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The Media Is Also Culpable In The N. Carolina Triple Murder

02 February 2015

By Khalid Amayreh

Western, especially American, reactions to this week's cold-blooded murder of three innocent Muslim college students in North Carolina have been grossly inadequate.

Major American news networks, have, more or less, treated the monstrous crime as a passing banality. Critical questions that ought to be asked were never asked, which means the stage is set for the perpetration of the next act of murder targeting Muslims.

True, the alleged murderer was detained by the police. However, the American media was also culprit in this crime and bears an important part of the blame for its occurrence.

The unrelenting Islamphobic discourse, that we keep hearing and watching in the U.S., does make the perpetration of such a crime inevitable. It would be dishonest to claim otherwise.

This is not a far-fetched analysis of an "isolated incident" as some pundits might be prompted to argue. In the final analysis, anti-Muslim racism in the United States has assumed phenomenal proportions due to the constant defamation of Islam and Muslims by a brashly hostile media.

Needless to say, this hate-mongering has caused many Americans to lump all Muslims in one basket. Thus, all Muslims, near and distant, are portrayed as carbon copies or at least potential carbon copies or prototypes of Osama Bin Laden or Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi.

But this portrayal is actually inaccurate. The vast majority of Muslims, I would say 99.99% are normal and peaceful people who are, like most Americans, busy making a decent living, raising their kids, supporting their families, and trying to make ends meet.

I strongly believe that this fact is well known to most media owners and editors who probably chose to ignore it for reasons having to do with bigotry and vindictiveness against Muslims.

In other words, this is not an expression of ignorance of the truth but rather a malicious and reckless disregard of it. Yes, it is an expression of willful dishonesty by much of the American media. And that is a real problem.

Of course, we cannot lump all American media in one negative category. Newspapers such as the Christian Science Monitor can't be considered a carbon copy of the New York post or the New Republic.

But, unfortunately, the level-headed press has been reduced to a faint voice in a deep valley in a jungle of gung-ho media outlets where the dearth of honesty is conspicuous.

None the less, being "ignorantly dishonest" is not an excuse. In the final analysis, maligning a religious or ethnic community will sooner or later lead to murder or mass murder. We don't have to go back many decades to demonstrate the evil power of incitement, especially when the targeted audience is uninformed, misinformed or dis-informed.

The recent genocidal episodes in Mynamar and the Republic of Central Africa are hair-raising examples of what public incitement could do.

We also do know that the holocaust didn't start with Auschwitz or other concentration camps. It rather started with Mein Kampf and other expression of hatred for Jews.

Where is the outrage?

The murderous killing of three young and innocent American Muslims is by no means an isolated incident or thunder on a clear day. It is rather the inevitable effect of an undeniable cause and the cause is the affronting anti-Islamic discourse that we keep watching on Fox News and so-called "Christian" TV programs.

That is why responsibility for spilling the blood of the three innocent victims in North Carolina doesn't solely lie with the direct killer, but also with a morally callous media that made the killing inevitable.

I am not trying to restrict press freedom. However, a free press must also be a responsible press.

But a responsible press can't be truly responsible unless it is well-informed and well-aware of the facts. Otherwise, the press, whether knowingly or unknowingly, would succumb to the Steve Emerson phenomenon whereby citizens are spoon-fed half-truths, disinformation and pure lies by charlatans presented as "experts" on Islam.

As a Muslim and journalist who, by the way, studied and lived long in the United States, I am appalled by the lack of western indignation at crimes against Muslims, whether in the West itself, or indeed, in Palestine and other places.

This is moral hypocrisy in broad daylight. It is outrageous and therefore unacceptable. We are all human beings, created by the same God. We should be equal. Our blood should be equal. Our lives should be equal.

The fact that we are not equal in reality is not the result of an ineluctable fate. It is rather the result of the prevalence of an evil mentality which keeps pushing our world to the abyss.

Will we wake up before it is too late?


Khalid Amayreh is a veteran Palestinian journalist and political commentator living in occupied Palestine
 

 

  EsinIslam.Com

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