Violence part of life for girls in French suburbsViolence part of life for girls in French suburbs
Even before the riots, Ophelia, 16, used to run home from school every day because she was afraid of being attacked in the maze of high-rise buildings in her suburb northeast of Paris. A series of gang rapes in these bleak housing estates shocked France a few years ago. In 2002, a 17-year-old girl was set alight by an 18-year-old boy as his friends stood by. Violence against and pressure on women is part of daily life in the suburbs, where boys can dictate how girls should dress. "You have to behave like a guy and look like a guy. If you wear a skirt, you get into immediate trouble. You're a slut," says Sandra, wearing a baggy sweatshirt and jeans. Pressure is mounting for Muslim women to wear veils. Forced marriages that snatch them from college and career -- where they do much better than their male schoolmates -- are on the rise. The support group "Ni Putes, Ni Soumises" ("Neither Whores nor Submissives") says the number of forced marriages has risen in recent years, with roughly 70,000 girls pressured into unwanted relationships each year in France.
France must act to prevent anti-Moslem backlash, says Euro MP
'We must move away from tolerance to respect for other cultures and religions,' Winkler said, urging E.U. governments to step up efforts to integrate minorities into society. The EUMC report calls for active involvement of Moslem communities in institutionalised procedures of policy-making. Police services should provide support to victims of racist crimes and governments should monitor progress of social inclusion, it concluded.
Russia offers football thugs to France
A Russian politician has offered to send the country's violent football thugs to France to sort out the rioters. Far right politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky says he already has hundreds of volunteers many with special forces training. In a telegram sent to France, Zhirinovsky, who is also Deputy Speaker of the Duma, said: "We are ready with volunteer units of football fans and activists who have served in military combat hot spots. "I am convinced that our initiative would restore total order and calm the rioting within 48 hours."