The Washington Post's "On Faith" blog network has joined the chorus of media outlets extolling the virtues of Islam. Kathleen Duff of the Religion News Service, in an August 17 post, expressed her newfound admiration for the holy book of Islam. In a glowing piece titled “What Catholics Can Learn from the Quran,” Duff wrote: “This year during Ramadan – the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad – I was in solidarity with my Muslim sisters and brothers throughout the world by reading the Quran. But here’s the thing: I am a Roman Catholic.”
Duff waxed eloquently in her praise of the Quran, writing: “The Quran encouraged me to continuously be aware of a gracious and merciful God who cherishes humanity and cherishes all of creation. I came to believe more firmly during my humble Ramadan experience that being cherished by God is an example of divine love beyond the limitations of any one language, symbol and imagination.”
Let's see if this story gets any meaningful attention in the U.S., or if the Associated Press expands the brief unbylined item currently seen at its national site. I wouldn't bet on it -- and even if that occurs, I don't expect the U.S. establishment press to give what is contained therein much notice.
The AP's four-paragraph blurb tells us that independent columnists in Egypt are alarmed at what they see as the newly empowered Muslim Brotherhood's "attempt to control the state-owned press":
Despite admitting no direct evidence of Islamophobia behind the recent Wisconsin Sikh shooting, CNN's Carol Costello still tried to connect Islamophobia to the shooting and hype it as a national problem that needs to be discussed.
"No one knows why Wade Page allegedly chose the Oak Creek Sikh Temple," she began before adding "maybe" the shooter mistook the Sikhs for Muslims. Then she took this hypothesis and tied it to America's national scandal of Islamophobia. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Eight days after playing the song "Stupid Girls" before a story about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the scoring geniuses at CNN were at it again.
After coming out of a break following a long segment about the Sikh temple shootings in Wisconsin, viewers of Monday's Starting Point were treated to Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Well, it looks like Democrats in a Southern state have embarrassed party officials once again. Back in 2010, it was Alvin Greene in South Carolina, whose victory in that state's U.S. Senate primary so infuriated Palmetto State Congressman James Clyburn that he accused Greene of being a plant and called for a federal probe. Greene refused to step aside; incumbent Republican Jim DeMint defeated Greene in a landslide.
A similar script is playing out in Tennessee, where relative unknown Mark Clayton defeated seven other challengers in the Volunteer State's Democratic U.S. Senate primary. It turns out that Clayton is vice president of an alleged "hate group." If that characterization really fits Clayton's Public Advocate of the United States (there's ample reason to doubt that), then Associated Press reporter Lucas L. Johnson II "somehow" forgot to notice that a couple of national Democrats apparently agree with the group's supposedly "hateful" positions -- as well as, it would appear, President Barack Obama himself. Excerpts follow the jump:
When CBS This Morning co-host interviewed the Obamas earlier this month, Matthew Balan revealed it was mostly personal goo and political softballs. So it was more than a bit shocking on Friday morning when Rose interviewed House majority leader Eric Cantor and whacked him with four questions hammering him about the "intolerance" of the Republican Party -- like the networks do every four years around the conventions.
Rose was playing off an interview Cantor gave to the website BuzzFeed in which he said "absolutely" the Republicans should do more to accept Republicans who differ from party orthodoxy. That could make conservatives queasy, but the media bias point is this: When are Democrats ever asked about their tolerance of Democrats who support traditional marriage, gun rights, or the pro-life cause? Here were the attack questions:
One of the most embarrassing yet telling exchanges (using the term loosely, as will be seen) in the history of presidential press secretaries occurred on Thursday. Connie Lawn, described here as longest-serving White House reporter, asked Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney what should have been a really easy question: "What city does this administration consider to be the capital of Israel -- Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?"
Carney wouldn't answer it, and accused Lawn and relentless national treasure Les Kinsolving of WND.com of asking about something they already knew. Carney's contemptible behavior has been virtually ignored in the establishment press. Here is the complete exchange as relayed at the White House's web site, complete with an asterisk, which I will explain (I have added names of the questioners where needed; a YouTube of part of what follows is here; bolds are mine):
Seizing on a handful of Republican members of Congress questioning Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin's supposed tenuous family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell used the incident to fawn over Clinton's "second daughter": "Abedin is Hillary Clinton's dear friend, closest senior aide...Elegant, glamorous, profiled in Vogue."
