Hvor er logikken i at de sinte unge angriper sine egne? Slik at de fattige har enda dårligere tilbud? Dette simple faktum har blitt forbigått i taushet, men Guardians John Henley stiller det opplagte spørsmål, og får svar av de lokale i Aulnauy-sous-Bois.
On the grim roads around these estates, a police station, a primary school, a fire station, a retirement home, a carpet warehouse and a car dealership have all been torched, stoned or ransacked by youths whose sole objective, it seems, is to do as much damage as they can.
By yesterday - even on an estate where more than 40% of the population is under 25, and where social workers estimate youth unemployment to be pushing 40% - what sympathy there may once have been for the rioters was wearing thin. Police say the troublemakers number no more than 150 youths, with some as young as 13.
“It’s madness - more like Baghdad than Seine-Saint-Denis,” said Mourad, 39, who has lived on the 3000 since he was four. “What are they doing, torching classrooms where their cousins go to school and cars their neighbours use to go to work? Stoning buses that are the only other way off this place?”
Ratiba, who lives in a fifth-floor flat and has watched up to eight cars burn beneath her window, said she had barely slept for days. “The children wake at every noise,” she said. “On Thursday I counted nine fires from the windows. It’s time for it all to stop now - we’re tired and frightened.”
On Saturday morning, about 3,000 people walked through these streets in a silent protest march, calling for a halt to the violence. Moucrad, who runs a small second-hand car dealership that went up in flames last week, was among them, “to demand that we can work in peace”. Nothing can excuse the destruction of local businesses employing local people, he said. “I opened at the beginning of October - and now I’m closed.”
Half a mile away, at the Sunday morning market, in the other Aulnay - the other France - sympathy was hard to find. But there was incomprehension, and cold anger, in abundance.
“Where are their parents?” asked Marie-Claude, 67. “What are these kids doing on the streets at 2am? How dare they mock the police? What is happening in this country?“
En Guardian-kollega, Alex Duval Smith, kan også fortelle noe annet om ungdommen, som ikke passer inn i det konvensjonelle bildet: De er ikke ute etter arbeid, mer etter å brenne ned “hele greia”.
The past week has also shown that many of the 14- to 25-year-olds now rioting, as distinct from those who took to the streets a decade ago, are not crying out for jobs, training or integration. Amid unemployment rates of 20-30 per cent on the housing estates and racism outside, they have given up. Crime, especially drug dealing and petty theft, has become a means of survival.
Dette samsvarer også med hva den politiske kommentatoren Ann-Elizabeth Moutet sier til BBC: -Bakmenn sender de unge ut med molotov-cocktails. Målet er å bevare les cités som no-go areas for politi og myndigheter, slik at kriminaliteten kan foregå uhindret.
Many - but far from all - of the rioters have been children of North African immigrants. France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population and a third of its estimated six million people of Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian origin live in the ghettos.
But also among those arrested last week were children of French parents and grandparents and the offspring of sub-Saharan immigrants. What they all have in common is their alienation from 2_kommentarstream society and, often, an Islamic upbringing.
Last week, on the day Bouna and Ziad were killed, Jean-Claude Irvoas, 51, got out of his car in Epinay-sur-Seine to take a photograph. As his wife and daughter sat in the car, Irvoas was attacked by three men, said to be Arabs from a nearby housing estate, and savagely beaten. He died in hospital later that evening. While speaking of the perpetrators, Sarkozy speaks to France’s ‘victims’ - and they don’t live in Clichy-sous-Bois or Aulnay-sous-Bois.
Kommentator Moutet sier franskmenn har en egen evne til å overse problemer de ikke liker, og helst ikke vil befatte seg med. Duval Smith:
More broadly, from Britain to Italy, the riots have raised urgent questions about multiculturalism and why successive models of integration over 30 years have gone wrong. The continent has woken up to its inability - frightening in the age of radical Islam - to embrace the destinies of thousands of youngsters estranged from the societies their parents entered into.
Worlds apart - Paris suburb on the divide between hope and despair
The week Paris burned
The riots that have convulsed France over the past week have raised huge questions over the country’s ability to integrate its Muslim population - concerns which have implications for the rest of Europe, writes Alex Duval Smith in Aulnay-sous-Bois