Hugh Fitzgerald: Just A Little Bit Of News From France


I recently spent a few weeks in southern France, in Montpellier. I didn’t go seeking stories about Muslims but, nonetheless, had occasion to observe their presence.

Here are a few observations:

1. During the day, as I walked the city’s streets, I noticed that while every French family I saw had at most two children, and many had one, or none, every Muslim family I passed had at least three children, but more often four or five. Several children would be walking beside their mother, hijabbed and harried (the male walking ahead, paying little heed to the others), with another in a poussette (a baby-stroller), and the mother was almost invariably pregnant.

France is a good place to have children, and Muslims have shown themselves to be past masters at managing to receive every possible benefit. The French system provides mothers very generous maternal benefits, both for a month and a half before giving birth, and then for three months after giving birth. So each child provides a mother with 4 1/2 months of benefits. Then, too, after the second child, family benefits are paid, and each successive child increases the amount received from the government. The more births, the longer the time a mother can be supported through maternal benefits. And the more children, the larger the stipend provided the family. Like their husbands, Muslim women appear to have learned how to take full advantage of the French welfare state. Free medical care, free or greatly subsidized housing, free education, benefits paid even if you have never been employed — it’s a Muslim migrant’s paradise. If the evidence of my senses, including what informants have told me,  is correct, then roughly one-fifth of the babies now being born in Montpellier belong to Muslim families, which means that in 2038, if nothing is done, one out of every five 20-year-olds will be Muslim. It’s something to think about. And in my talks with more than a dozen French men and women, I find that, indeed, everyone is thinking about it. But very few want to talk about it in public. Still that fear of being labelled “islamophobes.” Am I too sanguine in sensing that a mental dam is about to burst, and that it will no longer be possible to keep people from truthfully reporting on both the observable behavior of Muslims, and on the texts and teachings of Islam, and demanding that their media do so as well?

2. The richest man in Montpellier is a businessman named Mohed Altrad. He is an Arab, born of Bedouin parents in the Syrian desert. His mother died when he was four; his father then turned him over to his grandparents to raise; they intended him to be a shepherd. He arrived in France in the late 1960s, with 200 francs (then about $40) in his pocket. He went from owning a small company, then  to a medium, and then again to a large company. He has dealt in everything from computers to cement mixers to scaffolding. His background did not hold him back. The result is that today he is worth $2.7 billion. He is the most powerful man in Montpellier.

Throughout, Mohed Altrad  maneuvered successfully through the French system. His story provides only anecdotal evidence, it’s true, but given how many people he must have had to deal with, in his spectacular rise, it suggests that “islamophobia” is not exactly a potent phenomenon.

3. There are constant army patrols in the main squares and streets of the city. A reminder, as if one were needed, of the ever-present threat of Muslim terrorists. More volunteers for ISIS left from Lunel, a suburb of Montpellier, than from any other town in France. The fact that such army patrols are now taken for granted shows, dishearteningly, how inured people have become to this danger. They accept this new situation, the same way that women in Sweden now accept the fact that they mustn’t go out alone at night in cities with large Muslim populations. What else can they do?

4. The most telling violent incident involving Muslims so far occurred in mid-May, not in Montpellier itself, but closer to Marseille. Three cars  drove up to one of the housing projects (cités), and a dozen men, dressed entirely in black and wearing black balaclavas, jumped out, and started firing into the air to scare off any police who might be in the vicinity (and having already parked a car athwart an entry-road, so as to blockade any police car that might arrive). They grabbed a man, threw him into one of the cars, and then all three cars sped off. This was not terrorism, but undoubtedly a settling of scores among Muslim criminals, most likely drug-traffickers, for that trade, once in the hands of Corsicans, has become a Muslim monopoly. This assault showed the ability of Muslims to flaunt their power: three vehicles of men in black, firing AK-47s, managed to kidnap someone in broad daylight, without help arriving from the police outside or from the grounds of the cité, for they may simply have been scared off by those menacing ninjas. The incident demonstrates what happens in those Muslim No-Go areas where the writ of the French state does not run.

To sum up:

The Muslim presence in France increases inexorably, their large families made possible by the benefits of a generous, and dangerously oblivious, welfare state.

Army patrols in the main cities reflect an undeclared state of siege from within, of potential Muslim terrorism that requires constant vigilance, not just by the police, but by the military. This changes the tenor of life for everyone.

An extraordinary rags-to-riches tale, or more exactly, of a Bedouin-to-billionaire story, that of Mohed Altrad, suggests that whatever Muslims may complain of, Muslims of talent are not being held back by “racism” or “islamophobia.” Muslim women of talent are being held back, but only by Muslim men.

The daylight raid by four carloads of Muslims on a cité near Marseille where, dressed all in black and firing their Kalashnikovs in the air, they kidnapped their intended victim and then sped off, graphically demonstrated what it means to live in those ever-increasing No-Go areas where the French government’s power is largely ineffectual, and violent Muslims, both gangsters and terrorists, rule the roost.

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