In France last month, riots spread -- not only to Aulnay sous Bois and other suburbs of Paris in Seine Saint Denis, such as Le Tremblay-en-France, Villepinte, Bobigny, Torcy -- but farther, to Argenteuil (Val d'Oise), Mantes la Jolie (Yvelines), Grigny, Les Ulis, Lille (northern France), Marseille (southern France), Dijon (Burgundy) and, of course, right to the heart of Paris.
How many million euros of goods, shops, cars and buses were destroyed? Nobody knows. The daily Le Parisien published a confidential police memo saying that between February 7 and February 11, in Seine-Saint-Denis alone, 200 cars were burned, 160 garbage trucks were burned, hundreds of projectiles were thrown, 40 fireworks were fired at police, and 108 people were arrested.
Muslim Antisemitism: Hate Speech
Amid these riots, three other "explosions" took place.
Mehdi Meklat and Badroudine Said Abdallah affair. Mehdi Meklat and Badroudine Said Abdallah were until very recently, two cultural heroes. These two young Muslims were the darlings of the left mainstream media.
In March 2016, they even had the honor of an article in The Washington Post:
"At 23, they are already celebrities, France's youngest public intellectuals.... neither sees the point of a university education, and their world begins where Paris ends, which is the point of their entire intellectual project.
"Their columns for the Liberation newspaper's Bondy Blog, their documentaries and their 2015 novel all reveal the two friends' overarching intent: showing the world the complicated reality of the Paris suburbs where they were born and raised."
Badroudine Said Abdallah (left) and Mehdi Meklat (right), featured on the cover of the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles, on February 1, 2017.
But in mid-February 2017, an unknown woman decided to share on Facebook some of Mehdi Meklat's tweets:
"I am going to slit your throat Muslim-style" read a tweet threatening Marine Le Pen. Another called for "Hitler to kill all the Jews", while a third said he wanted to "rape" former Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Charb, one of the victims of the January 2015 terror attacks, with a "Laguiole knife". Meklat also tweeted that he wanted to sodomize Brigitte Bardot with light bulbs.
Meklat's tweets were shared by around a million people on social networks. Then whole country discovered what the most "integrated" young Muslims had on their minds.
For nearly five years, it turned out (most of the time, under a pseudonym), Mehdi Meklat multiplied the homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynist, offensive messages to certain personalities or was busy advocating terrorism. None of his tweets attacked, for instance, ISIS. The targets were all women, gay celebrities and Jews. When the scandal of his racist and anti-Semitic tweets began to explode on February 16, 2017, Meklat deleted more than 50,000 tweets in one night.
Meklat today lives outside France; he says he fears for his life.
Houda Benyamina and Oulaya Amamra: Facebook posts and tweets.
The French-Moroccan film-maker Houda Benyamina received a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival and won the Camera D'Or prize for her film, "Divines". In February 2017, the very politically correct Académie des Césars (the French equivalent of Hollywood's Oscars) rewarded Houda Benyamina with a César for "Divines" as the Best First Film. The scandal is not that "Divines" might be considered a hate film against France, against public schools, against police, against firemen, against the presentation of migrants and Muslims as eternal victims. The heroes in the movie are all suffering young Muslims, targets of a French racist society; nobody understands the beauty of their souls, etc. The scandal is that Houda Benyamina shared on Facebook a cartoon saying that Israel and the United States are manipulating ISIS.
Oulaya Amamra, the young sister of Houda Benyamina, awarded by the Académie des Césars the prize for Best Young Actress in "Divines", was pictured posing with Mehdi Meklat. Like him, she frenetically deleted dozens of racist and homophobic tweets featuring terms like "dirty nigger".
Amamra did not apologize. She just said: "sorry, I was young".
Oulaya Amara (left) posing with Mehdi Meklat (center).
On February 25, the Paris prosecutor launched an inquiry into Yacine Chaouat, a parliamentary assistant of the Socialist Party senator Roger Madec. Chaouat was suspected of sharing on Facebook some posts expressing "sympathy" for ISIS. "If the facts are true, they are disturbing. We're very clearly about apologizing for terrorism", said a source close to the investigation at the weekly L'Express. In Le Parisien, Chaouat replied he was the victim of a smear campaign.
In 2015, Chaouat had to resign from a nomination to be a member of the National Secretary of the Socialist Party: some of his colleagues suggested that Chaouat was justly condemned, because he had severely beaten his girlfriend.
Not all but...
Of course, not all Muslims living in French suburbs are anti-Semitic, violent, racist or homophobic. More importantly, the Mehdi Meklat and Houda Benyamina tweet scandal highlights the responsibility of mainstream media of the Left, who have chosen to turn a blind eye to their "protégés".
The French writer Pascal Bruckner, speaking about Mehdi Meklat, wrote in Le Figaro:
"For years, Le Monde, Liberation, Les Inrockuptibles, Télérama praised the great vitality of this kid from the suburbs, so funny, so smart that he proposed, through the voice of his "double evil" [a pseudonym of Meklat] to kill Jews, to sodomize Mrs. Valls [the prime minister's wife], spit on Charb [murdered in the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack], to break the legs of Finkielkraut [noted philosopher]... The media wanted to deny the violence of kids from the suburbs or try to make it seem the natural expression of an oppressed minority. We forget, by the way, that for a significant proportion of the Muslim community, homophobia, anti-Semitism and misogyny are part of their cultural background."
All of this happened while, in January 2017, the great, Moroccan-born historian Georges Bensoussan appeared in court for having said on radio that anti-Semitism was transmitted in many Muslim families with "mother's milk".
It is to the credit of the French court that last week, Bensoussan was acquitted of "hate speech". Not surprisingly, the prosecutor has announced that the state will appeal the verdict.
Yves Mamou is a journalist and author based in France. He worked for two decades for the daily, Le Monde, before his retirement.
 Liberation, Les Inrocks, Telerama, Le Monde, the public radio station France Inter. Their novels were published by the prestigious publishing house Le Seuil; they were hosted as columnists on the France Inter radio station. Meklat and "Badrou" had the honor of the Front Page of the trendy magazine Les InRockuptibles with Christiane Taubira, ex-minister of Justice of François Hollande.