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Opinion: American media show bias when it comes to Islam

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Police block off access to Parliament Hill after shots were fired at Canada’s Parliament in Ottawa on Oct. 22. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Police block off access to Parliament Hill after shots were fired at Canada’s Parliament in Ottawa on Oct. 22.
Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Picture this: you receive a breaking news notification on your phone about a shooting that took place in Canada’s Parliament, and the first thought that comes into your head is “Please, God, do not let him be associated with Islam.”

That was the first thought that came into my head. 

Although the shooting triggered this thought for me, the tragic situation also had me wondering why American media outlets are such biased opportunists when it comes to Islam and Muslims?

As soon as the shooter was identified as being remotely associated with Islam, the words “terror,” “Jihad,” “terrorist” came flashing on the television screen. 

Please do not tell me these words were used without deliberation and thought, because these words were used in a purposeful manner to strike fear about Muslims. 

The thing is, though, the shooter was not even part of the Muslim community in Canada. He was kicked out of the mosque, which is a place where Muslims go to worship. 

As a Muslim myself, I know that the doors of the mosque are always open to anyone who would like to come and explore or learn about Islam, so to be kicked out of a mosque is very rare, and signals that this man was not normal.  

But the American media don’t let you know that information before highlighting the words “terrorism” across your screen first. 

What happened in Canada was a tragedy, and the solider that died did so as a hero for his country. 

That is something that ought to be highlighted, which is exactly what the Canadian media did through their own reporting. 

Click to expand.

Click to expand.

While scrolling through and watching different news clips from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the reports identified the shooter without the use of the word “terrorist.” 

They were in fact cautious to use the word, or associate the shooter with a religion without seeking out the facts, which sounds to me a lot more like what journalism and reporting itself ought to be about. 

Through jumping to conclusions, the American media are only doing a disservice to the ethics of journalism. 

Through this realization, one can see that the American media took a topic that, of course was tragic, and sensationalized the event by using these negative trigger words. 

Words such as “terrorism” and “Jihad” are used by many American media organizations, such as CNN, MSNBC and FOX, as a way of bringing a negative image to Islam and Muslims. 

This is not journalism, not the journalism that I love and respect. 

This is something else, something that is personal to me, which is that Muslims and Islam always seem to unfortunately be thrown under a bus for the sake of raking up some views. 

The shooter had nothing to do with Islam, and the fact that he murdered a soldier only shows that he is violating an essential, core principle of Islam, which is peace. 

But where is the media when it comes to talking about the true meaning of being a Muslim and Islam?

In reality, if Islam were such a “violent” religion, the acts of murder against innocent civilians would more frequent and widespread because of the high number of Muslims throughout the world. 

The media do a remarkable job of causing viewers to associate Islam with violence, when in fact, Islam is the exact opposite of the image they seem to work so hard to portray. 

Even if one was to give the media the benefit of the doubt, there always seems to be a catch when they attempt to explain Islam. 

One can see this during the shooting, as the media used the word terrorism or terror, but then later they clarified the shooter was kicked out of the local mosque. 

So I ask all my fellow media watchers out there to use a rational mind before jumping to conclusions.

While the media might be working hard to destroy the name of Islam for the sake of views, I ask that you to not let two-minute or three-minute news clips define your entire understanding of a religion.

9 comments

  1. Buckeye in the West

    To put this simple, the United States, and west, needed an enemy to fuel the military-industrial complex. An industry, which used the Cold War to justify itself. From 1945 to 1991, “communism”, and the USSR, kept the propaganda machine roaring. The Cold War ended, and with it, an industry was threatened. Of course, as we have seen, the seeds the US, and its allies planted, in the Middle East, finally took root. Years, of supporting dictatorships, in the Middle East, to get access to oil, finally started restiveness among the Middle East masses. Most of these masses follow Islam as their faith.

    From the end of WW I to 9/11, million of people were suppressed by dictatorships created by the European powers. The Middle East was carved up, in total disregard to ethnic and tribal groups. Iraq is a perfect example of this. Western meddling like the US and Britain overthrowing the elected government of Iran, in 1952, to install the Shah,is one example. Another example is the US support to put Saddam Hussein in power, in the late 1960s. And then there is Israel, which became the ultimate thorn in the region.

    Out of all of this grew hatred, by these peoples, of the west. Fueling this hatred, are nations like Saudi Arabia, which preached a radical form of Islam. An Islam that is not one of peace, but an Islam of jihad, so to eliminate Shia Islam. They exported a faith which says Christians and Jews are enemies of Islam (something that is goes against what is in the Holy Qur’an). Meanwhile, the oil starved west, ignored what Saudi Arabia was doing; so to get oil.

    So, you have a military-industrial complex needing an enemy; you have western nations needing oil, you have very angry, repressed people in the Middle East and you have a nation exporting a religion bent on making Islam the one and only true faith of the world. The result: Gulf War, Bosnia War, Somali War, 9/11, Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and now the war against ISIS.

