Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Millet System for France?

We're constantly assured by much of the mainstream media that the riots in France have nothing to do with Islamist radicalism, but Amir Taheri, "France's Ticking Time Bomb," Arab News, November 5, 2005, disagrees:

The result [of the Muslim immigrants' failure to assimilate to French culture and society] is often alienation. And that, in turn, gives radical Islamists an opportunity to propagate their message of religious and cultural apartheid. Some are even calling for the areas where Muslims form a majority of the population to be re-organized on the basis of the "millet" system that was in force in the Ottoman Empire. Under that system each religious community is regarded as [a] "millet" and enjoys the right to organize its social, cultural and educational life in accordance with its religious beliefs.

In some parts of France [a] de facto "millet" system is already in place. In these areas all women are obliged to wear the standardized Islamist "hijab" while most men grow their beards to the length prescribed by the sheikhs. The radicals have managed to chase away French shopkeepers selling wine and alcohol and pork products, forced "places of sin" such as dancing halls, cinemas and theaters to close down and, seized control of much of the local administration often through permeation.

A reporter who spent last weekend in Clichy and its neighboring towns of Bondy, Aulany-sous-Bois and Bobigny heard a single overarching message: The French authorities should keep out!"

All we demand is to be left alone," said Mouloud Dahmani, one of the local "emirs" engaged in negotiations to persuade the French to withdraw the police and allow a committee of sheikhs, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate an end to the hostilities.

None of this sounds good to me. Either the state laws apply equally to everyone, or we've returned to Medieval feudalism's fragmented states -- or something much worse.

What is the millet system? According to the Wikipedia entry:

Millet (stress on the e) is an Ottoman Turkish term for a legally protected religious minority. It comes from the Arabic word milla (ملة) for confessional community.

. . .

The millet system has a long history in the Middle East, and is closely linked to Islamic rules on the treatment of non-Muslim minorities (dhimmi).

. . .

Each millet was under the supervision of a leader, most often a religious patriarch, who reported directly to the Ottoman Sultan. The millets had a great deal of power -- they set their own laws and collected and distributed their own taxes.

. . .

When a member of one millet committed a crime against a member of another, the law of the damaged person applied. The Muslim majority was seen as paramount and any dispute involving a Muslim fell under their law.

The entry ends with a dry observation: "Some observers deem that multiculturalism . . . also has some similarities to the millet system."

Taken to its logical conclusion, this would entail the disintegration of France as millet communities of Muslims govern their own affairs without interference by the French state. We should then expect to see the laws of Sharia applied, including those harsh hudud ones such as stoning for adultery or cutting off hands for theft.

France hasn't nearly reached that point yet, and the riots don't yet amount to civil war, but they do indicate serious danger lurking in the future if radical Islamism takes hold in Europe's growing Muslim population.


At 5:49 AM, Blogger Yaakov Kirschen said...

things are getting scarier and scarier.

watching Europe sinking under the Islamofacist wave and continuing to refuse to see the waters rising is a horrifying experience.

Dry Bones
Israel's political comic strip since 1973

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks for the comment, Mr. Kirschen. I'm honored that you would visit here.

In the twentieth century, Europe lost confidence in itself. The turning point, when we look back from our perspective, was WWI. The Great War altered the European landscape, physically, geographically, politically, and intellectually.

With hindsight, who in the West wouldn't wish that Europe had not taken that Great War detour leading through Bolshevism and Fascism to a chronic crisis of European confidence.

We're still reaping the fruits.


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