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The riots broke into the French streets and were organized by mostly immigrants of Algerian descent who were joined by other immigrants and French-native rioters. A large number of public buildings, libraries, private property, shops and vehicles were torched and left to burn to ashes. France deployed 45,000 policemen across the country to bring back order to the streets
Hundreds were injured in the first five days of rioting, including over 200 policemen. Over 3600 rioters were arrested by the police since June 27.
Chants such as "1,2,3 Viva L'Algerie" or "1,2,3, Long Live Algeria" were heard at many of the riots and protests by the Algerians which provoked French nationalists to reply with French nationalist slogans such as "Bleu.Blanc.Rouge, "La France aux français," or "Blue. White. Red [French Flag Colors], "France is for the French."
While shops and stores were massively looted in general during the riots, the Jewish community and its properties were targeted specifically. A Holocaust memorial was desecrated by groups of anti-Semitic rioters who spraypainted, "We are going to make you a Shoah (Holocaust)" at the Nanterre memorial.
Ayat Oraby, a former Egyptian TV and MB affiliate, has contributed her dose of venom to the escalating situation in Paris. "To where is France heading?? To hell, God's willing! Protests and riots in France reach the point of danger after the killing of the Algerian youth, Nael, may God have mercy on him. To date, burning of a large number of buildings ranging about 500 public buildings (with the best wishes for more)," tweeted Oraby.
"Of course, the criminal France deserves what is happening and more because of its criminality against Muslims, but I think that there a big game and other matters that are being orchestrated against Muslims, the worst of which is the enactment of a set of arbitrary laws against Muslims, and it may reach the expulsion of some Muslims from there," added the Islamist lobbyist in the Congress.
Despite clear condemnations by President Emanuele Macron for the death of Merzouk, describing it as "inexcusable," the killing opened the door for regimes with abysmal human rights records to gloat and claim human virtues.
"The French government is expected to put an end to the violent treatment of its people by respecting principles based on human dignity, freedom of speech and the right of citizens to peaceful protests," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kaanani.
Iran possesses a horrendous record of oppression and mass killing of protestors. The most recent protests following the death of Mahsa Amini left thousands killed and over 22,000 arrested, later pardoned by the Iranian regime. But Merzouk's death paved the way for an open-season for such hypocritical criticism by such a regime.
Macron has been in the Islamists' crosshairs following the laws he introduced which targeted Islamists. Macron's 2020 five-point plan for the integration of Muslim immigrants and countering-extremism was met by massive uproar from Islamists.
"Since Macron said that "Islam is in crisis" and attacked the sanctities of Islam and launched a campaign against Islam in France, it is receiving blows from everywhere politically, economically," tweeted one Islamic News World account under the Arabic hashtag #FranceisBurning and Boycott French Products.
Islamist media encouraging vandalism
Muslim Brotherhood figures contributed to the campaign of hatred towards France, including Egyptian-born Qatari-based Al Jazeera Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated TV anchor Ahmed Mansour.
"France is officially turning into a police state after the passage of legislation that allows spying on suspects through their phones via GPS, camera and audio," tweeted Mansour on July 7. Mansour neglected the fact that he is a resident of one of the most oppressive states on the planet where censorship, oppression, slavery and extremism are part of the daily life in Qatar.
The riots and vandalism were also encouraged on social media by some Algerian media anchors and journalists with no known affiliation.
"France will pay the price for looting the wealth of #Africa and in its own home. Here are scenes showing what happened to the ZARA chain. Note: everything is permissible and even supported. Whoever is citing sermons and slogans from Plato's Republic should keep them for himself," tweeted Algerian journalist Ahmed Hafsi in a long series of tweets inciting Algerian-descent immigrants against French police and authorities.
Moreover, a lot of incitement has been ongoing on social media, with hashtags such as #FranceHasFallen. #FranceOnFire has spread as part of the gloating campaign by Islamists.
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood activist Eman Farid gloated about the riots in France.
"I don't know how to explain it to you, but France is really on fire and in a statement issued by the official French police unions, they basically declared that France is in a state of civil war and that the police are in "resistance" against the government and say that today we are in a battle because we are at war. Tomorrow we will be in resistance and the government must realize that," tweeted Farid with many smiling emojis.
"After an occupation, theft and humiliation, you did not want to leave our countries and leave us alone. The worst people of our nations would rule us. And you provided them with all the weapons for killing and the laws of extermination and oppression. You supported them in all international forums. And you legitimized our killing, plundering and theft for them. And when we revolted against these unfair conditions, you were stronger against us than hunting dogs! The fire of your oppression brought us to you. And the fire of your racism is what burns you," tweeted Qatar-based Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member Yahya Ghoneim.
Vandalism for all reasons
Torching property by young men of North African descent is not restricted to angry riots but it is also performed during celebrations. Riotous celebrations by the Algerian and Moroccan soccer fans are a recurring phenomenon in France and other European nations each time the national soccer team attains a victory.
Some of these celebrations occasionally result in deaths of the fans. For example, celebrations were held by Algerian fans as Algeria reached the final game of the African Nations Cup in 2019 in Egypt, after beating Nigeria in the Semi-Finals. Two hundred and eighty-two hooligans were arrested as a result of the vandalism. The soccer hooligans torched private cars and clashed with police in a daze of celebration that lasted for days.
Likewise, last December, Moroccan fans torched cars and clashed with police in France, Belgium and Holland after Morocco's advancement in a soccer tournament. One 14-year-old boy was killed after being hit by a driver carrying the French flag as a group of angry Moroccan fans surrounded his car after Morocco lost in the semi-finals.
"Teach your sons that hating France is a creed," wrote one website called Islamic News World, quoting an Algerian Islamic scholar and resistance fighter Mohamed Bachir El Ibrahimi while displaying a video of old footage of supposedly French soldiers mistreating and killing Algerians.
France integration plans for immigrants remain frozen in efforts to resolve the recurring immigration issues, despite the government's attempts after riots and bursts like these every few years.
Islamists' encouragement and incitement for the riots in France is an online hate crime but recently it seems they could wage such attacks unfettered by any reaction from local authorities, even in western countries.
For years, France and namely Macron have been prime targets for Jihadists and Islamists worldwide, and the current wave of violence may not be the last one the country witnesses in the foreseeable future.
IPT Senior Fellow Hany Ghoraba is an Egyptian writer, political and counter-terrorism analyst at Al Ahram Weekly and a regular contributor the BBC. He is also the author of Egypt's Arab Spring: The Long and Winding Road to Democracy
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