Disconnected from their past in the Muslim world and a future in Europe, they've come to see themselves as citizens of nothing but "Neuf-Trois," 9-3, the postal code for the outer edges of Paris.—Dickey, Newsweek International, 11/06/05What are the arson fires in France, especially in the Parisian suburbs, about? My good friend Christopher Dickey, Newsweek Bureau Chief in Paris and expert on terrorism and the Middle East, wrote two weeks ago about the immigration problems arising in Europe with the huge influx of African Muslims moving north to look for a better life:
Most experts agree that over the long term better development programs are needed in North Africa and among the sub-Saharan countries where these new immigrants originate. "We know exactly what it takes" says Steffen Angenendt of the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. But that would require opening up more EU markets to such countries, especially for agricultural products, and there's no strong support for such a move in Europe.-- Dickey, Newsweek International, 10/24/05
The fires are just the beginning. And this could be a portent of the future of the immigration conundrum in the US. The difference is that Latinos make up a major plurality of voters in the US, and without oversimplifying, this may offer an easier method of change than outright revolution.
In both cases of immigration issues—American and European—the solutions seem to be held up by the same reasons: fear and bigotry. Until those populations trying to maintain fences are willing to see humanity as one, and its members as brothers and sisters, the conflagration will continue to grow.
The American poet Robert Frost once wrote, famously, that good fences make good neighbors. But when the neighbors are as desperate as the Africans storming the concertina wire at Ceuta and Melilla, no fence is good enough.--Dickey, Newsweek International, 10/24/05