Control. If multiplication is too hard to understand, keep adding until you get it.

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Response to seveneyes (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 15, 2015, 01:44 PM

3. right, those muslims are pumping out babies, just like black people in the US. that's why


they all live in ghettos and have high unemployment.

it's all because they have too many children!!!!

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