During 12 nights of violence last autumn in the banlieues of France, rioters trashed cars, schools, shops and much else. Sibaty Siby, 62, says it happened because hope had already been trashed there long ago. President of the Franco-African Association in Clichy-sous-Bois, the poor, high-rise community 20 km east of Paris where the rioting began, Siby figures one thing is as true in France today as it was when he was growing up in a village in Mali: "If you want to be trusted by people, you have to trust them yourself." France, he says, has failed to create that virtuous...

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