Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: France In Flames; Islam Fatwa Issued ...

07 November 2005

France In Flames; Islam Fatwa Issued ...

If it was the eye-catching headline which first caught your attention, then it's to be hoped that you're not too disappointed to learn that the actual facts may not be exactly what you expected.

However, if that is indeed the case you have probably already helped to prove a point; most things are rarely as straightforward as they first appear.

Propaganda, preconceptions and presumptions all too often colour many people's judgment and almost always, culminate in incorrect conclusions being drawn . (When you find out about today's fatwa, the truth of that should dawn).

After 11 days of still spreading rioting across many areas of France - more marching than crawling - from out of the metaphorical woodwork come in ever increasing numbers - the so called experts. The majority of whom are invariably self appointed 'specialists'. Many, most probably can neither speak a single syllable of French, nor claim to have ever set foot in France and lots [particularly 'across the pond'] wouldn't even be able to point out the place on an atlas.

The truth behind the current 'troubles' is that it's not a war, of any kind, as so many mainstream media whores would have you believe. And whilst there are undeniably elements of religion and ethnicity involved, the whole sordid spectacle the world is now witnessing is basically about blatant class discrimination, deprivation and segregation.

It's French, not foreign youth, that's decided their days of being designated 'the underclass' are done.

They have seen for themselves for all their young lives how their immigrant parents and/or grandparents have suffered for so long under successive French elitist governments. And to put it mildly, that's extremely poorly.

But this angry generation isn't one of immigrants; these young people were born, bred and belong in France. They are absolutely bona fide, full French citizens. But they have never been treated as such, much to their nation's shame, and now they're simply sick of their second class status.

Since lawlessness, violence, arson, assault and worse can never be excused nor accepted by 21st century civilised societies -- such a sad situation as currently seems set to continue, must be 'sorted out' - and sorted out soon. But no sensible solutions will ever be found if all parties involved in these terrible trying times [be they the alleged guilty or claimed innocent] can't or won't 'talk'.

Alarmingly, lots of the most aggressive 'answers' to the situation France now finds itself in, are arriving from the kick-ass type, right wing Republican loonies, thousands of miles away across the Atlantic. What's next from them one wonders? The final solution? A la fashion du Faluja ?

But to get back to the Islamic "fatwa" that's just been issued in France. Here's how it was disgustingly, under-reported today by the B.B.C. But at least they did report it. Who else has?

Well, now This Old Brit has too. Please pass it on.

Muslim leaders of African and Arab communities have issued a fatwa, or religious order, against the riots.

The link to the full piece [in which the Muslim leaders' fatwa proclamation lies well hidden] is below - along with some extremely enlightening excerpts from the French press, as selected and re-published by today's Guardian.



Important update:

To it's undying shame the BBC have [within hours] removed all reference to the issued "fatwa" mentioned in their report linked above. So, historical revisionism is still alive and well in Blair's Britain, eh?

However, the Guardian linked piece below also reported - and retains - news of the "fatwa" pronouncement.

A regular reader/poster Mark Abbot asks if we have taken a 'screen capture' of the original 'unsanitised' BBC report. To our undying embarrassment we admit that we haven't, but hopefully we won't make such a mistake again.

Another reader/poster 'dei' has alerted us to another reference to the "fatwa" in a Guardian report. To him/her, we offer our sincere thanks - and to the Guardian we offer our similarly sincere apologies for originaly [and mistakenly] implying that nobody else had publicized this vitally important, and extremely relevant fact.

The country's biggest Muslim fundamentalist organisation, the Union for Islamic Organisations of France, issued a fatwa forbidding those "who seek divine grace from taking part in any action that blindly strikes private or public property or can harm others".

Scroll down about three quarters of the page [approx para 17/18] for the above fatwa reference. Here's the link.,,1636153,00.html


Anonymous graniab said...

