Why Paris Is Burning

As France is hit with its worst riots in years, TIME takes an inside look at the roots of Muslim discontent

The young men in hooded sweatshirts go by rapper tags--Spion, El Pach, Benou and K-Soc--and like thousands of others from the grimy, soulless apartment blocks that ring France's big cities, they were out cruising the mean streets of Paris' banlieues, or suburbs, last week. Near the city hall of Bobigny, a rough town on the northeastern outskirts of Paris, a circle of fire marked where a trash container had been set alight to provoke a police patrol. "People mix it up with the police every day around here," says Spion, 19, who is of Moroccan origin. But this is different, says...

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