HOW THE MEDIA WHITEWASHES MUSLIM PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS
By Raymond Ibrahim
Most recently, for instance, in the context of the well-documented suffering of Christians in Egypt, a National Public Radio report declared:
Though the report does highlight cases where Christians are victimized, the tone throughout suggests that examples of Muslims victimized by Christians could just as easily have been found (not true). Even the title of the report is "In Egypt, Christian-Muslim Tension is on the Rise"; the accompanying photo is of a group of angry Christians, one militantly holding a cross aloft not Muslims destroying crosses, which is what prompts the former to such displays of religious solidarity.
Two more strategies that fall under the MSM's umbrella of obfuscating and minimizing Islam's role strategies that the reader should become acquainted with appeared in recent reports dealing with the jihadi group, Boko Haram, and its ongoing genocide of Nigeria's Christians.
First, some context: Boko Haram, whose full name in Arabic is "Sunnis for Da'wa [Islamization] and Jihad," is a terrorist organization dedicated to the overthrow of the secular government and establishment of Sharia law (sound familiar?). It has been slaughtering Christians for years, with an uptick since last December's Christmas day church bombing, which left 40 Christians dead, followed by its New Year ultimatum that all Christians must evacuate northern regions or die an ultimatum Boko Haram has been living up to, as hardly a day goes by without a terrorist attack on Christians or churches, most recently, last Sunday's Easter day church attack that killed nearly 50.
The report goes on and on, with a special section about "very angry" Christians, till one all but confuses victims with persecutors, forgetting what the Christians are "very angry" about in the first place: unprovoked and nonstop terror attacks on their churches, and the murder of their women and children.
This is reminiscent of the Egyptian New Year's Eve church bombing that left over 20 Christians dead: the MSM reported it, but under headlines like "Christians clash with police in Egypt after attack on churchgoers kills 21" (Washington Post) and "Clashes grow as Egyptians remain angry after attack" (New York Times) again, as if frustrated Christians lashing out against wholesale slaughter is as newsworthy as the slaughter itself; as if their angry reaction "evens" everything up.
Although Boko Haram has been howling its straightforward goals for a decade enforcing Sharia law and, in conjunction, subjugating, if not eliminating, Nigeria's Christians here is the MSM claiming ignorance about these goals (earlier, the New York Times described Boko Haram's goals as "senseless" even as the group continues justifying them on doctrinal grounds). One would have thought that a decade after the jihadi attacks of 9/11 in light of all the subsequent images of Muslims in militant attire shouting distinctly Islamic slogans such as "Allahu Akbar!" and calling for Sharia law and the subjugation of "infidels" reporters would by now know what their motivation and goals are.
Of course, the media's obfuscation serves a purpose: it leaves the way open for the politically correct, MSM-approved motivations for Muslim violence: "political oppression," "poverty," "frustration," and so forth. From here, one can see why politicians like former U.S. president Bill Clinton cite "poverty" as "what's fueling all this stuff" (a reference to Boko Haram's slaughter of Christians), or the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs insistence that "religion is not driving extremist violence" in Nigeria, which he said in response to last Sunday's Easter day church bombing.
In short, while the MSM may report the most frugal facts concerning Christian persecution, they utilize their entire arsenal of semantic games, key phrases, and convenient omissions that uphold the traditional narrative that Muslim violence is anything but a byproduct of the Islamic indoctrination of intolerance.
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Raymond Ibrahim, a historian of Islam, Islamism and the Middle East, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum, a guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College, and the editor of The Al-Qa'ida Reader, a collection of tranlations of key texts and documents of the Islamist movement. Ibrahim's translations of the religious texts and political propaganda comprising this collection help readers comprehend the origins, development, history, and serious danger of the Islamist war doctrines of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Founders of Al-Qa'ida.
The foregoing article by Ibrahim was originally published by the Gatestone Institute, April 13, 2012, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-ΰ-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (URL: http://www.meforum.org/3217/media-muslim-persecution-christians)
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