See no Evil, Hear no Evil

French political elites cling to a threadbare ideological framework in which ethnic differences do not matter in the single glorious melting-pot of the Grande Nation. Because they may not matter. Because they dare not matter!

Some of those groups haven’t gotten the message, as shown by the tendency of French Muslims to engage in physical attacks against French Jews at much higher rates than other groups. The New York Times has a surprisingly blunt article about the phenomenon today:

French leaders fear pitting one side against the other, or even acknowledging that a Muslim-versus-Jew dynamic exists. To do so would violate a central tenet of France — that people are not categorized by race or religion, only as fellow French citizens, equal before the law.

“We are all citizens of the republic, one and indivisible. But this doesn’t correspond to reality,” said a pollster, Jérôme Fourquet, who along with a colleague, Sylvain Manternach, wrote a recent book, “Next Year in Jerusalem, French Jews and anti-Semitism,” published by the respected Fondation Jean-Jaurès, a think tank associated with the Socialist Party.

“All the politicians speak of living together,” Mr. Fourquet said. “And yet, instead, we have de facto groupings based on culture and community. Yet to recognize this is to recognize the failure or breakdown of the French model.”

Gunther Jikeli, a German historian at Indiana University who conducted a meticulous study of Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe, called the phenomenon “blindingly obvious” in a recent opinion piece in the newspaper Le Monde.

In 16 surveys conducted over the last 12 years in Europe, “anti-Semitism is significantly higher among Muslims than among non-Muslims,” Mr. Jikeli wrote.

“There is a kind of norm of anti-Semitism, of viewing Jews negatively,” he said in an interview.

This article nicely illustrates the Other People’s Indians phenomenon: The New York Times immediately flames into outrage if anyone points to ethnic patterns in crime in America. But it’s fine to point out those patterns in other countries.

However, it’s also a nice illustration of another reality of European governance: the tendency to intentionally fail to keep certain types of statistics.

The date, 2011. The scene: An office in the French Ministry of Interior. Jean-Georges Marie Beauvais de Courgette, Special Assistant to the Undersecretary of the Statistical Service, begins a memorandum: “There are some troubling…patterns…shall we say, in the evidence we collect concerning who is engaging in anti-Semitic harassment and attacks in France. Certain…discrepancies are become clearer, which relate to certain…socially sensitive communities.”

His colleagues immediately swing into action:

In 2011, the French government stopped categorizing those deemed responsible for anti-Semitic acts, making it more difficult to trace the origins.

When you hear a Western European talking head or government official deny the existence of a problem by saying there is “no evidence” for it, this usually means the government has intentionally decided not to collect the evidence.

One thought on “See no Evil, Hear no Evil

  1. Did you see Trevor Noah’s rebuttal of a French diplomat’s calling him out after he identified with the French soccer team as a “brother,” proud “scatterling of Africa.”


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