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Over 2,300 people arrested for the riots in France, Muhammad emerges as the most common first name among them followed by the Arabic name Yanis

L'Opinion found that among the 345 most people with most common 18 names, 160 are Arabic-Muslim names like Muhammad, Yacin, Yanis, Ali, or Ibrahim.

More than 2,300 people have reportedly been held in connection with the violent protests that gripped France earlier this month when a 17-year-old male Algerian migrant named Nahel Merzouk was shot and murdered in the Nanterre neighbourhood of Paris.

According to the French publication L’Opinion, which examined a sample of the most popular names among the people apprehended throughout the riots in late June, Muhammad emerged as the most popular name followed by another Arabic moniker, Yanis. Muhammad as the first name showed up 81 times, 50 times more frequently than Yanis with 31 appearances in the sample of 345 names of arrested people with the most common names. Moreover, Yacin was featured 11 times, Ali popped up 13 times and Ibrahim surfaced 10 times in the same.

In descending order- Muhammad: 81, Yanis: 31, Enzo: 25, Maxime: 21, Adam: 19, Lucas: 18, Jordan: 15, Rayan: 14, Bryan: 14, Nathan: 13, Nicolas: 13, Ali: 13, Hugo: 13, Alexis: 13, Yacin: 11, Théo: 11, Ibrahim: 10 and Paul: 10. Therefore, 345 people have the most common 18 names. The rest of the names were mentioned in much smaller numbers.

The media portal found that 160 of them had Arabic-Muslim names like Mohammed, Yacin, Yanis, Ali, or Ibrahim. The data is based on records collected by the national police, L’Opinion said.

Multiple individuals have theorised that there is a link between immigration and recent violence. Éric Zemmour, former presidential candidate specifically blamed French immigration policy in a recent interview. “France is on the verge of civil war. I’ve been saying this for a long time, and the recent guerrilla scenes prove it.”

He further added, “No one can ignore reality anymore. In spite of everything, most of the political class wants to believe that it is a social crisis when the root cause is obvious, immigration.” The politician forewarned, “No politician has taken the measure of what awaits us if we do nothing. These riots are just a glimpse of our future.”

On the other hand, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin refuted these assertions and claimed that many of the jailed rioters went by the names Kevin or Matteo, which are not typically associated with people from immigrant backgrounds. However, L’Opinion was able to access records from the French National Police regarding the number of those apprehended and revealed the actual statistics.

Moreover, even though there were a few Western names on the list, neither Kevin nor Matteo represented a sizable portion of the rioters that were taken into custody.

Mohammed has been identified as the most popular boy’s name in Seine-Saint-Denis, a Paris borough well-known for having a large proportion of individuals with a migrant background. Interestingly, Arab-Muslim names have grown in popularity in France over the past few decades.

More importantly, the violence has brought immigration issues to the fore of French politics, and based on a recently conducted poll, the French population favoured harsh punishments for immigrant offenders.

According to it, 73% of French people endorsed revoking dual-national rioters of their citizenship, a punishment that is often reserved for serious offences like terrorism. Men and women desired to strip rioters of their French citizenship, but there was a minor gender gap which disclosed that the former was more likely in agreement with the idea than the latter. However, both sexes were strongly in support of it.

There was widespread support for the notion across all age groups, with only 34% of people under 35 opposed and fiercely objected to the same. Meanwhile, pollsters anticipated that followers of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) and Éric Zemmour’s Reconquête would firmly promote robbing rioters of their citizenship, they were nonetheless intrigued to see broad approval even from the left, with 70% of socialists expressing identical views.

The riots and their fallout have mostly benefited Marine Le Pen and her party because more mainstream politicians have echoed her prior statements on immigration and criminality. The conservative senator from France, Bruno Retailleau voiced, “As soon as we want to be firm they say, ‘Oh la la. Scandal!’ The fascists are arriving. You are like the National Rally. We’re sick of being politically correct.”

French riots caused massive damages

French insurance estimated that the losses from the riots, which occurred in more than 200 places throughout France, cost €650 million, while other people believe the actual cost could be over 1 billion Euros.

Notably, 55% of damages are connected to personal or private property, whereas, 35% are claims for harm caused to public infrastructure. 90% of the costs associated with this urban violence are related to the 3,900 affected local communities and properties of the professionals.

Insurers estimated that 11,300 claims have already been filed, although additional lawsuits can also be launched. The amount of devastation is significant which comprised of 700 police officers being injured as a result of the chaos, 1,300 buildings were vandalised and damaged, and 5,600 automobiles were wrecked, the majority of which were set on fire.

Violence in France

Protests and unrest ensued in Paris suburbs after a teenager, Nahel Merzouk who was a delivery agent was killed by a police officer on 27 June. He was stopped by the police and was asked to show documents while he was driving when he tried to flee the scene during which shots were fired. One of the bullets hit him in the chest and he died on the spot.

The instruction to stop was issued under a routine traffic check. The victim was previously convicted of failing to stop at a signal as well as driving without a license. The accused official was detained on suspicion of manslaughter.

Soon after the tragic incident, demonstrations started in the western suburb of Nanterre, where the boy was killed. It quickly spread across other regions, including the Hauts-de-Seine and the eastern city of Dijon. Violence also flared in Marseille, Lyon, Pau, Toulouse and Lille as well as parts of Paris in the country.

Riots and chaos virtually took over France in less than a week, creating a situation that many compared to civil war. More than 45,000 police officers were stationed across the country. Protesters clashed with police, torched vehicles, looted stores and burnt them down. The largest library in Marseilles, Alcazar, also fell victim to the violence and was set on fire.

A memorial commemorating Holocaust victims and members of the French resistance in Paris was also vandalised and defaced by drawing graffiti on it. The act was denounced by the Jewish community worldwide.

The rioters also attacked the residence of Vincent Jeanbrun, a mayor of Paris’s suburban area. He was in his office at the time of the occurrence. However, his wife Melanie Nowak and their two children were at home. The mob tried to burn them alive. She suffered a broken leg while attempting to protect the children, one of whom received injuries.

PM Modi in France

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited the country on a two-day visit which began on 13 July. He was conferred with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award by President Emmanuel Macron. The former also attended France’s Bastille Day Parade as the chief guest and the Indian Army contingent also participated in it.

He signed many crucial agreements with the European country including cooperation in defence, space, nuclear energy, climate change and green transitions as well as education and people-to-people ties.

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