French for No-Go Zones

Posted by John Rosenthal

The recent controversy over a Fox News segment on “no-go zones” in France, culminating in Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s threat to sue the American channel, will undoubtedly have been a surreal experience for many French-speakers, connoisseurs of France, and, above all, French people themselves. For while the original remarks by Fox interviewee Nolan Peterson contained some fuzziness and error, the existence of such zones has been universally acknowledged in France for years: by members of all political parties, including Hidalgo’s own Socialists, and all media, including the leftist media. Of course, the French do not use the expression “no-go zones,” because the French speak French. Their expression is zones de non-droit, literally “lawless zones,” so described because the police are incapable of maintaining a regular enough presence in them to enforce the law.

For the details, see my new article in the Weekly Standard here.

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