Chuck Colson
Commentators have been busily trying to explain the weeks of violence that have turned French cities into war zones. Some say it’s a result of high rates of unemployment among youth. Others suggested it is France’s fault for failing to assimilate the children of its mostly Islamic immigrants. Now, while true in part, these are only symptoms of a much deeper problem: France’s loss of moral and cultural vitality.

The unemployment rate among young immigrant men is 40 percent, as nearly every report notes. But no one asks why there is such joblessness. The answer is the economic system that, as writer Elizabeth Eaves puts it, “is eating [France’s] young.”

For the majority of the French, the system is a dream: 35-hour work weeks, six weeks of paid vacation, and a near-impossibility of being fired. The price for this welfare utopia, however, is paid by those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Job creation in France has ground to a virtual halt.

And there’s little chance of changing the system. As Eaves notes, the majority “would choose to keep paying themselves benefits until . . . the rioters have reached the Arc de Triomphe.”

This shortsighted approach has helped to create a permanent class of idle young men. And as any criminologist will tell you, communities filled with idle young men can expect trouble on their streets. Many of the rioters cited “boredom” as one of the reasons they took to burning cars.

If France’s economic policies are self-destructive and shortsighted, its attempts to assimilate immigrants are little more than outright capitulation. I’m not talking about reasonable accommodations to their religious and ethnic heritages, as in the United States. I’m talking about the failure to actively oppose practices that trap newcomers and their children in Islamic ghettos and increase the power and influence of Islamic extremists. As one native of the ghettoes told CBS, “it’s not France here.”

The most grotesque manifestation of this Islamic stranglehold is the abuse directed at young women who don’t conform to Islamo-fascist expectations: They are often gang-raped. Samira Bellil, the granddaughter of Algerian immigrants, was raped three times by young thugs. Not only did no one come to her aid, her parents threw her out after learning about the rapes.

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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