MSNBC Claims 'Terrorist' Is a Word Only Used for Muslims

March 22nd, 2019 10:13 PM

On Sunday's AM Joy show on MSNBC, host Joy Reid and The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan devoted a segment to fretting that there is a double standard in the treatment of Muslims as compared to whites after a mass shooting.

Reid also invoked a debunked claim that white supremacist Dylann Roof was given special treatment after the Charleston massacre, and Hasan cited a misleading study claiming that most terrorism in the U.S. in the past decade has been perpetrated by whites.

At 10:21 a.m. Eastern, the two looked at several selections of newspaper headlines that displayed more harsh language being used against Muslim mass killers in contrast with white mass killers that more sympathetically referred to their childhood and their turning bad because of a mental disorder, leading Hasan to then complain about the word "terrorism" not typicallly being applied to white perpetrators.

As if there were a significant history of Muslim mass shooters in the U.S. being charged with committing "terrorism," rather than just "murder," Hasan began a diatribe:

The word "terrorist" is not used for people who are not Muslims. That's the problem. We've been conditioned to believe that a terrorist attack is only an attack carried out by a brown dude with a beard shouting something in Arabic when statistics show otherwise.

He then cited reporting by ADL as he added:

The ADL says that three-quarters of the terrorist deaths in the United States over the past decade were carried out by far-right, by domestic white nationalist terrorists -- a quarter by Muslims. Can we say that the media coverage of terrorism in this country is 75 percent white nationalist, 25 percent Islam jihadist?

But, as NewsBusters documented last year, ADL has a history of misleadingly stretching to find murders that can be included in its list of killings committed by whites or right-wingers that have nothing to do with ideological motivation.

(This is not exactly new. In 2016, Whoopi Goldberg on The View suggested we "should start profiling all the white people" because of the "domestic terrorism.")

Host Joy Reid oddly suggested that the Las Vegas mass shooting did not get enough media attention because the perpetrator was white: "Well, think about the killer in Las Vegas who gunned down hundreds of people." Hasan injected, "It's hard to even remember him -- he's gone, nobody talks about him anymore," Reid added, "Nobody talks about him."

But authorities closed their investigation without ever finding a motive for Stephen Paddock's mass murder.

After complaining that Muslim terrorists get disproportionately more attention from the media than white terrorists, he quipped that "terrorism is one of the only areas where white people do most of the work and get none of the credit."

As he complained that media coverage causes racism against Muslims, and then brought up Roof murdering black church members, Reid injected: "And then get a nice meal of burgers and fries."

As if Muslim mass shooters have a history of being charged with "terrorism," Hasan alleged another double standard: 

Doesn't get charged with terrorism -- doesn't get called a terrorist. Alex Fields killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, doesn't get called a terrorist, doesn't get charged with terrorism. Robert Bowers who killed 11 Jewish worshipers in a synagogue last year doesn't get charged with terrorism.

But there is not much evidence that a Muslim mass shooter in the U.S. without international connections would be charged with terrorism. In the past decade, Muslim mass shooters have usually died during the attack and so were never charged, and, in the case of Nidal Hasan who did survive the Fort Hood attack, he was charged with committing murder, not terrorism.

The two soon went on to suggest New Zealand will be doing the right thing, unlike the U.S., in enacting new gun control, leading Hasan to praise the strict gun laws enacted in Britain and Australia in the 1990s, even though there are substantial problems with violent crime in both countries, and, in Australia, there have continued to be mass killings through other means with a portion still committed with guns. Hasan:

Australia had a mass shooting, they banned guns, they'ce had no mass shootings since. Surprise, surprise. In my country, in the UK, in Dunblane in Scotland, horrific school shooting many years ago ... the Labour government at the time banned handguns -- no mass shootings since. ... It's only in the U.S. where there's mass shootings and you say, 'Oh, thoughts and prayers,' and you say, 'Oh, we need to deal with video games.'