Donald Trump’s 2016 prediction that France would descend into more violence and disorder has come to fruition. The former President said France was no longer France, and things would only worsen. He spoke about the horrific attack in Nice that occurred that year and said the same would happen in the United States if the nation’s borders remain open.
Law and order broke down in France in early July when police shot and killed a teenager with a long record of run-ins with law enforcement after he reportedly threatened to drive into traffic and cause an accident. The resultant violence spread throughout the country where rioters smashed windows, burned cars, and destroyed property. One of the largest libraries in the country, which houses ancient artworks and manuscripts, was destroyed. President Emmanuel Macron faced fierce criticism for attending an Elton John concert at the height of the disorder.
Rioters accuse French police of “racism” because the dead teenager was of Algerian descent.
France has been particularly badly affected by Islamic terrorism in recent decades. It is home to the largest Muslim population in Europe and is plagued by terror attacks and the violent rejection of its values. In 2015 for example, cartoonists were massacred in their offices in Paris after their magazine, Charlie Hebdo, published cartoons that Muslims considered offensive. In the days that followed, Jews and Jewish businesses were attacked, as they have been in the latest riots.
The United Nations issued a statement on the crisis and placed the blame at the door of French authorities. UN Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said, “This is a moment for the country to seriously address the deep issues of racism and discrimination in law enforcement.” She did not condemn the rioters or the violence but demanded French police deal with lawbreakers in a way that “respects the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, non-discrimination, precaution, and accountability.”
Shamdasani also stated that “disproportionate use of force” by police should be “swiftly investigated.”