By Omar Jamal
The recent deaths of two teenagers in a Paris suburb, and the subsequent string of riots and carnage, sparked debates about whether similar riots could happen in the United States.
Most of the people involved in the riots were of Muslim background, and therefore everyone had doubts about the real cause of the unrest. Almost 6 million French Muslims and Arabs are concentrated in the Paris suburbs.
I am afraid that, considering the current political climate and lack of international political astuteness, it is possible that people with the same ethnicity and religious background would take to the streets in the major cities of both Europe and the United States.
But there is a difference between immigrants in the United States and those in Europe. Past riots in the United States and the more recent ones in Europe have virtually the same cause: years of resentment and discrimination. But in the United States, immigrants in general, and Muslim immigrants particularly, are far more integrated than any immigrants in Europe, not to mention France. This crucial difference is deeply rooted in the history and psychologies of the communities on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Some people have called the French riots a European intefadeh, and also allege some element of terrorism, although there has not been any shred of evidence for that.
The highest numbers of immigrants in France arrived in the 1950s and 1960s. As the economy of France advanced, so did the contemptuous policy and temperament of France toward immigrants. In the United States, however, immigrants have already entered the mainstream of the society, and…