World View: Concern Rising over Muslim ‘No-Go Zones’ as Terror Breeding Grounds


This morning’s key headlines from

  • Controversy revived over France’s ‘no-go zones’
  • France to deploy 5,000 police to protect Jewish schools

Britain’s PM Cameron calls Fox News commentator a ‘total idiot’

A typical sight in a commercial area of a Muslim 'no-go zone' in France (Daniel Pipes)
A typical sight in a commercial area of a Muslim ‘no-go zone’ in France (Daniel Pipes)

Controversy revived over France’s ‘no-go zones’

Steve Emerson, self-described as “an internationally recognized expert on terrorism,” appeared on Fox News on Sunday evening, and was asked about “no-go zones.” He said that there are a number of European cities “where sharia courts were set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don’t go in, and where it’s basically a separate country almost, a country within a country.” He added:

In Britain, it’s not just no go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in. And parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire. So there’s a situation that Western Europe is not dealing with.

When Britain’s prime minister David Cameron was asked about it, he said:

Frankly I choked on my porridge and thought it must be April Fool’s Day. This guy is clearly a complete idiot.

Emerson’s remarks have revived a controversy over “no-go zones” in Europe and elsewhere, which might be breeding grounds for terrorism. France has identified 751 Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS – Sensitive Urban Zones). These are sometimes informally called “no-go zones,” because it’s claimed that they’re almost entire Muslim, self-governing with Sharia law, and where even the police never go.

Other places where it’s claimed that these no-go zones exist are in Birmingham, England, Hancock New York, and Dearborn, Michigan.

It turns out that France’s list of ZUS is from 1996, and many of them are simply places where urban renewal projects have been planned, because of poverty and crime. Today, some of them have been rehabilitated, some are poor but non-violent, and some are poor and occasionally violent.

The ZUS were in the news in 2005, when there were several days of Muslim violence in the suburbs of Paris. However, these were not recent immigrants. In most cases, the youths were French citizens who were second and third generation Moroccans, Turks and Arabs whose parents and grandparents came to France in the 1960s and 1970s, seeking a better life.

Mideast blogger Daniel Pipes started blogging about France’s no-go zones in 2006, and updated his blog repeatedly, sometimes with horror stories. Then, in a January 2013 update, he wrote:

Jan. 16, 2013 update: I had an opportunity today to travel at length to several banlieues (suburbs) around Paris, including Sarcelles, Val d’Oise, and Seine Saint Denis. This comes on the heels of having visited over the years the predominantly immigrant (and Muslim) areas of Brussels, Copenhagen, Malmö, Berlin, and Athens.

A couple of observations:

For a visiting American, these areas are very mild, even dull. We who know the Bronx and Detroit expect urban hell in Europe too, but there things look fine. The immigrant areas are hardly beautiful, but buildings are intact, greenery abounds, and order prevails.

These are not full-fledged no-go zones but, as the French nomenclature accurately indicates, “sensitive urban zones.” In normal times, they are unthreatening, routine places. But they do unpredictably erupt, with car burnings, attacks on representatives of the state (including police), and riots.

Having this first-hand experience, I regret having called these areas no-go zones.

As Pipes points out, the unrehabilitated no-go zones are similar to high-crime areas in American cities, such as the Bronx, Detroit and Chicago. And he might have mentioned the far worse situation in Mexican cities where drug cartels are in charge.

The fact that unrehabilitated Muslim no-go zones are similar to high-crime areas in large cities everywhere would be cause enough for concern, but it’s believed that these are breeding grounds for would-be jihadists planning to commit terrorist acts. It’s known that some 1,200 young French citizens have gone to Syria for training, possibly to return to France with new terror skills, and it’s feared that many of them may be coming from the unrehabilitated ZUS. Catholic Online and Snopes and France – government and Trip Advisor and Daniel Pipes

France to deploy 5,000 police to protect Jewish schools

Four Jews were killed on Friday in an attack on a kosher supermarket, in an attack that was linked to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris two days earlier. France’s president François Hollande responded by promising the Jewish community would be protected by the French army, “if necessary.” The interior minister announced on Monday that 5,000 security forces and police will protect the 700 Jewish schools in the country, though how long this protection will continue was not announced.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has annoyed French politicians by urging French Jews to move to Israel, but in fact that was already happening prior to Friday’s attack. A record 7,000 Jews emigrated from France to Israel in 2014. According to historian Marc Knobel:

“There are Jewish people living in sensitive neighborhoods where anti-Semitism has become a daily part of life for them. They feel uneasy. Some are scared to go the synagogue or put their children in Jewish schools because they feel something might happen.

Netanyahu persuading Jews to come to France is not new. It’s a policy started by Ariel Sharon in 2002. They see it as logical where Jews are living in situations of peril to tell them to come to Israel.”

As I’ve been reporting the last few weeks, there is a growing Muslim versus Muslim war, with Muslim militias and armies killing Muslims throughout the Mideast, South Asia and Northern Africa. The collateral damage from this war is an increase in terrorist acts in Europe and elsewhere, and many of these terrorist acts may target Jews. Nationalism and xenophobia are increasing in Europe and elsewhere, and Generational Dynamics predicts that this trend will continue and lead to war. AFP and The Local (France)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Birmingham, England, Steve Emerson, Fox News, David Cameron, Congressional Quarterly, Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS, Sensitive Urban Zones, Hancock New York, Dearborn Michigan, Daniel Pipes, Bronx, Detroit, Chicago, Mexico, Syria, François Hollande, Marc Knobel, Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu
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