O'Donnell labeled the charges against Abedin – outlined in a congressional letter sent by Michele Bachmann and five other Republican House members to the State Department – as "what some are calling a sinister attack on the patriotism" of the top Clinton aide. She then hyped Republican Senator John McCain denouncing the obscure letter to what a front-page Washington Post story admitted was an "otherwise empty Senate chamber."
So here's how it appears to me and I suspect many other news readers, never mind the real motivations. At the Associated Press, when you're covering situations like suicide bomber attacks on Christian churches in Nigeria yesterday, you hold out as long as you can in speculating about who is responsible, even though Islamist Boko Haram terrorists (and only Boko Haram terrorists) have claimed credit for previous attacks in that country, and even though no other religion on earth generates large numbers of people who claim to be its adherents who are willing to blow themselves up so they can kill as many infidels as possible.
Then, once the inevitable claim of responsibility arrives, you treat it as old news (the bombings were a whole 24-36 hours ago, y'know), focus your headline and coverage on "Christian" reprisals instead (even though there is no element of Christian doctrine which sanctions random reprisals), and identify who carried out the attacks as late as you possibly, so it will end up not making most broadcast and many print reports. Here are excerpts:
It would appear that the establishment press is determined to portray a "both sides are at fault" equivalency as much as possible in Nigeria where almost none exists.
Earlier today, Patrick Poole at the PJ Tatler pointed out that a brief initial Associated Press item from Lagos would cause a person, in Poole's words, to "come away mystified as to why these churches were subject to apparently random 'violence.'" He specifically objected to the vagueness of a sentence claiming that "Churches have been increasingly targeted by violence in Nigeria." Later more detailed dispatches from Reuters and the AP aren't much more helpful, especially as they both fail to tag the principal perpetrators of the violence, the Boko Haram, as the terrorists that they are.
Donald Trump on Monday had some harsh words for Bill Maher's incessant attacks on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormonism.
Appearing on Fox News's On the Record, the real estate mogul said, "If a conservative Republican made a like statement about somebody else's religion, there’d be hell to pay. It’ll be all over the place. It would be the end of that person's career as you know it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chalk another one up for media anti-Catholic bigotry.
Syndicated editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich, working for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, created a cartoon bashing the Catholic Church for controlling women. The cartoon features a wizened old bishop in a confessional, saying to a woman that “The contraception debate’s about controlling you.” The cartoon has the caption “Confession” at the bottom.
Barber’s asserted that “economic development is the key factor responsible for secularization.” His argument is simple: “The basic idea is that as people become more affluent, they are less worried about lacking for basic necessities, or dying early from violence or disease. In other words they are secure in their own existence. They do not feel the need to appeal to supernatural entities to calm their fears and insecurities.”
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, NBC correspondent Richard Engel conveyed that the reform advocates who led the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt are distraught at the kinds of candidates that Egyptian voters are choosing to replace Mubarak, with both major presidential candidates likely to curtail freedom if elected. Engel recounted: (Video at bottom)
If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t hear much reporting on some of the dreadful traditions and lack of rights that women in the Islamic world often face, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry provided a perfect illustration in a recent discussion with Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy.
Eltahawy’s essay, which appeared in the magazine Foreign Policy, is a straightforward attempt to disabuse people of the notion that there is any sort of equivalence between the treatment of women in the Islamic and Western worlds. In her words, non-Arabs need to “resist cultural relativism and know that even in countries undergoing revolutions and uprisings, women will remain the cheapest bargaining chips.”
Supporters of the recent revolutions in several Arab countries were insistent that these uprisings would yield more democracy and freedom for people formerly oppressed by dictators. In Egypt, it's become clear that while people have indeed been allowed to vote, what they want to vote for is a far cry from freedom.
A political party affiliated with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group obtained a majority in parliamentary elections and Islamist candidates are ahead in polls conducted before the presidential election being held yesterday and today.
Sunday's CBS Evening News refreshingly spotlighted the continuing persecution of the Coptic Christians in Egypt, an ongoing story that the Big Three networks have largely ignored for months. Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer zeroed in on the uncertain future for the religious minority as the country gears for a rare election: "[Egypt's] Christians are deeply worried....Two of the frontrunners in the race with a realistic chance of winning are deeply devout Islamists."
The last time CBS reported on the anti-Christian violence in Egypt was a news brief on the October 9, 2011 edition of Evening News, according to a Nexis search. Since January 2011, ABC, NBC, and CBS's morning and evening newscasts have only mentioned the issue six times.
