Soeren Kern writes at The Gatestone Institute:
The French government has announced a plan to boost policing in 15 of the most crime-ridden parts of France in an effort to reassert state control over the country’s so-called “no-go” zones: Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims.
The crime-infested districts, which the French Interior Ministry has designated as Priority Security Zones (zones de sécurité prioritaires, or ZSP), include heavily Muslim parts of Paris, Marseilles, Strasbourg, Lille and Amiens.
Many of these new ZSP coincide with Muslim neighborhoods that previous French governments have considered to be Sensitive Urban Zones. (Zones Urbaine Sensibles, or ZUS) — also “no-go” zones for French police.
At last count, there were a total of 751 Sensitive Urban Zones, a comprehensive list of which can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated five million Muslims live in the ZUS — parts of France over which the French state has lost control.
Consider Seine-Saint-Denis, a notorious northern suburb of Paris, and home to an estimated 500,000 Muslims. Seine-Saint-Denis is divided into 40 administrative districts called communes, 36 of which are on the French government’s official list of “no-go” zones.
The postal code for this suburb, witnessed fierce rioting by Muslim youths in 2005, when they torched more than 9,000 cars.
Seine-Saint-Denis, which has one of the highest rates of violent crime in France, is now among the initial 15 ZSPs because of widespread drug dealing and a rampant black market. Because, however, the suburb also has one of the highest unemployment rates in France — 40% of those under the age of 25 are jobless
It remains unlikely that a government crackdown will succeed in bringing down the crime rate in any permanent way.
Soeren Kern is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.