Cui Bono

I’ve resisted the urge to analyse the civil unrest in France. The causes of riots are typically various; their participants may engage in violence and destruction for heterodox reasons. None of this will discourage commentators from riding their particular hobbyhorses through the smoking rubble. I’m not yet ready to follow that path.

In the meantime, however, here is a characteristically egregious example of ex tempore theorising from a “community leader” reported on Qaradawi’s Islam Online website:

The Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) will issue a fatwa (religious edict) banning Muslim scholars from joining the raging riots, has learnt Sunday, November 6.

The fatwa is expected to underlined that such acts run counter to the basic teachings of Islam.

The influential UOIF is one of the main groups comprising the umbrella French Council for the Muslim Religion (CFCM).

UOIF’s chairman Lhaj Thami Breze cast doubt over the parties behind the accelerating violence.

He accused several parties, including far-rightists and Zionist lobby, of fishing in the troubled water to “smear the image of Muslims and Arabs”.

The Muslim leader said many of the incidents involving the burning of public properties remain ambiguous.

“The rioting, which started as a spontaneous reaction, is not like that anymore. Some parties are feeding these incidents,” Breze charged.

“The perpetrators of such actions can never be Muslims,” he averred.

The Muslim leaders argued that some parties, including right extremists, did not like what Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has done in favor of Muslims.

Sarkozy was one of the staunch supporters for establishing the CFCM and supervised its first election in April 2003.