I am truly saddened by the events in Paris these past few days. As I mentioned earlier I lived in Aulnay-sous-Bois as an au-pair many years ago and it was a pit then. There was quite a Moslem presence back then. They worked at a huge car factory nearby. But there was simply nothing to do in that town for young people. It seems that little has changed. I am going out on a limb here to express my admiration for the community elders who are appealing for calm. The government's response has been appalling - just send in more reinforcements. These are French citizens who deserve full status and equal access to all that France offers. Somebody needs to mediate the concerns of these second class citizens PDQ.

12:07 am  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Reminds me of America....

running things badly ends badly. France, like much of Europe, is having problems with immigrants, here, we too have problems. From the native tribal people here, the problems with immigrants began in 1492.

3:22 am  
Anonymous Mark Abbott said...

OK, I've read the BBC link three times now, the version that bears the time-stamp "Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 06:33 GMT" -- and there's no mention of a fatwa of any sort in that version.

That's some pretty quick scrubbing! à la "The Commissar Vanishes" (Stalin's practice of removing fallen politicos from newsphoto files)

Sure hope you got a screen capture, Richard! Mention of the fatwa against the violence is certainly not there now.

7:39 am  
Anonymous Dei said...

Mark, I read that fatwa in The Guardian though I don't know if it's still up. Shame on the BBC if it's scrubbed it.

You're quite right Elaine and you're part of the problem in America, you immigrant! Find out which European country your forebears came from (if more than one, decide which one you like best) and repair to there immediately!

You'll probably say that while your ancestors did not walk over the Bering land bridge, you were born and raised in the United States, you *are* an American whatever that means now and this *is* your country and you'd be right.

That is exactly the position the rioters are in. They *are* French, whatever that means. And it's the fact that they keep being treated as if they're not really French, as if they don't really belong (all while being yelled at for not 'fitting' -- as if they'd be fine if only they'd peel off those damn foreign-looking skins they keep insisting on wearing) and they've had enough of it. Enough of that shit.

The French government is going to have to learn that it's not sufficient to claim equality -- you also have to practice it. You have to acknowledge the presence of discriminatory practices, both official and unofficial, and crack down on them. You can't just shut your eyes and pretend that everything's okay. Because it's not. And what really worries me is that amongst all this hoo-haa, there hasn't been much understanding on the parts of the politicians as to how to move forward to a society that actually lives the ideals of the Republic.

9:00 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Alert to all readers:
An important update to original blog-post has just been added.

Many special thanks are offered to Mark and dei for alerting me in the first instance.

12:22 pm  
Anonymous kiwi said...

great catch(es) all.

Something else today on BBC news.

Still some troubles - but "dramatic" and "sudden" and "inexplicable" drop in rioting - espicialy in/around Paris.

Typical! Don't give any Muslims [like the fatwa issuing, French Islamic elders] any chance to appear like 'good guys'. Uh?

They [official propagandarists] make me sick.

3:01 pm  
Blogger Gert said...


It's indeed important to note these riots have little if anything to do with fundie Islam: some of our wingnut American blogging friends are already making that connection (they hate "communism" and France often in one breath).

Simplistically put, these riots appear more like our own "race" riots, rather than religious manifestations.

Well spotted.

3:41 pm  
Anonymous dubhaltach said...

You're on windows yes? If so do you have screen capture software richard?

If you don't i can let you have some very good packages that are copyright free.

you can get me here:

dubhaltachmacan [funny looking thing that we call "snail letter" over here :-) ]

5:47 pm  
Blogger Sophie said...

Thanks for the sane comments. From the other side of the pond, I agree that, no, it's not intifada, yes, these families have been segregated and left out of the French economy and culture for 30 years.

Words and respect can make things better in the short term. Actions in the long term. More CRS and curfew (curfew meaning more arbitrary 'identity controls', they increases the risk of fights) are not the solution I think. Even if things settle down this way, we should all spend the next, say, 10 years, changing our country and our mentalities. The French should dispense with the racist spirit that surfaces so quickly among us.

I'm very sorry to fear that exactly the contrary will happen. The government uses force and lets things rot in order to increase this racist tendency, hoping to use it to get votes in the next presidential election. And playing with that for any reason is extremely stupid and bad.

