Ethnic trouble strikes in Paris
The Muslim population is growing in European countries. Many of the new arrivals are new immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East seeking a better life. They often face poverty, discrimination and unemployment.
France has the most Muslims of all European countries. Riots in 2005 exposed the social plight they face. The disturbances were triggered by the deaths of two young of North Africans origin living on the outskirts of Paris who were electrocuted as they tried to hide from the police.
The riots lasted almost three months, with angry youths burning cars and public buildings. The government even declared a state of emergency.
While religious differences were not said to be the main reason for the disturbances , many believe that the negative perception of the mainly Islamic North African immigrants were behind the social unrest.