Originally posted February 24, 2015.
In a recent Washington Post interview, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo was asked, “You said you were going to sue Fox News over its allegations that there are “no-go” zones in France—areas where only Muslims can go. Aren’t there places in Paris where people are afraid to go?” Mayor Hidalgo responded, “In Paris, there are no zones where you can’t go for a walk. The situation described by Fox News does not exist. What Fox News presented is a lie.”
Well, not exactly, Mayor Hidalgo. In fact a recently updated report from Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum actually lists 751 Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS). And by my count, nine of the Zones Urbaines Sensibles are in the outer arrondissements of Paris—one each in the 10th, 11th, 17th, 19th; two in the 20th; and three in the 18th. The Middle East Forum website mentions Muslim racism towards the infidels that is never mentioned along with muggings murders and rioting. Just right for “a walk”?
Debbie and I are frequently in Paris. It is true that the arrondissements listed above are not generally considered high traffic tourist destinations, with the 10th and the 11th on the fringes. Although Debbie and I have never walked in the 17th, 18th, 19th or 20th, once said, I would take what mayor Hidalgo says here with a hefty grain of salt. And oh yes, none of the arrondissements listed above is on the left bank popular with American tourists so fascinated by the “Lost Generation” of Hemmingway, Picasso, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beach.