France has a policy on immigration which basically goes like this:
"You are not an African-French, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Chinese immigrant, etc. You are French."
The idea is nice. There is no official recognition of races or religions, everyone is the same. As far as the government is concerned, you're a French person no matter what color your skin is or which church you go to.
Unfortunately, individual people do not always see eye-to-eye with their government, even if the government seems to have a pretty good idea. Some people, for example, are racists. Others hate Muslims. Still others simply hate anyone, no matter what, who can't trace their French ancestry back to the dawn of European civilization.
Naturally, if you don't recognize races, relgions, etc. you can't recognize bigotry against these things. After all, if everyone is just French, there is no racism. You can't really be racist against yourself in any significant way.
So, the problem becomes that while the French government says "everyone's on a level playing field", the French populace is free to do whatever it wants. If you're a black man trying to get a job at a company run by a white supremacist, you can be denied on the grounds that you're black because you're not black, you're French, so you can't be protected against discrimination because of your skin color. The same goes for Muslims, Irish, Chinese, Jews, etc.
Of course, while all the bigots are running their mouths about how the media isn't calling a Muslim a Muslim in this little debacle, they're ignoring the much more important point that the media is missing: these people are angry for a very good reason.
Without any kind of protections, they go through the paces of education and labor only to be denied jobs on the grounds that they're Muslim or black or whatever else. No recognition of traits which can be used in discriminatory practices means no protection from those practices. They can't vote to change the problem because they have no candidates from their stock who will work toward that goal because those candidates can easily be shut down and locked out by the majority. They can't speak out in the media because they can't afford the airtime, and they have few, if any, representatives to speak for them.
Now, I'm not condoning the actions being undertaken in France right now. If you have problems, the best way to resolve them rarely involves going on an anarchic rampage like a bunch of common thugs. However, I am pointing out that to call them "Muslim rioters" as if the key here is that they're Muslim is both disingenious and dangerous. There are many, many problems in France for all immigrants, not just Muslims, and the common thread here is not Islam, but the fact that they can be and are regularly discriminated against for their religion.
But, of course, even though the media has begun to cave to the Right in calling them "Muslim Rioters", that vitally important cultural aspect of the French integration program will never be made public on most of the news reports. It's so much easier to identify them as "ragheads" and write them off as dirty brutes. Then, just as with Watts, you don't need to look deeper than the violent rage at what actually caused it, you can just storm in with guns blazing and wipe them out, smug in your certainty that you are, in fact, better than "them".