Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jobs or Hijabs?

The French police union claims (tip to NRO) they are facing a low-level intifada in their suburbs:

Radical Muslims in France's housing estates are waging an undeclared "intifada" against the police, with violent clashes injuring an average of 14 officers each day.

Eleven months ago, I wondered if the car-burning riots represented outrage over lack of opportunity or Islamist fervor. I generally sided with the former but wondered whether Islamism would take the lead and focus the aggrieved in the name of Islamism:

My fear is that the jihadis in France will increasingly lead the alien and alienated Moslems of France. Remember our own Revolution. When colonists first confronted British soldiers with arms in April 1775 at Lexington and Concord, and then lay siege to the British in Boston, we did not seek political separation. Our forebears only wanted their rights as Englishmen recognized. It was not until July 1776, more than a year later, that we made independence from the British our official goal.

This is not jihad and it never has been, says Strategypage. But this says nothing of the future. Will it become jihad? A cry for rights can become a cry for separation in remarkably short time. Will we look back at the events at Clichy-sous-Bois as the first clash leading to a declaration of independence by France's Moslems?

So what do the rioters want? Jobs or hijabs?

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers.