Rising Riots and Everyday Discrimination in France Amid Paris Olympics 2024

While everyday discrimination is on the rise in France, concerns are mounting about their potential impact on the upcoming Paris Olympics 2024 in the wake of the recent riots in the country. This social unrest particularly caused by the killing of Nahel M, a 17-year-old Algerian boy, by the traffic police, has uncovered the ongoing inhuman acts of racism and Islamophobia prevailing in French society. 

Some may argue that the repercussions of these ongoing riots on the Paris Olympics 2024 might be uncertain, but due to their imminent intensity, they cannot be ignored. As the predominant unrest has shaken French society, it has also highlighted the concerning issues which may undermine the ability of the country in providing the inclusive and harmonious environment for visitors, particularly athletes during this mega sports event.

Rising Frustration Among French Youth

As the saying of Martin Luther King Jr. aptly puts it, “A riot is the language of the unheard,” expressing the main source of such unrest in any society. Unquestionably, a large segment of French youth who feel marginalized and ignored are the subject of this unprecedented wave of protests which is a clear indication of the frustration among them. 

As France is preparing to host the world in 2024, the first and foremost issue to be addressed is to ensure an atmosphere of respect and equality for everyone who is participating in the upcoming international games. On the other hand, concerns of parties that are of the view of boycotting the Paris Olympics 2024 should also not be ignored and they must be prioritized to resolve for the sake of peace and harmony, which is the essence of sports. 

Chaos and Disruption Amidst Riots

The report published by CNBC about Marseille, one of the affected cities by the riots, depicts a grim situation for the residents who try to wind up their tasks as immediately as they can before the shutdown of public and private transportation in anticipation of the imminent chaos. 

According to the report, evenings are mostly characterized by massive conflicts between rioters and law enforcement personnel, coupled with the surrounding of helicopters, fireworks, and sirens. This bleak situation is surely causing an enormous disruption in the law-and-order situation in the country. 

Moreover, this is the fundamental issue leading to the explosion of considerable frustration among citizens of the country. Not only in Marseille, the violence has also erupted in other parts of the country including Lyon, Pau, Toulouse, Lille, and Paris, as well as parts of Nanterre. Hundreds of police personnel and people were injured, as clashes raised in cities in France. However, in addition to this, the numbers of arrested people are in the thousands.

Day-to-Day Struggles of Marginalized Communities in France

Muslims and North Africans living in France feel like they are being discriminated against due to certain instances, for example, the monitoring of students entering a Lyon middle school to scrutinize their attire, the ban on Muslim football players wearing hijabs, and the public condemnation of Muslim children praying in a school courtyard. 

These incidents are an indication that the country does not fully accept them. In this regard, in the French talk shows dominating the morning discussions, the issue of social solidarity among the third and fourth generations of French citizens of immigrant descent has once again surfaced. 

Similarly, these debates fundamentally ignore the potential frustration in driving the destruction of personal property by rioters. Hence, people began to doubt whether the people who raised these questions really wanted to understand after decades of not getting satisfactory answers. Additionally, observers argue that France’s daily life as a marginalized community is often overlooked or ignored because of its normalized racism and Islamophobia.

Way Forward

In a nutshell, If France wants to show the world that it is loyal to the concept of the true and fair essence of sports, it has to address these concerning issues of its own communities and foreign visitors for the mega sports event. Taking robust measures to resolve the conflicts within the country through a pragmatic approach is the need of the hour. 

It is the only France that can save itself from staining its reputation around the world, especially in terms of hosting international games. It is extremely important to discourage provocative remarks about Islam and immigration reforms by Edward Philip, the former Prime Minister, and other prominent figures which are also one of the reasons for increasing the tension within a country.



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