Compare and Contrast

From France: Youths set passenger bus alight in Paris. Which youths might those be? The article doesn’t actually say, but you can guess:

A band of up to 30 youths forced passengers out of a bus in a southern Paris suburb in broad daylight, set it on fire and then stoned firefighters who came to the rescue, a police official said.
Police cordoned off the neighbourhood in Grigny, in the Essonne region, after the attack, which came five days before France marks the one-year anniversary of the start of three weeks of fiery riots by poor suburban youths.

Then there’s this:

On Sunday, five people were placed under investigation for attempted murder in relation to an October 13 ambush in the town of Epinay-sur-Seine, north of Paris, in which police were lured to a housing project then attacked by about 30 youths. One officer hit by a rock required 30 stitches to the face.

Here is a photo of the burned-out bus:
On the other hand, the Christian Science Monitor headlines: Radical Islam finds US ‘sterile ground’. The article contains the usual amount of moaning about the possibility that investigating and prosecuting would-be terrorists may alienate American Muslims. The main point, though, is optimistic and I think accurate:

In a nation where mosques have sprung up alongside churches and synagogues, where Muslim women are free to wear the hijab (or not), and where education and job opportunities range from decent to good, the resentments that can breed extremism do not seem very evident in the Muslim community.
“The culture is qualitatively different [in the American Muslim community] from what we’ve seen from public information from Europe, and that actually says very positive things about our society,” says Jonathan Winer, a terrorism expert in Washington. “We don’t have large populations of immigrants with a generation sitting around semi-employed and deeply frustrated. That’s a gigantic difference.”

We’re not immune, obviously, but we’re a very long way away from gangs of “youths” waylaying buses on our city streets.


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