The British government has tried to play down its role in rendition – the illegal removal of suspects from one country to another for questioning and, in some cases, torture. But there is mounting evidence that the Foreign Office, armed forces and intelligence services are complicit in this process, exposing British citizens and residents to ‘coercive interrogation’ techniques and opening up British airspace to US ‘torture flights’.
In 1991, after violent riots between youths and police scarred the suburbs of Lyon, French sociologist Alain Tourraine predicted that 'it will only be a few years before we face the kind of massive urban explosion of the American experience'. The 12 nights of consecutive violence following the deaths of two young Muslim men of African descent in a Paris suburb indicate that Tourraine's dark vision of a ghettoised, post-colonial France is now upon us.
The French response to 'Islamic terrorism' after the 1995 Paris metro bombing is often held up as a model. But there is strong evidence that the attacks were part of the Algerian government's 'dirty war' on its opponents.
Naima Bouteldja on why French Muslim school children are not celebrating the first anniversary of the 'headscarf ban'.