A Report From Hell: Seine Saint-Denis

A Report From Hell: Seine Saint-Denis. By Hugh Fitzgerald.

The British journalist Andrew Malone some time ago visited the Muslim enclave of Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris. His report on what he rightly called a “state within a state” was hair-raising — so much so that the Daily Mail ultimately removed it after charges of “Islamophobia.” The Guardian reported that “a Daily Mail source insisted the article had only been taken off the site temporarily and ‘the intention is to restore it’ after considering the complaints and correcting where necessary.” That was in early August; it has not been restored. But what in it was false? It is worth revisiting:

Inside the World Express cafe, groups of men argue in Arabic. On side streets, men smoke shisha pipes and talk — again, in Arabic — on every corner. Women shop in veils and scarves, always accompanied by a male relative.

As a white European, I attract odd looks. When I take out my mobile phone for a photograph, a young man jumps in front of me, waving his index finger in my face, shouting: ‘La! La! La!’ (No! No! No!)

Yet this is not an exotic, far-flung destination. This is France. Moreover, this is Paris and only six miles from the Eiffel Tower.

The reason for all this activity — in an area which even the most optimistic estate agent would struggle to sell as ‘cosmopolitan and bohemian’ — is quite simple: immigration on a mammoth scale.

The area in question is called Saint-Denis in the north-east of the city, where the Basilica holds the resting places of many French kings and queens.

Recently, it was reported that this sprawling district now holds as many as 300,000 illegal immigrants, many of whom rely on crime or the ‘black economy’ to make money. The official legal population in Saint-Denis is estimated at 1.5 million.

Not only that, according to French parliamentarians in a new report that’s causing much anguish across the nation, as many as 420,000 legal residents here are living ‘below the official poverty line’.

The scale of the problem grows each day. An estimated 80 migrants arrive in Paris every 24 hours — 550 a week. …

There are an estimated 135 different nationalities in Saint-Denis, most extremely poor, including an estimated 600,000 Muslims from North African or sub-Saharan African backgrounds….

Having spent several days in Saint-Denis, it’s clear to me that the area is already lost to France — to the rule of French law, equality, religious freedom, and even access to the streets by the police themselves.

Indeed, this is a parallel state — a state within a state, with its own rules and religious courts — where allegiance to Islam comes ahead of fealty to France.

Diversity! Got to be good, right? How can Australia get something like going? Maybe two of them, one for Sydney and one for Melbourne?

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific