DAESH took credit for the bombings and shootings in Paris last week, but the real culprits remain at large, and can be found in Palais du Luxembourg and the Palais Bourbon of the French Parliament. Decades of economic and social marginalization of Muslims in France have everything to do with young Muslims' deadly dalliances with DAESH. Economics, not immigration policy, are the gasoline of global jihad.
Anywhere in the world, it is easier to recruit people with no future, and little opportunity to succeed. Semi-citizens who are not integrated into the fabric of society in a way that respects their roots of tribe and faith move from frustration, to anger, to acceptance and despair, and, for some, to deadly violence.
President Hollande was fundamentally right when he said that France was at war. DAESH's brutal attacks are a symptom of France's decades-long cultural and economic cold war with their own minority populations.
Americans think of suburbs as symbols of prosperity. In France, though, banlieues, their suburbs, are more often than not ghettoed pockets of desperation and futility that used to generate crime, and now are the seedbed of domestic terrorism.
On paper, the Republic's attempts to live up to its motto, "Liberté, égalité, fraternité, (Liberty, equality, fraternity), should make it a model of equality and civil rights. In practice, though, immigrants are marginalized and discriminated against by people within government, the corporate sector, labor unions and society as a whole. The French people, both in policy and practice, do not always see their minorities as true equals.
Connect up last week's bombings to France's appalling history with its minority populations of Jews, Arabs, North Africans, and Roma people. A 2015 EU Report in February condemned France's growing intolerance and racism against all minority groups.
Specific to Islamists, the riots of 2005 in Paris' suburbs, and France's ban of the hijab, the headscarves worn by observant women, in public employment and at universities and schools in France, along with the perceived sleights of Charlie Hebdo's cartoons that led to massive demonstrations and ultimately the attack on the publication are all symptoms of people living in disaffected isolation within the borders of their country.
The attacks of last week in Paris have had many storm warnings, particularly in the Paris Riots of 2005. Noted Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaisse of the Brookings Institute:
The rioting expresses, among other things, frustration caused by the gap between the model and the reality, and a desire to see the fulfillment of the promises inherent in the model. In any case, it is difficult to imagine how the adoption of the "multicultural" model, where minorities are treated as groups endowed with separate collective "identities" and special rights, would suddenly cure such social ills as everyday discriminations, unemployment and ghettoization.
Rather than spending millions of dollars to "watch" a suspect people, the French government, and other governments in Europe like Belgium and the United Kingdom, which have similar festering minority problems, need to address their "separate but equal" policies. Real integration has been recommended by sociologists and political experts for decades.
Countries throughout the EU need zero tolerance policies ending the discrimination of any person in the workplace or the public spaces. A truly democratic Republic that purports to be a bastion of freedom can withstand the free religious expression of a hijab or a yarmulke in a classroom or a workplace.
If the people of France want to be safe within their borders, rather than build walls, or barriers to immigration, they must build bridges.
France must create a future for their minorities, and live up to the constitutional promises of freedom of religion and assembly. End the decades of rhetoric and vide noblesse political statements and self-congratulatory legislation that is given little or no enforcement.
Does discrimination justify terrorism? No. What was done in the name of DAESH has no defense.
If you want to dissuade hundreds of thousands of young people from joining extremist sociopolitical organizations, though, the best weapons against terrorism aren't bombs or riot gear. They're good education, jobs, and tolerant inclusion.
Rather than fear the followers of the Quran, a country that is 90 percent Christian should heed the words of Christ: Do unto others.
Young people getting educated, going to work, finding better housing and integrated into the neighborhoods and cultural life of the country as true equals are very hard to recruit. It is easier to sell a "paradise" that lies just beyond one squeeze of a trigger on a bomb jacket to people who live in hopelessness.