Mind blowing interpretation
Much as I respect people who actually go into areas and get close to the people who are at the centre of news stories like the French riots (which revived a little last night as upwards of 500 cars were torched)- Patrick Belton of Oxblog's reports are more than a bit surreal. This one, for example- an except from an email to a friend- states that
'There's nothing religious at all to the riots; these aren't kids who reference religion at all, except to claim to you (possibly with some exercise of imagination) that they have friends in Guantanamo, and they might perhaps add Israel, Jews, and Sharon to France, Sarkozy, the police, and other people whose names in their drunken, possibly drugged, and excited invocations follow after the French equivalent of 'Fuck'.'
I mean, really, we can have different interpretations of data, but the prevalence of Israel, Sharon and Guantamo in their imprecations suggests the kind of mental profile which would dovetail perfectly with any Osama Bin laden broadcast! Add in the fact that youths use the slogans they use partly with the listeners in mind (ie. they choose slogans they think have the widest possible resonance, rather than ones reflecting the esoteric preoccupations of their cohorts), and I see absolutely no reason to conclude there is no religious dimension to the riots- the opposite, in fact.