The "M" Word

It is a fact that the majority of the "youths" and "gangs" who have been rioting outside Paris for a week now are Muslims.

You will not find that fact reported directly in this Washington Post story.

You will read the rioters called "gangs of youths", "rioters", "immigrants", and "poor" and that's it.

Yet, the article notes that what sparked the riots was the death of two Muslim youths who decided to hide from a police checkpoint in a power substation, where they electrocuted themselves to death. The article also notes that the Interior Minister, whom the French President is blaming for the riots because he has dared to crack down on a runaway crime problem in France's poor Muslim ghettos, has proposed using government buildings as mosques. The article also says that Muslim leaders are attempting "to persuade local youths -- particularly Muslims -- to refrain from violence".

What the article does not do is tell us, plainly, about the Muslim element of the riots.

Why is that? Do the editors of the Washington Post not believe that it's an important element of the story? Might they believe, as they do when it comes to photographs of 9/11, that reporting all the facts might lead to an often-feared but never realized backlash against Muslims here in the US? What does their omission say about their opinions about the American people, if anything?

Just so you don't think this is particular to the Post,  Andy McCarthy, Meghan Cox Gurdon, Rod Dreher, and Jonah Goldberg all note news outlets using virtually any other descriptor for the rioters except "Muslim" or "Islamic".

Here's a bit from Reuters

BOBIGNY, France (Reuters) - Rioters shot at police and fire fighter crews in the worst night of a week of violence in poor suburbs that ring Paris, as France's conservative government struggled to quell the unrest.

Youths who rampaged on Wednesday night left a trail of burnt cars, buses and shops in nine suburbs north and east of Paris, home to North African and black African minorities frustrated at their failure to get jobs or recognition in French society.

North Africa, as anyone with any geopolitical savvy about them can tell you, is composed mostly of Muslim nations.

From another; Reuters article about the "big brothers" apparently trying to calm things down there.

PARIS, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Whenever peace returns to Paris's riot-torn suburbs, part of the credit should go to the "big brothers" out on the streets trying to calm down young hotheads and cushion the worst of the tough police crackdown.

These social workers, coaches and other mentors play a key role in the slums, watching over violent teenagers, mostly sons of North African and black immigrants, who reject teachers and police seen as part of an oppressive white French majority.

But here's the description of those "big brothers".

The sight of bearded men urging rioters to calm down in the name of Islam on Monday has triggered a debate about whether Muslim radicals were exploiting the frustration of disaffected suburban youths, many of whom are of North African origin.


Dalil Boubakeur, head of France's official Muslim Council, said unofficial authorities such as imams and "big brothers" were a fact of Muslim life in the poor suburbs.

Who else are these "big brothers" talking to if not to Muslim youths? Even in this article, where the "big brothers" are notably Muslim and an important part of Muslim family life, the reporters can't bring himself to call the rioters Muslims.

Again, the question we ought to be asking our news outlets is: why are you afraid of the "M-word"?

(cross-posted at The Sundries Shack)

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