My deepest respect go to the people who try to appease. To all who have given their time to help people in these suburbs, who fight to continue these actions when the government is cutting fundings.

8:52 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


Dead right on all counts - as you usually are.

gert, Agreed again;just like we had up here in the Toxteth district of Liverpool, whci I still remember so well/vividly.


Yep. Windows with screen capture, but thanks for the kind offer anyhow. And for the email addy too; it's always handy to have.


Bon soir et merci beaucoup. :^)
But as my French n'est pas tres bien, ....... back to English, which is 'slightly' better.

I see from your own site that you're French and/or from France, so welcome. I do my best to spread the truth. If only more people would do the same, eh?

I'll have to check out you're site more fully later - seems like there are some lovely pics, etc, there.

Incidentally, Sophie is also my [only] + [light of my life] granddaughter's name - so you're doubly welcome - and I hope to see you back @ This Old Brit, again.

Bon nuit.

12:35 am  
Anonymous Dei said...


You're welcome. And I'm a she, last I checked. ;)

Sophie, thanks for your perspective. I'm afraid I can't disagree with it: politicians will probably see it more in terms of how they could gain votes from it rather than what it says about what they could be doing differently.

7:00 am  
Anonymous Eva said...

Allez, Old Brit!

Your are a good man and a wise man. I love you. $:)

5:42 pm  
Blogger Phyl said...

Richard, one good thing is that the fatwa against the violence is being reported in other parts of the world. We heard about it in Canada at least two days ago.

Shame on the BBC for removing that information!

6:23 pm  
Anonymous granaib said...

There have been a lot of interesting comments re: this subject. Good comment in today's Guardian by top French footballer!

6:36 pm  
Anonymous dubhaltach said...


Blair defeated over terror laws
Tony Blair says his authority is intact despite suffering his first House of Commons defeat as prime minister

He said he hoped MPs "do not rue the day" they rejected his call to allow police to detain terror suspects for up to 90 days without charging them. …

Nice to see that decency and respect for the law isn't completely dead in the UK poodle boy.

Other useful links:,15935,1637542,00.html,15935,1638635,00.html

and Martin Rowson has a good pic:,7371,1637540,00.html

7:07 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

But Poodle-Boy says he won't resign - perhaps a revolt is in order

8:01 pm  
Anonymous dubhaltach the excited said...

Well his policies in Iraq are revolting and it's also revolting to shoot innocent unarmed sitting down already under restraint tube passengers in the head. 90 days! Skidderik Quisling ("naughty" Danish word + very nasty Norwegian word.)

But I don't think that's what you meant :-)))))))))))

Richard does the fact that Blunkett who was so very very hardline on "terror" is now in wilderness + this rebellion mean that some of the impetus on poodle boy plan to "change the rules" will be lost? I hope so and if you can I would be very happy if a link or two to good political analysis in uk site?

I won't be back until end of weekend so this is not a big thing just if you have time I will be grateful.

to end:

grania and richard and everybody

Send big happy thoughts to me on Weekend please because I'm representing Denmark in a boxing match on Friday and then on Saturday I'm taking part in my very first chess boxing match in the chess boxing club in Berlin. Which I'm very excited about. We're leaving tomorrow night and back Sunday. I will see you then.

9:48 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


"Last time you checked". Heh. I'll remember that in future.


I'm guessing you're from France too.

Bonsoir et bienvenue. C'est mon plaisir.

(Hope you are French btw, or I'll 'sound' sort of silly if you're not). Seriously, thanks for your kind comment.

Hi Phyl,

Long time no see here. You're right though - shame on the BBC - and, it is good that the truth is still managing to get out, one way or another.


Thanks. I'll have to check out the Guardian; Now I'm really curious as to which footballer it was.


Yes!!!! Is right. Last week he almost lost a vote too. Got his way by just one single vote. Let's hope this is the start of something BIG.

graniab (again),

Yeah, he won't. He'll cling on for as long as he can. But for the first time (twice in a week) he's been "set in the sights" - and he KNOWS it! I really do think it's all downhill for him now.

