It defies explanation for a major network to avoid performing a background check on the individuals they interview for their segments. MSNBC however, has done it not once, but twice, in a single article.
In a piece published earlier today by reporter, Kari Huus, two individuals with questionable ties are interviewed in an attempt to show that Muslim-Americans are indeed celebrating bin Laden’s death. While there are plenty of spotlights placed on the backlash against Muslims, requisite accusations of Islamophobia, and even a mention of a ‘war on ignorance’, the report mentions nothing of the questionable backgrounds of Mohamed Magid and Yasir Qadhi.
Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states that “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.” And speaking of mass murderers, the ISNA in 2008 admitted in a federal district court in Dallas to holding ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Magid goes on to say that, “(Bin Laden’s) demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.” This has to create quite the contradiction for Magid, considering the Muslim Brotherhood has recently taken the opposite route, condemning the killing of bin Laden.
New York Times reporter Andrea Elliott won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for a series of articles about Sheik Reda Shata, an imam in Brooklyn. In a speech to the Times newsroom after her victory, her editor lauded the series for helping to tear down "the wall of hatred” against Muslims in America.
Sunday’s similar, 8,400-word magazine cover profile, “A Marked Man In America,” featured Yale Ph.D. candidate Yasir Qadhi, a conservative Muslim trying to make the case for non-violence to resistant and radicalized younger Muslims. Even while Elliott engaged in soft-pedaling Islamic extremism, as she did in her 2007 piece, Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project commented that Elliott’s “exhaustive profile of an Islamic cleric....makes the depth and severity of radicalization among some young Muslim Americans very clear,” even if she didn’t necessarily set out to do so.
But this paragraph by Elliott is wildly overstated.
CNN's Deborah Feyerick performed a cut-and-paste job on Thursday's Newsroom by partially re-running a biased report from September 2010 on the apparent rise of "Islamophobia" in the United States. Just as before, all but one of Feyerick's sound bites during her report came from those who were worried about the supposed "intensifying hostility and rise in hate speech" against Muslims.
Anchor Suzanne Malveaux introduced the correspondent's report, which ran 40 minutes into the 12 pm Eastern hour, by putting it in the context of Rep. Peter King's hearings into the radicalization of American Muslims: "King says his radicalization of Islam hearing is going to help protect America from a terrorist attack. Well, critics, they call it a witch hunt. One of the concerns is that it is going to cause more Americans to fear and hate Muslims. Our Deborah Feyerick reports Islamophobia is on the rise." A chyron echoed Malveaux's last sentence: "Islamophobia on the Rise."
On Thursday's American Morning, CNN's Deborah Feyerick continued her network's promotion of the charge that "Islamophobia" is growing in the U.S. All but one of Feyerick's sound bites during her one-sided report were from those who agree with this charge, with the sole exception being used an example of someone using "Islam...[as] a political wedge issue."
Anchor Kiran Chetry and substitute anchor Ali Velshi introduced the correspondent's report just before the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour. Chetry stated that "attempted terror attacks aimed at the U.S. have come mostly from Muslim extremists born outside of America" and then claimed that "America's Muslim community though has been quick to warn law enforcement about these potential threats." Velshi added that "the question is, why does it appear that more and more that all Muslims are being portrayed as potential terrorists or as targets of hate."
Feyerick began by citing unnamed "experts will tell you that there's a great deal of misunderstanding when it comes to what Islam is all about. Add on politicians spreading rumors that Sharia law- Islamic law- is coming to the United States simply because a group of Americans wants to build a mosque. It's time to ask, what's really going on?" She then noted that the "Islamic center and mosque to be built near Ground Zero is not the only mosque drawing fire. About a dozen others across the country are also under attack, from angry protests and suspected arson in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Temecula, California. American mosques, in some cases, [are] being portrayed as monuments to terror or terror training centers."
The progression of Anwar al-Awlaki – if not the most influential force in terror operations, certainly one of the more popular faces – from simple cleric to proud member of the ‘kill or capture’ list, has sparked little interest in the MSM from a threat aspect. Instead, it has prompted yet another interview from CNN with his father, begging the United States to call off the military.
Imagine Osama bin Laden being treated with kid gloves shortly after serving as the influential and inspirational leader of the 9/11 attacks. In contrast, presenting bin Laden’s side of the story was an overwhelming goal of the liberal media shortly after 9/11, with CNN leading the charge – so much so that it prompted Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center to write a column concerning the network’s willingness to ogle the Al-Qaeda leader.
According to Bozell, CNN’s desire to interview bin Laden (through Al Jazeera) clearly demonstrated that “it does not matter to them if their offer ends up harming the American war effort on terrorism by giving this terrorist an international forum to promote his propaganda.”
Curiously, that exact scenario is being played out in the current media as well – in reverse...
As has been noted here in the recent past, it isn't just government entities that are a little slow on the uptake when it comes to identifying radical Muslim preachers as accessories to terrorism - it's also the media. Consider the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, a man who has consistently shown ties to terrorist attacks, yet who had gone predominantly under the media radar as nothing more than a simple cleric.
Also consider the curious case of one Yasir Qadhi, a man recently interviewed by CNN for a sympathetic look at the failed underwear bomber, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab. A man who has apparently escaped background investigations by both CNN and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). (H/t the Jawa Report)
How else to explain CNN's representation of Qadhi as a simple, orthodox teacher of Islam, who had no idea of the extremist views of AbdulMutallab? And how else to explain the baffling decision by the NCTC to utilize Qadhi in its deradicalization efforts?
What, you might ask, is wrong with presenting this man as a moderate teacher of ‘the nuts and bolts of Islam?'
Well, for starters, he is - by his own admission - a proud member of the U.S. terror watch list, and an instructor at an institution so extreme in their teachings, that an anti-terror consultant once dubbed the school ‘Jihad U.'
Find out more about the man CNN presents as an innocent professor of Islam after the break...