#see power tuesdays: Mapping the 64 ghettos of the French Republic


After January’s attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the HyperCacher
supermarket, and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speaking
of “territorial apartheid”, the Journal du Dimanche
published an
explosive article plus ma
p detailing 64 hot spots where the
French Republic was failing and/ or de facto no longer
existed. It is based on a series of social indicators (average income
of 11.000 EUR per year, unemployment above 20%, youth unemployment up
to 45%, rate of single-parenthood up to 50% and immigrant background
of the population up to 50%).

The underlying narrative of the Prime Minister, and of wide
sections of the political spectrum and of society is of course that social and
economic factors are mostly to blame when French nationals
radicalise. But is that so? Don’t get me wrong, these areas are a disgrace and
sign of massive policy, or more exactly, of state failure. In my
opinion, the social argument is not enough to explain radicalisation.
But let’s face it, those ghettos are if not the perfect
recruitment, then at least a great hiding ground, where local mafia
structures fuse with Islamist ideology to further justify and
legitimise their existence.

Johanna M

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