< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Can you say . . . Muslim?

Phyllis Chesler can.

from FrontPage Magazine
I took a brief vacation but fool that I am, I continued to read the New York papers.

On July 18, 2004, the New York Times ran a front-page story on the Sudan. ("Despite Appeals, Chaos Still Stalks the Sudanese.") A photo of a skeletal, dying child in her mother's arms cried out to all with eyes to see. Is "chaos" responsible for this child's death and for the torture, famine, and genocide that has been perpetrated on nearly two million people over the last twenty years? Surely, the paper of record will tell us. But not willingly. The plot unfolds like a puzzling murder mystery.

The article has 39 paragraphs. We do not learn much in the lead paragraph. Only in paragraph two do we learn that "gunmen" stormed a girl's school, shackled the children together and set the school on fire. "Gunmen?" From Mars,  perhaps?

In paragraph three we are told that the Sudanese government has promised to rein in the "Janjaweed militia."  Are they the "gunmen" of paragraph two? Are there more than one "militia" sowing "chaos" in Sudan? What are the names of the other militia?

In paragraph four, we again learn that the government has promised to rein in unidentified "militias."  By now, most readers have probably glazed over and moved on to another story. Not I. Grimly, I soldier on and am rewarded.

In paragraph five, the writer admits "ARAB militias have continued to drive the African residents of Darfur out." Finally, the journalist, Marc Lacey, has identified the perpetrators of "chaos" as "Arab." But, amazingly, we are never told that the Janjaweed militias are both Arab and Muslim and that they've been functioning as state-sanctioned genocidal maniacs against African Muslims. This genocide is an ethnic Arab Muslim attack on black African Christians, Muslims, and animists, and is therefore almost invisible.

Only a satirist -not I- could do justice to the politically correct typo that finally appears in paragraph eighteen of this story. Where Lacey may have meant to write "Arab MUSLIM," we read, instead, that "Arab ARAB militias" have been attacking "black Africans." (Check it out, who could make this up?)
[They must've corrected it, because it's not there now  /Yael]
Was Lacey afraid to describe the perpetrators as Arab Muslims or did his editor delete the word "Muslim?"  Does someone over there believe that the use of the word "Muslim" is tantamount to "racial profiling?"  Is the torture and murder of Muslims utterly unimportant unless it is caused by Americans in uniform or by Israelis in self defense? Does the politically correct liberal media not really care about the relentless slaughter of innocent Muslim civilians if other Muslims, "ethnic Arab" Muslims are doing the slaughtering?

If a newspaper does not describe things accurately, it will never, ever be able to help its readers understand what is going on or how to defend themselves in the war that has been declared against us.
As Chesler goes on, she eventually "understand[s] Lacey's exquisite restraint."  You will too, if you continue reading