"We prefer to say the 'youths' instead of 'blacks' or 'Arabs.' But the truth cannot be sacrificed, no matter how noble the reasons. ... This isn't about blacks and Arabs as a whole, but about some blacks and Arabs. And, of course, religion -- not as religion, but as an anchor of identity, if you will -- plays a part. Religion as it appears on the Internet, on the Arab television stations, serves as an anchor of identity for some of these youths.
Finkielkraut coins the term 'Islamization of the race issue' to describe how current grievances are retrospectively given a meaning that they never had.
"one mustn't forget that the integration of the Arab workers in France during the time of colonial rule was much easier. In other words, this is belated hatred. Retrospective hatred ... It was Louis Farrakhan, in America, who asserted for the first time that the Jews played a central role in creating slavery ... He wants a 'Holocaust' for Arabs and blacks, too. But if you want to put the Holocaust and slavery on the same plane ... slavery ... began long before the West. In fact, what sets the West apart when it comes to slavery is that it was the one to eliminate it. The elimination of slavery is a European and American thing. But this truth about slavery cannot be taught in schools. ... Suddenly, they look around, and they see all the 'bobo' (French slang for bourgeois-bohemians) singing songs of praise to the new 'wretched of the earth'"
... I think that the lofty idea of 'the war on racism' is gradually turning into a hideously false ideology. And this anti-racism will be for the 21st century what communism was for the 20th century. A source of violence ... apparently it's already too late to make them feel ashamed, since on the radio, on television and in the newspapers, or in most of them, they're holding a prettifying mirror up to the rioters. They're 'interesting' people, they're nurturing their suffering and they understand their despair.
What Finkielkraut may be describing, from another point of view, is the birth of a nation, a separate nation within the bosom of its parent, a process that Tom Paine would have been familiar with. Finkielkraut was right to wonder whether the criminalization of French history, as taught to immigrants, has "dealt a decisive blow to the France I loved". Surely that was the intention, because it is impossible to understand the recent riots in France except as a joint product of the Left and of Islamism. The one point on which both are agreed is the hatefulness of the West and the program of action that flows from that. The Finkielkraut interview ends with two questions, to which he answers in despair.
And what will happen in France?
"I don't know. I'm despairing. Because of the riots and because of their accompaniment by the media. The riots will subside, but what does this mean? There won't be a return to quiet. It will be a return to regular violence. So they'll stop because there is a curfew now, and the foreigners are afraid and the drug dealers also want the usual order restored. But they'll gain support and encouragement for their anti-republican violence from the repulsive discourse of self-criticism over their slavery and colonization. So that's it: There won't be a return to quiet, but a return to routine violence."
So your worldview doesn't stand a chance anymore?
"No, I've lost. As far as anything relating to the struggle over school is concerned, I've lost. It's interesting, because when I speak the way I'm speaking now, a lot of people agree with me. Very many. But there's something in France - a kind of denial whose origin lies in the bobo, in the sociologists and social workers - and no one dares say anything else. This struggle is lost. I've been left behind."