Intelligence Report Says Islamic Extremism Growing in "Ghetto"

July 11, 2004

Source: The Observer,6903,1258581,00.htm l

On July 11, 2004 The Observer reported, "Last week, Le Monde leaked an intelligence report by the feared Renseignements Généraux. It said that more than 300 estates in France had become ghettos in which nearly two million people lived on the fringes of Islamic extremism. Schools, workplaces and local associations were identified as hotbeds of antagonism. 'The French authorities did not put us here by accident when they needed cheap labour in the 1960s,' said Eddajibi, a 52-year-old teacher who has lived on the Clos Saint-Lazare estate for 18 years... 'The residents were deliberately selected for their compliance. We know this because the French authorities went out of their way to select rural immigrants from north Africa. The urban people were too inclined to join trade unions and get into politics'...Last week's French intelligence report said polygamy was common, anti-semitism was on the rise and Europeans were moving out. 'These populations preserve their cultural survival mechanisms which leads to a certain degree of endogamy and to the maintaining of traditional ways of life,' write the authors. It adds that preachers are operating in more than 200 neighbourhoods and that their 'fundamentalist proselytising is paying off - notably among the youth and children'. The report says: 'Young girls face pressure from young males to wear headscarves.' Samia Adel Karim, aged 16, laughs off the quote from the report. She is more likely to be seen on a skateboard than behind a veil. Besides, dancing to the hip hop music she loves is incompatible with wearing robes. 'They - the French authorities and the media - want to give us a bad image to encourage us to move out of Le Clos,' she says to widespread approval from her friends, Aminata, Maimouna and Jessica, all aged 16."