    The west now sees over 1 billion people as jihadits. They now see anyone who walks into a mosque as a person bent on world destruction. And that every Iman is preaching; destroy or be destroyed.

    In the end, profits are being made. The west now has an enemy. They have a continuous war on “terrorism”. And, a very small population, of Muslims, who help the west’s propaganda machine. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia lost control of its desire to eliminate Shia Islam, and resulted in groups like ISIS, turning on them.

    So, like the Cold War, now the west’s propaganda machine sees “Islam” as “communism”. That instead of “socialism could destroy our way of life”; it is now “ISIS could destroy our way of life”. George Orwell, author of “1984”, fictionalized the concept of continuous war, with different enemies. Never could he dream that it finally came to pass.

  2. A beheading in Woolwich, a suicide bomb in Beijing, a blown-up marathon in Boston, a shooting in the head of a young Pakistani girl seeking education, a destroyed shopping mall in Nairobi – and so it continues, in the name of Islam, from south London to Timbuktu. It is time to take stock, especially on the left, since these things are part of the world’s daily round.
    Leave aside the parrot-cry of “Islamophobia” for a moment. I will return to it. Leave aside, too, the pretences that it is all beyond comprehension. “Progressives” might ask instead: what do Kabul, Karachi, Kashmir, Kunming and a Kansas airport have in common? Is it that they all begin with “K”? Yes. But all of them have been sites of recent Islamist or, in the case of Kansas, of wannabe-Islamist, attacks; at Wichita Airport planned by a Muslim convert ready to blow himself up, and others, “in support of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”. “We cannot stop lone wolves,” a British counterterrorism expert told us after Woolwich. Are they “lone”? Of course not.
    A gas facility in southern Algeria, a hospital in Yemen, an Egyptian police convoy in the Sinai – it’s complex all right – a New Year’s party in the southern Philippines, a railway station in the Caucasus, a bus terminal in Nigeria’s capital, and on and on, have all been hit by jihadis, with hostages taken, suicide belts detonated, cars and trucks exploded, and bodies blown to bits. And Flight MH370? Perhaps. In other places – in Red Square and Times Square, in Jakarta and New Delhi, in Amman and who-knows-where in Britain – attacks have been thwarted. But in 2013 some 18 countries got it in the neck (so to speak) from Islam’s holy warriors….

  3. Gosh, it appears not only Americans are Islamophobes. In fact, apparently, fear of Muslims goes way back…Gosh, almost makes one think that sane people feel this way for real reasons and not due to some “phobic” concern.

    ===

    Gregory Palamus of Thessalonica on Islam

    “For these impious people, hated by God and infamous, boast of having got the better of the Romans by their love of God…they live by the bow, the sword and debauchery, finding pleasure in taking slaves, devoting themselves to murder, pillage, spoil and not only do they commit these crimes, but even – what an aberration – they believe that God approves of them. This is what I think of them, now that I know precisely about their way of life.”

  4. Buckeye,

    How does your “theory” fit in with the fact that within 300 years of Mohammed’s birth, Muslim jihadists had violently conquered the entire Middle East, all of North Africa, Spain, Portugal, Sicily, southern France and huge sections of Asia?

    Was that due to the American military complex or due to Islamic ideals like “caliphate, jihad, Ummah, infidel” and all the other war-like commandments embedded within Islam?

    (Watch the Buckeye weasel his way out of this one. LOL)

  5. not all muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are muslim

  6. And it turns out the shooter was an Islamic Radical. Doesn’t seem like bias when they’re reporting the truth that radical Islam performed an attack designed to create terror. This author is an apologist that their religion can’t control its radical wings.

  7. poisons everything.

  8. The fact that it was the first thing that came to mind with everyone says it all. The media is mostly Liberal and would avoid casting blame on Islam if they could but Islamic violence is so pervasive that it would be like the 800 lb Gorilla in the room everyone is pretending isn’t there. Obviously Islam has a problem! Ignoring problems doesn’t solve them. Aside from sectarian motives we don’t see Muslims flocking to Syria to fight ISIS, we see Muslims flocking to join ISIS! All over the world we see Muslims persecuting non-Muslims. Polls of Muslim populations reveal most ordinary Muslims support killing apostates! Because of political correctness and Multiculturalism and plain old kindness Americans have closed their eyes to the evil nature of Islam but attrocity after attrocity year after year people can no longer ignore the obvious. Islam cannot be reformed because all its bad ideas are in its holy literature. Muslims cannot leave Islam for fear of being murdered. The Islamist movement is growing and becoming a threat to civilization.

  9. Dear OSU alumnus:

    You said “not all muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are muslim”, well the only reason you think that way was that other media, and most of them are, are not associating their religions to the terrorist. Like a boy went to school to shoot other students, is not a Muslim but his religious affiliation was never mentioned. However if media will dig in deeper and allowed to mention that “other” religion or religious affiliation, you will surely think differently.

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