New Year’s Riots Rock Europe

People may associate New Year’s Day with fireworks and alcohol. In Europe, the day has another “tradition” associated with it: riots. New Year’s Eve in Europe often becomes the setting of confrontation between rioters—often from Muslim immigrant communities—and police. Some statistics from this year:

  • The French Ministry of the Interior stated that this year’s celebration was “serene” after “only” 690 cars were set ablaze during the night. During the last New Year’s celebration unencumbered by covid-19 restrictions, the number was 1,316. According to Intelligence Fusion, a security company, “over 150 vehicles [in metropolitan Paris] were torched in [the areas] of Yvelines and Saint Denis alone.” Saint Denis is a common “ground zero” for immigrant riots.
  • In Stockholm, a gunfight broke out. Three people were shot, with one succumbing to injuries. The city district where the attack occurred, Vällingby, has a foreign-born population of over 40 percent and is classified by Swedish police as a “vulnerable” area for crime. In the region of Skåne, rioters aimed fireworks at apartments and cars.
  • Germany experienced what the Local called “chaos” on New Year’s Eve. In Berlin, the city fire brigade had to carry out over 1,700 operations between 7 p.m. on December 31 and 6 a.m. on January 1. According to the Local, “The fire brigade dealt with brawls, shots from blank guns and firecrackers and rockets thrown at passers-by, buildings and officials.” Authorities from the state of Saxony dealt with what they called “a sharp increase in typical New Year’s Eve” violent incidents. This was concentrated around the city of Leipzig. In Frankfurt, an Eritrean man pushed a boy in front of a moving train.
  • The Brussels district of Molenbeek (a district called by the Washington Post “[t]he Belgian neighborhood indelibly liked to jihad”) saw at least seven cars torched. Rioters meanwhile attacked police and emergency workers with fireworks.

Europe recently had to deal with rioting during the fifa World Cup. The World Cup is usually a time of celebration for Europeans. But Morocco’s victories in the tournament stirred Middle Eastern immigrant communities in places like Paris and Brussels to set the streets on fire.

Europe has celebrated New Year’s Eve a lot longer than it has the World Cup. A big problem among European cities is the assimilation of Middle Eastern immigrants. Far from uniting, events like New Year’s Eve show how hostile the two groups are becoming to each other.

This trend, however, is more serious than most realize. Muslim-European relations are destined to reach a breaking point.

To learn more: Read The King of the South.