Tuesday, October 02, 2012


"Is Islam becoming the official religion of the mainstream media?"

Have you  noticed something about references to Islam lately?  In the last few weeks, news organizations and the US federal government has started to refer to Muhammad as "The Prophet" Muhammad.  Here are a few examples:
I'm Dan Raviv in Washington. The short movie posted on YouTube has had a lot of diplomatic impact. It was clearly designed to insult the Prophet Mohammed, and a senior Obama administration official told CBS News last week that no one in the Middle East seems to believe that the US government could not stop the film from getting out. Now at least Federal authorities might be able to punish the filmmaker."
-CBS News
The attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions this week—beginning in Egypt and Libya, and moving to Yemen and other Muslim countries—came under cover of riots against an obscure online video insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
-The Wall Street Journal
After this week’s violence in the Middle East, two things are apparent. First, a lot of Arabs in the region believe that “the United States” created a video mocking the Prophet Mohammed. And second, a lot of people in North America believe that “Egypt” and “Libya” attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts and killed an American ambassador.
-The Globe and Mail
The reactions to perceived slights to the Prophet Muhammad baffle those outside the Muslim world. There was no violent uprising when the Taliban blew up ancient statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. Nor did Jews kill anyone when Iranian newspapers ran cartoons reminiscent of Nazi propaganda.
Cleric Shafiq Ur Rehman said Ahmadis practised Islam in its pristine form, just as the Prophet Muhammad himself did.
-The New Zealand Herald
The violent protests that erupted in North Africa and the Middle East over a video insulting the Prophet Muhammad were in part a reflection of conflicting values — Islamic strictures on images of the prophet versus the Western principle of respect for free speech.
Even the real name of the man believed to have produced the crude film mocking the Prophet Muhammad is unknown.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula - who also goes by Sam Bacile, Nicola Bacily and Mark Basseley Yousseff - is a convicted felon believed to be an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian.
Since the protests, attacks and flag burnings erupted two weeks ago over an anti-Islam video made in California, administration officials have condemned its crude depiction of the Prophet Muhammad and explained that the government had nothing to do with it. Mr. Obama made a similar point at the United Nations.
-New York Times
I can't help but think of the shift after 9/11 when news organizations all around the world put out style guides telling their reporters that they couldn't use the word "terrorist" any longer, to use words like "militant" and "freedom fighter" instead.  This appears to be a deliberate, systematic style change for news organizations.
What's odd though, is singling out only Islam for this treatment.  You would never see a newspaper outside the Deseret Times calling Mormon founder "the Prophet" Joseph Smith or Jehovah's Witness founder .  No newspaper is likely to start referring to the Pope as the Holy Father of Rome, or Mary as "Blessed Mary the Mother of Jesus."  They aren't going to call Buddha "Supreme" or "the Enlightened One."  Cultist leaders like Jim Jones and David Koresh usually called themselves prophets too, but no newspaper gave them this sort of honorific.
Only Islam gets this kind of treatment and there are two reasons for this distinction, I believe. 
Part of it is that these journalists believed the foolishness they wrote about how the goofy movie trailer spurred the rape and murder of the US Consulate in Libya, at least at some level.  They fear not showing proper respect will result in more violence.  Fear of reprisals or anger directed against them or their journalists in Muslim territory for not showing Muhammad proper respect is a part of this, I'm sure.
But I think that Muslim influence in these organizations is showing.  Groups like CAIR have been working very hard to get news and popular culture to treat Islam with greater reverence and respect, and have been quite successful.
The US State department, CIA, and other government agencies around the western world have taken on Muslim sensitivity consultants to make sure they are being nice enough to Islamic sensibilities.  After 2003 or so, nearly every major news outlet on earth suddenly started sprouting conspicuously Arabic and Pakistani names in bylines, as they worked furiously to hire more to get a sense of balance and multiculturalism in the news center.  Several of the quotes above are by such writers.  I suspect that has a significant influence on the change as well.
And it didn't take any particular effort by CAIR to get this started, either.  Lots of organizations request or demand respect from the news and are ignored - the Tea Party Movement, for example.  The press has to be inclined to extend that respect before they'll listen, and after 9/11 suddenly Muslim became the new black: the protected other, the oppressed minority white people are mean to.
So the left began to bend over backward to protect, pander to, and defend Islam and Muslims, often equating racism with any criticism or question of the religion.  News organizations, being primarily dominated by the left were more than willing to work with Islamic organizations like CAIR to  better avoid causing offense and perceived oppression.
Its just an odd thing to see virulently atheist, religion-mocking groups now treat the pedophile mass murdering creator of Islam with such respect and veneration.

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