France lists 751 ‘sensitive’ areas across country
In the wake of the Fox News apology for a guest expert’s on-air claims regarding Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe, an international clamor has ensued with condemnation of Fox, claims that Muslim immigrants really do want to assimilate, and a threat by the mayor of Paris to sue the cable network for “insulting” the great city.
There’s only one problem: Europe is full of Muslim “no-go” zones, which have been documented, lamented, reported on and openly discussed for years.
In fact, the governments of France and other European nations have identified specific enclaves, where Muslim immigrants have chosen not to assimilate, as areas in which law enforcement has lost some degree of control.
The French government lists on its website 751 Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones, that the state does not fully control, notes Middle East foreign policy expert Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo
The French zones, which have specific street demarcations, were first identified by the government in 1996. An estimate that is now 10 years old found 5 million people living in the zones, Pipes noted.
Nevertheless, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo declared Tuesday in a CNN interview the city will sue Fox News after the network’s coverage “insulted” them.
“When we’re insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Hidalgo said. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced.”
On Saturday, “Fox Report” host Julie Banderas told viewers that in the previous week, “We have made some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France.”
“Now, this applies especially to discussions of so-called ‘no-go zones,’ areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in and police supposedly won’t go.
“To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country … and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion,” Banderas said. “There are certainly areas of high crime in Europe as there are in the United States and other countries – where police and visitors enter with caution. We deeply regret the errors and apologize to any and all who may have taken offense including the people of France and England.”
The New York Times declared in a headline: “Fox News Apologizes for False Claims of Muslim-Only Areas in England and France” while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blared, “Fox News admits ‘no-go zones’ are fantasy.”
Not so fast, says Robert Spencer, a long-time monitor of the conflict between Islam and Western civilization as editor of Jihad Watch.
He wrote in a Front Page Magazine column that the “only problem with all the cork popping around Fox’s apology was that there is a problem with Muslim areas in Europe – and the Fox apology didn’t go so far as to say there wasn’t.”
Spencer acknowledged inaccurate statements were made by Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. In a Fox News interview Jan. 11, Emerson said “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”
“That is false, and Emerson has acknowledged that and apologized,” Spencer wrote.
But Emerson was not guilty of fabrication, Spencer quickly asserted, only of overstatement.
A zone in nearly every city
Pipes, who was one of the first to use the term “no-go zone” in reference to Muslims in Europe, noted in 2006 that France’s Sensitive Urban Zones ranged from two zones in the medieval town of Carcassonne to 12 in the heavily Muslim city of Marseilles, with hardly a town in the country lacking one.
Pipes has continuously updated his original 2006 post, citing references by politicians, civil leaders and journalists to “no-go zones” in Britain, Germany and Sweden, as well as France.
Written by ART MOORE
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