If we are not sure as a nation that Islamists really are foes of Western values but instead see them as another persecuted group with legitimate gripes against us (occupied Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo Bay, colonialism, the Crusades), then it becomes increasingly hard to identify, let alone fight, the practitioners of Islamic fanaticism at home. Even the military bureaucracy seems to be having trouble naming the enemy: witness the rebranding by some Pentagon officials of “the war on terrorism” into the “global war against violent extremism.” While the original nomenclature was unsatisfactory—wars aren’t fought against a tactic but rather against those using it—the new name is even less helpful. Our fight against jihadists is different from our struggle with recalcitrant Serbian nationalists or Kim Jong-il’s crackpot extremism. We are at war with radical Islam, Islamic fascism, Islamism—the “radical Islamic polemic,” in the words of Sarkozy. We should never lose sight of this fact.
While reading the coverage of the rioting that's been taking place in France over the past week, it's hard to find any references to Islam or Muslims in the reportage. Usually, the rioters are described as "North African", "African" or just plain "youths." Perhaps the writers fear that labelling the rioters by what they are might inflame anti-Muslim prejudice. But this omission could lead to a false perception by the reader of the issues at hand. The unwillingness of the MSM to "tell it like it is" is the prime reason for the growth of the alternative media, as well as the decline in the MSM's audience.
Fortunately, there are writers who get it with regard to the French
UPDATE #1: Dantes of Chateau d'If analyzes the Steyn article here. Additionally, he offers this gem: "What You Need Is Appeasement" I won't hold the French name of his blog against him.
UPDATE #2: Weapons Of Mass Destruction goes around the horn in the blogosphere for reaction to the French infitada here.