The terrible scene was filmed and broadcast on social networks. An police investigation has been opened. Is this violence due to the increasing influence of Salafists? One French author believes so.
The images shocked many Internet users. It is a video still circulating on social networks showing a young Frenchman being beaten up by a small group of North Africans wearing hoodies, in the street.
Broadcast for the first time on Thursday evening, the video shows a man receiving a first blow without really understanding what is happening to him. He then receives a punch on the right cheek and tries to run away under the amused gaze of the three or four “youths” who chase him.
Caught, he is kicked again by an individual who will eventually let him go. The scene takes place in Charleville-Mézières in the Ardennes. Very quickly, Internet users expressed their shock and their indignation at these unbearable images. In all, six individuals can be distinguished in the images.
According to the regional French daily L’Ardennais, the public prosecutor quickly confirmed the existence of the facts and opened an investigation carried out by the urban security of Charleville-Mézières.
He indicated that the victim was slightly intellectually disabled and was placed under guardianship. He is also known to the police for acts committed during demonstrations of Yellow Vests. The victim filed a complaint that evening.
Police on Twitter asked Internet users not to relay the video. “Many of you have reported this video of violence against a disabled person to us. Thank you all for not relaying this video ”.
According to these same police sources, the scene took place in the city center, and three people have already been identified, including one arrested. The other two were caught on Friday.
A relative of the mayor of the city, Patrick Fostier, reacted to this aggression on France 3 Ardennes : “These little bastards without courage who gang up on a fragile person deserve a good beating. If I believe Twitter, they are in police custody. Let justice prevail. Severely.”
French author Bernard Rougier, whose book “Conquered Territories of Islamism” has caused a stir in France, describes in his relentless academic analysis how “Islamist ecosystems” have developed inside white French working-class neighbourhoods.
His book is a chilling academic survey on the different stages of a “takeover” by a certain section of Islam in France. To do this, the author, a great specialist in Salafist thought in France and the Middle East, studied the development of ideologies emanating from theologians of the Arabian Peninsula as well as their electoral tricks in Muslim Parisian suburbs.
We have “on the one hand a legitimate demand, that of the construction of mosques and the recognition of Islam as a religion, and on the other the assumption of responsibility of this demand by Islamists through networks which have transformed the ‘urban ghettos’ of large French agglomerations into militant enclaves,” explained the researcher.
Thus, through mosques, denominational schools, associations or halal businesses, a radical Islam imposed its law on the Islam of France, by encouraging the constitution of “territories of Islam”.
The author goes even further, denouncing the assistance of certain local elected officials. Finally, like political scientist Gilles Kepel, Bernard Rougier believes that radicalization phenomena in France are a logical extension of a “Salafist revolution” which has reactivated the most conservative Sunni heritage.
In the 1990s, “we see, for example, Saudi ulemas appearing in Argenteuil,” he explains. “In a discreet manner, Salafism settles down and dictates its standard in French mosques and more generally in the suburbs from the end of the 1990s,” he continues.
In his book, the researcher identifies four forces that dominate these “Islamist ecosystems”: the Muslim Brotherhood, the Tabligh, the Salafists and the jihadists. He evokes the “political” character of the former, who “are interested in conquering the institutional political space” and the more “missionary” character of the latter.
As for the Salafists “they are perpetrating an incredible symbolic violence against French society,” he says. “Salafist Islam assumes a break with the values of European societies due to a strict and literal observance of sacred scriptures” while “describing [European societies] as an enterprise for the destruction of Islam,” he continued. The fourth category, the jihadists, is directly linked to the “circles of Islamist socialization” that Bernard Rougier described.
For the author, these “Islamist ecosystems” also developed by taking over from post-war communism. The most emblematic example is in Aubervilliers, in the Parisian suburbs. “During his long mandate (1983-2003), the communist Jack Ralite was one of the first to marry multiculturalism and ethno-religious clientelism,” says Bernard Rougier.
The mayor thus opened the door to religious movements. His son-in-law and successor Pascal Baudet even “relied on Islamist networks” to be re-elected. In Aubervilliers, only half of the voters are registered and there is a 60 percent abstentionism. It therefore takes “a few hundred votes to win a municipal election,” the author pointed out.
“Except that community actors will then ask for rewards in terms of jobs, religious premises, etc,” citing for example the project to build a large mosque in the city. It is also in this city that the Alliance Citoyenne association was born, which organized swimming in a burkini in a municipal swimming pool in Grenoble.
More generally, the researcher denounced the complacency of a certain leftists in this project. “Someone like Samy Debah, founder of the CCIF and candidate for Garges-lès-Gonesse, put forward his list first to threaten the organisations of the left that they would be losing votes. The left has also understood the message very well, many of their representatives being present at the march against Islamophobia. Part of the left said to the Islamists: ‘Okay, we take you on our lists, we’ll make the necessary space for you’”, he explained.
In addition, he believes that today, it is very difficult for the State to fight against this scourge. “The risk is that every initiative taken by the government, like the one on weak signals of radicalization, will be denounced as a form of Islamophobia,” he deplored.
If solutions are found soon, “these ecosystems will fuel passages of violence,” warned Bernard Rougier.