Riots in France have caused a billion euros worth of damage since being ignited by the death of a French-Algerian teenager, Nahel Merzouk late in June. Rebel Commander Ezra Levant, accompanied by head of video production Efron Monsanto, travelled to Marseille, one of the flash points of the riots to see for themselves what was going on and talk to real people on the ground.
"I'm trying to understand what is going on," Ezra said in an earlier report. "Is this crime? Is this gangs? Is this Islamic terrorism? Or is it just a large and growing minority that is not properly absorbed and feels like it hasn't been treated with respect?"
Exploring Marseille revealed that there is an active clash of cultures taking place. While it's not as if sharia law is being enforced, there is still clearly a divide between secular French citizens and more religious immigrant communities. Women in halter tops walk next to patios where the only women are wearing head coverings. Other patios conspicuously have no women at all.
Some residents of Marseille think that France needs to combat the racism they believe is directed at the Muslim community. Others agree, while proudly proclaiming loyalty to Algeria or other countries above France.
Everyone Ezra spoke to condemned violence. But those who condone it are out there, like the youth being arrested. The future of Marseille has implications for the rest of France, Europe, and the West — it's worth paying attention to.
If you think our citizen journalism is valuable, please consider chipping in a few dollars to help us offset the travel costs for our fact-finding mission. You can find all of our coverage of the French riots, with more on the way, at FranceOnFire.com.