The first trouble in Trappes, near Versailles, began in 2013 after the police conducted a routine identity check on a woman, requesting that she remove her face-covering veil as French law requires.
According to the Versailles public prosecutor, her husband tried to strangle the policeman after his request. The husband was a 21-year-old convert to Islam. The rioting started the evening after he was taken into custody, continuing for two nights during Ramadan.
Trappes, in the wealthy department of Yvelines, has a big Muslim population. There are no women in cafes in Trappes, the only bookshop is Islamic, the town only has halal butchers, and 67 of its inhabitants joined ISIS in Syria.
Two journalists from the French newspaper Le Monde, researched the town and wrote a book about their experiences. The book is titled La communauté, alluding to the parallel society.
After the communists lost the elections and left an ideological gap, Islamists took power, opening at least 1 500 prayer rooms and five mosques. Even moderate Muslims are leaving to escape its strict religious dictates.
The authors Raphaëlle Bacqué and Ariane Chemin describe the erosion of the republican model in a suburban city abandoned by the state in detail.
By telling the story of nearly 40 years of the history of the city of Trappes, a poor enclave of 30 000 inhabitants nestled in the heart of a rich department, they expose the danger of the rise of Muslim fundamentalism.
When the synagogue of the commune was burned down one night, the investigation concluded that it was an “accident” while a mayor was elected by promising a mosque.
A teacher at the high school, a former member of the French Communist Party, the PCF, tried to confront pupils who brandished the word of the Prophet to challenge Copernicus and Galileo, but lost and had to leave.
Last year, a poll of French high school students found that 32 percent of Muslim students believe Islamic doctrine is superior to scientific fact, and in 2016, a similar poll found that 68 percent believe that Sharia law is superior to French law.
Last month, a bus running along Avenue Jean-Pierre-Timbaud, in Trappes, was attacked by a foreigner who threw a rock at the passengers, mostly elderly white pensioners. The projectile shattered a glass and landed inside the vehicle. The incident did not cause an accident or passenger injury, because the driver continued on his route, not stopping.