So what story do you want? If you want your flesh to creep, try DebkaFile, which suggests that Al Qaeda infiltrators may be organizing the riots. You won't find much evidence, although the police finding some petrol bomb factories does suggest that there's a degree of organization involved.
And Mark Steyn's variant: the much feared but hitherto quiescent Arab street finally manifests itself. But it's in Clichy-sous-Bois, not Cairo or Damascus.
By way of antidote, there are good blog posts which take issue with these ideas. Greg Drerejian points at fundamental failures of social cohesion. Clive Davis has a good collection of links to more sceptical analyses of the spectre of burning.
Most importantly, there's Theodore Dalrymple and Stephen Schwartz who create similar analyses siting the present riots as the ultimate outcome of years of a statist system which has preserved a higher level of social protection and security for its own, whilst permanently marginalizing the children and grandchildren of the immigrants who were imported to do the work nobody wanted.
When I was just sixteen, in 1960, I won a scholarship to spend three months in France. I had to undertake to speak only French, but I was free to choose where I spent my three months. I had to find families to accommodate me. I think of my mother as having brought me up quite strictly. She refused to allow me to stop attending religious assemblies at school, and she wouldn't let me go on one of the famous Aldermaston ban-the-bomb marches. All this created some hostility on my part. Yet she allowed me to make my own arrangements to find families, showed no curiosity about who I chose, and no apparent concern about having her sixteen year old daughter travelling alone all over France.
I chose a month in Paris, a month in Biarritz and a month in Thonon, in the Haute Savoie, near Lake Geneva. It was the first time I'd ever travelled by myself, and I had a high old time. I had my full complement of teenage belief in my own invulnerability and immortality, and regarded the somewhat dubious and even dangerous situations I got myself into (such as running with the bulls in Pamplona) as part of the fun.
When I was in Paris, I was pretty much left to my own devices by my hostess and took to walking across the city, much as I had done when I acquired a taste for truanting afternoons in London in my previous year at school. I found I constantly got picked up by young Algerian men. It eventually penetrated my consciousness that the reason they made such a beeline for me was that no French girl would so much as look at them, and they were desperate for some sort of social and preferably sexual outlet.
I did begin spontaneously to think about what led to this state of affairs. Previously I would have thought of it as the product of something we in those days called prejudice. But I worked out for myself that it was more than that. There was clearly a system of importing the poor and desperate of actual or former colonies as cheap labour, and that the system would discard this labour as soon as it had served its purpose. It was my first serious independent accomplishment in political and sociological analysis, though it would be another twenty eight years before I got round to acquiring any formal qualifications in either subject.
The impact was powerful enough to have influenced my thinking till this day. The current riots,although they involve Muslims, seem to me to have much more in common with the riots and slogans of the black consciousness movement of the seventies. That manifested itself in Britain over incidents to do with alleged police brutality, or the failure of the police to solve murders or other serious crimes against black people.
The images of the rioters on the streets of Clichy show them sporting T-shirts labelled mort pour rien. [Died in vain] Now what could be more un-Islamic than that? No claiming of martyrdom or dozens of virgins here.
There are not the flags, the typical chanting and sloganizing of Islamism on the marches. It's true that over the last months, many attacks have taken place on Jewish premises, including cemeteries.
But where today rioters are interviewed, they talk of the same types of grievance as articulated by race rioters of the sixties and seventies, of exclusion from jobs and harassment by the police.
And I'll end, to my surprise, by referring you to a good analysis by John Lichfield in The Independent, of which this is a good example:
Talk of an intifada is absurdly misleading. Firstly, the rioters are far from being all Muslim (although more than half are from Islamic backgrounds). Second, they have no sense of political or religious identity and no political demands. Their allegiance is to their quartier and their gang. Their main demand, so far as can be established, is to be left alone by police and the Interior Minister, Nicolas Sark-ozy, to continue with their life of low-level violence and drugs trading. The wider significance is therefore not politico-religious but a warning of what happens if problems of deprivation and violence are allowed to fester.