Most of the zones/ZUS are blocks of neighborhoods, with the average ZUS containing about 6,000 residents. An estimated 5 million people live the zones, and most of the residents are part of France’s 10 percent Muslim population. In those zones, Islamic law actually supersedes the French legal system on civil matters such as property disputes, adultery and divorce.
Crimes are handled locally by ZUS residents rather than by the police, who fear to enter unless they do so in very large numbers, backed by armored vehicles.
Because of rampant corruption, the true number receiving French government benefits are alleged by many to be over one hundred percent, since death rarely stops the flow of government benefit checks in the no-go zones.