Kudos to the Islamic terrorists yesterday who shot up the Charlie Hebdo offices yesterday for doing so in such a way that the media could not pretend that they were not Muslim or that their belief in radical Islam was not the primary motivating factor for their actions. Having been robbed of their normal playbook of refusing to use Islamic names or to report that terrorists were Muslims or motivated by Islam at all, the media has instead been forced back to their second-line garrison for this type of story – which is to say, to express concern about whether Muslims now face a rising tide of “Islamophobia” – as opposed to concern about whether non-Muslims face a rising tide of being-beheaded-or-shot-to-death-phobia.
Here is a useful thought experiment. Pretend that yesterday’s French terrorists were not radical Muslims but instead members of the Westboro Baptist Church. How many news stories would a) omit their religious affiliation or b) express concern that members of the Westboro Baptist Church now faced anger and discrimination in their community? Of course the answer is zero, and in fact we could expect a steady stream of stories that examined the exact opposite and laid out in painstaking depth how the twisted religious beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church members and the poisonous rhetoric of church leaders directly led to this abominable event. Nightline and 20/20 would doubtless send reporters to Kansas for lengthy pieces complete with videos of the scary rhetoric to which the Westboro members are regularly exposed.
The most absurd thing, of course, is that the main reason Westboro is (justly) hated by the media is their rhetoric on homosexuality and homosexuals – rhetoric which is functionally indistinguishable from radical forms of Islam from which these attacks spring. In fact, the main difference between the two is that Westboro Baptist Church members do not actually kill gay people whereas hundreds of gays and lesbians are killed in Muslim dominated countries every year – in fact, the main difference between a “moderate” Muslim country and an “extremist” one where gay people are concerned is that in a “moderate” Muslim country the government looks the other way while private citizens stone gay people whereas in an “extremist” one the government does the stoning or hanging themselves.
On a surface level, the media’s refusal to engage the ugly underbelly of Islam is baffling, especially in the context …read more