Five years ago, Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the socialist boss of Paris, threatened to sue FOX News for reporting on the existence of no-go zones: territories in France under Islamist control. "When we're insulted, and when we've had an image, then I think we'll have to sue, I think we'll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed," she told CNN.
There was no lawsuit, but FOX News issued repeated apologies, with hosts "correcting" experts like Steve Emerson and Jessie Jane Duff who actually knew what they were talking about.
But the wall of silence on no-go zones has been coming down. And it is indeed a wall of silence. The existence of a classified report by the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) identifying 150 areas in France under Islamist control has leaked. That leak comes just as the DGSI busted 7 Muslims for plotting a terrorist attack. The perpetrators were just another of the 400,000 on the Fiche S watch list.
These 150 neighborhoods that are held by Islamists not only overlap many of the territories that had been previously listed as no-go zones, but point to a problem that has is expanding across France. Beyond the suburbs of Paris, Lyon and Marseille, the report identifies areas of concern in Maubeuge, Roubaix, Denain, Haute-Savoie, Annemasse, Bourg-en-Bresse, Bourgoin-Jallieu, and Nogent-le-Rotrou.
Despite the cloak of secrecy, there isn’t likely to be anything new in the report for anyone in France.
In 2015, after the American and French media had gotten through mocking the existence of no-go zones, the French government declared a state of emergency and put soldiers on the street. Two years later, while the media was attacking Geller, the state of emergency was still underway.
While officially the state of emergency ended that year, in practice it became a permanent measure. French cops are now able to carry out raids without a warrant, stop-and-frisk anyone across entire areas, put suspected terrorists under house arrest and shut down mosques. Soldiers can still be deployed in major cities and the state of emergency is now an ordinary feature of life.
But somehow the idea of no-go zones was ridiculous even while soldiers patrolled the streets.
Due to France’s militant secularism, there are no hard numbers on how much of the military is Islamic. But some estimates suggest that between a tenth to a fifth of France’s military is made up of Muslims.