Media

Media coverage of current events, foreign policy, war, as well as questioning media bias

Out of context coverage: Rape and Slavery are "Basic Muslim Behaviors"

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Homaidan al-Turki, 37, is a Saudi student in Denver Colorado. He recently was on trial in Denver Colorado for keeping an Indonesian servant at home paid below minimum wage, as well as sexually assaulting her. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison, but later the charges were dropped.

Basic Muslim behaviors?

The press is reporting the news in a way that implies that al-Turki describes these acts as "traditional Islamic behaviors". This has been picked up by blogs as such, and used as an attack on Muslims and Islam.

For example, one blog says:

What did the beheaded Sudanese newspaper editor republish?

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Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed, the editor in chief of the Sudanese Al-Wifaq newspaper was sadly kidnapped and beheaded.

Last year, Taha was charged with insulting religion. Despite calls for his execution and extensive demonstrations, the charges were dropped.

The charges stemmed from an article that was reprinted by Taha that questioned the ancestry of Prophet Muhammad.

Many news media stated that Taha merely reprinted material from books by the famed 14th century Egyptian historian and prolific author, al-Maqrizi المقريزي. For example, the BBC, BBC Arabic, ABC Australia, and Asharq al-Awsat (in Arabic, with one user comment correcting the Maqrizi). It was also picked up at face value by academics, such as Howard Friedman who says:

Islamofascism and Islamic Fascim: wrong term now in use by Bush

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The term "Islamic fascism" or "Islamofascism" has been in use for some time, specially by right wing talk shows and Islamophobic web sites.

Now, it has gained currency in the jargon of the Bush administration. President G. W. Bush used it several times in speeches recently, including the recent trans-Atlantic bomb plot.

The term is ambiguous and imprecise, since historically, fascism was confined to secular governments, and not non-official religious groups. It also maligns Islam and Muslims in general by associating fascism with Islam.

Panem et circenses: Americans know pop culture but not current events

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A recent poll commissioned by a upcoming reality TV show confirmed that Americans are more likely to know pop culture factoids, but not news, classical literature, science or history.

Quote:

The poll found that:

  • About 77 per cent of Americans can name at least two of the dwarfs from the fairy tale Snow White, but only about 24 per cent can name two U.S. Supreme Court justices.
  • 57 per cent of the U.S. respondents know that English writer J.K. Rowling's fictional boy wizard is named Harry Potter, while only 50 per cent can name U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.
  • 73 per cent can name the Three Stooges (Larry, Curly and Moe). Only 42 per cent could name the three branches of the U.S. government (judicial, executive and legislative).
  • 60 per cent of respondents knew that, on The Simpsons, Homer's son is named Bart. Only about 21 per cent could name one of the ancient Greek poet Homer's epics (The Iliad and The Odyssey)
  • Of those polled, 60 per cent could name Krypton as the home planet of Superman. Only 37 per cent could name Mercury as the closest planet to the sun.
  • While 23 per cent of poll participants know that Taylor Hicks is the most recent singer crowned American Idol, only 11 per cent could name Samuel Alito as the most recent judge to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

A consultant to the poll is quoted as saying:

Islamophobia Watch

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This is a web site that collects media articles hostile to Muslims. Although they can use better wording than "Western Imperialism" on their About us page,  the collection is valuable, and categorized by country and topic.Even notorious Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes and Oriana Fallaci have their own category, not a surprise given the volume and vitriol of their writing.Visit Islamophobia Watch and judge for yourself. 

Accused in Alleged Red Mercury Plot Freed

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Another alleged terror plot involving sensational sounding Red Mercury has come to a fizzle.Three suspects in London have been freed today after the trial. The culprit here is not the security apparatus of governments trying to boost their image and lobby for more budget, nor is it politicians trying to instill a sense of fear in the public.This time it is yellow journalism in the form of News of The World, a tabloid, and its 'investigations reporter" called Mazher Mahmood, known as the "fake sheikh".

Some Thoughts on May 2006 Terrorism Arrests in Canada

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The recent arrests in the Greater Toronto Area have netted 17 accused person. Five of them are youth.

The Accused

The accused are a very diverse bunch. Two of them, troubled youth of Somali descent, were already in prison for pleading guilty for having guns when crossing the border from the USA. One of them told his mother that "they are changing my story around". One is a widower over 40. A recent graduate of health sciences and the son of a medical doctor. A really "calm and religious" good basketball shooter.

Poll Says That BBC, Al Jazeera and Fox News Are The Most Trusted

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Reuters is reporting that a poll shows that BBC, Al Jazeera, and Fox News are the most trusted news sources in their respective regions. Here is the discussion on Digg

Well, the BBC does deserve this reputation, having been known for general neutral and well researched reporting, with the few odd expections.

Did the United States Plot to Bomb Al Jazeera?

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It is a known fact that US missiles made their way to Al Jazeera offices in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2001, and Baghdad in 2003.

What is making the news these days is an alleged leaked memo that Bush wanted to bomb Al Jazeera offices, but Blair disagreed. The source is The Daily Mirror, which is mostly a tabloid.

The White House denies that there was ever such a plan, and the ever so eloquant Blair said it is a conspiracy theory. 

Al Jazeera officals have requested a meeting with Blair to discuss the issue. Staffers at Al  Jazeera have started a "Don't Bomb Us" blog!

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