“Afghanistan in France? The interior of the city at the center of a political controversy

Pascal Delmas, 40, who runs an antique shop with his 32-year-old Chinese wife, Shaoping, said he could vouch for the shopkeepers singled out in the film, calling them friends who were members assets of his group to promote commerce on the street.

“I haven’t seen any evidence of radicalization here,” he said. “But we have a lot of other problems.”

A few meters down the street, Dominique Houte, who runs the La 357 Roubaisienne shooting club, took aim at a shooting range target with a semi-automatic revolver. Many of its approximately 400 members are local police officers.

“The real gangrene here is drug trafficking, incivility and poverty,” he said.

“It’s not Afghanistan or Molenbeek. It’s rather the incivility of young people who may not feel in their place, Muslims without being Muslims, French without being French and a visceral hatred of the police.

But not all of its members agreed.

An off-duty local policeman who complained that his men arrested local youths with drugs just to get them released, didn’t shy away from making the connection between Islamism and delinquency, or where to go. situated his political preferences.

“Everything in this report is true,” he said. “Islamism exists here but not only in Roubaix – in the south of Lille, in the suburbs of Paris and in many large cities.”

He said he supported the UK English Defense League and made it clear he was a supporter of far-right Mr Zemmour, who is due to hold a mass rally in nearby Lille on Saturday.

Mr. Delmas called the remarks extremist rubbish.

“We live very well together in Roubaix. There is enormous diversity – around 100 nationalities – many churches, temples and mosques, and it works.

“But some people don’t like the fact that white French people and those of North African and other origin live happily side by side. They would rather wallow in the past than look to the future.

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