Paris heat not from Muslims

“The riots, described as France’s worst since May 1968, have been linked to the threat of radical Islam. But both descriptions are misleading. The violent unrest is better compared to the riots that burnt down African-American ghettos across the United States in the 1960s. ‘It is nothing to do with radical Islam or even Muslims’, says Olivier Roy, research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research and one of the world’s leading authorities on political Islam. He says that although many rioters are from Muslim backgrounds, ‘these guys are building a new idea of themselves based on American street culture. It’s a youth riot – they are protesting against the fact that they are supposed to be full French citizens and they are not’.”

James Burton in The Age, 8 November 2005