9:55 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Oops! x-Post with dubhaltach,

Hey! Good on you. Lots of good luck, do well, enjoy and stay safe.

I'll try to sort something worthwhile out before yu get back. Btw, thanks for those earlier links - I'll get to them all ....... eventually.

10:07 pm  
Blogger Sophie said...

Thanks Richard for this warm welcome.

I've been reading for a while and really appreciate your writing.

The soccer player is Lilian Thuram :,11882,1638621,00.html

10:10 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Dubhaltach - of course I send you many happy thoughts for this weekend and my usual restrained Irish encouragement of 'Kill the Bastard'. I hope you have a shamrock sewn in some part of your kit. Tell us all about it on Monday and TAKE CARE -

10:12 pm  
Anonymous dubhaltach the furious said...

I come back just to post this:

And while we are on the subject of lies those denials from the DOD about using WP rounds purely to illuminate the battle scene:

Which is the March-April edition of Field Artillery Magazine the one published by the US military

(thanks to Pachacutec for the link)

Who should we believe the USDOD publicity officers or the Marines?

BASTARDS! Did anyone see the RAI documentary - I did. Do they think we are stupid? Secondary school chemistry will tell you that they are a low prcision weapon the gas cloud MUST spread to about 150 metres.

Sophie - beautiful site and I admired your csszengarden entry a lot.

Grania thankyou I'll tell all on monday I'll be very careful my girlfiend and little brother are coming to make sure I don't misbehave he has never been to Berlin so he is very excited too.

Goodnight :-)

10:50 pm  
Anonymous Dei said...

And sure as God made little green chicken eggs, the political expediency at the expense of common sense begins: Sarkozy orders any foreigners arrested in the riots expelled, regardless of entitlement to stay

What that's supposed to achieve, I really do not know.

6:10 am  
Blogger Sophie said...

Dei... what this is supposed to achieve, I guess, is to show the people who are for "la méthode forte" (the strength method would be my translation), that he is a tough guy.

This tough guy's family is from Hungary so he should be careful his new rule doesn't apply too far.
Juan Cole has a very good analysis on his blog.

For those who read French, there's a very interesting report of what happens in the justice halls as youngsters are rushed to be judged.
Basically you are sent for a few months in prison for having been close to a car that burnt later, even if there are no witnesses, and you weren't rioting. You might have done the deed, you might not, you go to prison. I'm not saying everyone is innocent, I'm just suggesting that in the past, a doubt about your guilt was supposed to set you free.

11:03 am  
Blogger D.F. Facti said...

Richard, thanks to you for this report!! And to everyone esle. I am behind on the news of the day, and this is an excellent "catch-up" article and commentary.

2:02 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Many thanks are due again [as usual] to everyone who's posted such relevant links and comments.

I've been rather 'tied up' with r/l thngs today - again - huh, so what's new, eh?

Sorry for delay in any responses for a while but, heck there are sooooo many things to link/see/read/check/learn/etc,etc.

So, please don't stop. I really do get round to reading everything - eventually. Honestly.

12:07 am  
Anonymous graniab said...

Thank you Sophie for the link - I downloaded the article and I will be reading it tonight with my dictionary.

11:55 pm  
Anonymous dubhaltach said...

We got talking to a French girl after the fight she kept on emphasising that there were a lot of French negros in the riots and that in some of the riots they far outnumbered French of Maghreb descent.

dubhaltach the victorious :-)

3:08 pm  
Anonymous dubhaltach said...

oops Before I log off. I should explain why her point about why the presence and often overwhelming presence of young French negros was important. Very few French negros are mulsims or from a muslim background either. So this was about racism and discrimination. Actually now that I think about it some more I know a few french arabs too and none of them are even slightly religious.

dubhaltach the victorious :-)

4:29 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Yes Dubhaltach - I made this same point on LA.

7:52 pm  
Anonymous Hydrocodone said...

S2ks6W The best blog you have!

2:14 am  

Post a Comment

COMMENTS and Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home