Hours after New York blogger Christian Browne wrote on his blog, “The New York Conservative,” that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be quickly executed, Google shut down his blog, which was hosted on Google's free Blogger service.
While the blog – including the post that appears to have triggered its deletion – have since been restored, the circumstances of its deletion by Google remain murky – and raise a serious issue both for Google and for conservatives who use the web to spread conservative ideas and messages.
A shareholder in New York Times stock told Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and other officials at the company's annual meeting last week, "You’re willing to offend the Catholics because they’re not going to come and kill you.”
Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid reported Wednesday:
According to Muslim comedian and CNN regular Dean Obeidallah, Rick Santorum speaks the language of "the Taliban" when he talks about the intersection of church and state in America. On CNN Sunday night, liberal host Don Lemon decided to have a religious discussion for Easter Sunday, and his first question was about the separation of church and state.
Obeidallah has attacked Santorum in the past, and found a way to bring him into the discussion. He referred to Santorum "saying the Bible and our laws must comport," adding later that "He was saying the same things honestly that the Taliban would say, that religious scripture and the laws of that state must agree." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Toulouse is by no means without racism, anti-Semitism, crime or the deep social segregation that marks many French cities, but with a culture shaped by successive waves of immigration, it is described by its inhabitants as a place of particular tolerance.
Update/correction (30 March 2012, 16:12 p.m. EDT): Brewer is no longer employed with MSNBC. I was going off of outdated information on her Facebook fan page. The post below is corrected accordingly.
"A compelling, alarming case against the GOP and its 'War on Women.' Lest you think it can't happen here, just ask Iranian women how conservative, religious fanatics ripped their rights away." [see screen capture below page break; h/t @mattjmobile]
The New York Times's Scott Sayare reported on Saturday from Toulouse, France, the sight of the killing of Jewish schoolchildren by a radical Islamist, "After Unity Over a Rampage in France, Politics Drives in Wedges," and accused the French paper Le Figaro as being "increasingly viewed as a mouthpiece" for tough-on-crime French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
That's quite ironic, considering Sayare himself functioned as a mouthpiece for Obama in a September 23, 2010 story, calling the president "a powerful symbol of hope" among poor Muslims in the Paris slums. And the paper has long been irredeemably hostile to President Nicolas Sarkozy, whom the Times can never forgive for being friendly with President George W. Bush.
Possibly in response to NewsBusters readers who passed on our item on the string of Pope Benedict-mocking jokes on NPR's game show "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!" NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos tells NewsBusters and other critics: lighten up, or be compared to radical Muslims. Isn't the ombudsman supposed to advocate for the listeners, not denounce them?
"If we keep jokes about the pope off-limits, we create a silencing effect that is far more damaging than the jokes themselves. We threaten to become like the intolerant extremists now most notoriously bedeviling the Muslim world, though other religions suffer from strains of fanaticism as well." Say what?
What did French president Nicolas Sarkozy ever do to the New York Times to incur such outsized wrath?
In a line of attack reminiscent of the Times's sordid attempt to link the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to the conservative movement, Paris bureau chief Steven Erlanger on Wednesday used the killings at a Jewish school in France ("Killings Could Stall Elections' Nationalist Turn") to suggest Sarkozy's tough-on-immigration re-election campaign rhetoric could be contributing to a violent anti-immigrant mood in France. (The gunman, whose identity was unknown at the time of filing, is apparently an Islamic extremist who trained with Al Qaeda.)
Maybe it's due to budget cutbacks at major establishment news sources, but I doubt it. Maybe it's because they believe nobody cares about news out of the Middle East. No, that can't be it. Or maybe it's because they think that people already know and understand the Muslim mindset. Well, after several decades of press attempts to keep it from us, that doesn't make any sense either.
Whatever the reason(s), which I'll get to, a certain piece of what one would think is pretty significant news out of the Middle East has gone unreported for the past five days going on six. What follows are three translations of related articles through Google's translation tool (which eliminates the budget excuse of "We need interpreters to translate these things from scratch, and don't have the money"):
Neil Munro of the Daily Caller reports on a double standard on religious-bashing ads in the New York Times involving Pamela Geller (pictured), the activist against radical Islam whose "venomous" rhetoric the Times finds offensive, especially after her involvement in the opposition to building a mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero.