Media studiously avoids the 'M' word in reports of the Times Square bomber

Media studiously avoids the 'M' word in reports of the Times Square bomber May 7, 2010

EARLIER this week  US political analyst Monica Crowley posted a piece on the Big Government blog about the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani native-turned-naturalised-US-citizen who was arrested in connection with the attempted car bombing of Times Square in Washington last weekend.

Faisal Shahzad pictured with his wife and child
Under the title The Case of the Disappearing Religion, Crowley wrote:

I have read countless reports about the arrest, in newspapers and websites big and small.  So far, I have not seen a single mention of his faith.  Not a single reference to his being Muslim.  We’re left to deduce that by his Pakistani ethnicity and name.
Political correctness has stripped us of our ability to be brutally honest about the nature of the threat we face.  It’s not from a bunch of maniacal Catholics or Jews or Hindus or Buddhists.  The lethal threat is coming from radical Muslims.  Even after September 11, even after repeated terror attacks and attempts here and abroad, we still cannot be truthful and outspoken about it?  Pathetic.

She added

This suicidal inability to call the enemy what it is comes straight from the top:  the President will not go anywhere near the words ‘Islam’ and ‘terror’ together.  His administration has contorted itself into all kinds of politically correct gymnastics to avoid making the connection … He refused to speak the truth about the motivation of Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed 13 fellow Americans in the name of Islam, and would not make the connection with the Christmas Day bomber, Abdulmutallab.  Unless and until we can call the enemy and what drives him to kill us what they are—Muslims propelled by their religious belief—we cannot and will not win this war.

What Crowley said of the American media is true of ours as well.  I too have scanned dozens of reports in the British press of the attempted bombing – including this latest from the Telegraph – and nowhere is it mentioned that Shahzad is an adherent of the Religion of Peace.

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  • While this is probably is another example of soppy political correctness, and I wouldn’t be at all suprised if he is a Muslim, the fact that he’s a Pakistani with a funny name is rather a weak reed to lean on. There’s no need to rush to judgement – I’m sure the truth will out – it strikes me that if he is a religious nutter, the beliefs will probably be quite easily evidenced.

  • barriejohn
  • sailor1031

    Breitbart quotes Limbaugh “he’s a democrat” while rightwingpundits says “unable to confirm a previous report…..” so the only source at the moment is Limbaugh. He may be right but one would never bet that way!
    a muslim democrat? they’re the worst kind!!

  • Brian Jordan

    Could his father have been a Vice Air-Marshall in Pakistan without being a Muslim?

  • http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2010/0506/1224269793160.html
    That’s us Irish for you – we have no problem pointing out the sins of them non-Catholic heathens, may they burn in hell for all eternity, mary mother of god and all the saints etc etc

  • Derek

    Two things in response to this post:
    One, I can assure you that there is no shortage of obsession over a Muslim’s religion in most cases like this one.
    Two, it isn’t clear that his religion is relevant here. At this point the predator drone attacks on the Taliban and civilians in Pakistan appear to be his inspiration.
    (Just for the record, I am an American and an atheist, so this is not apologetics on behalf of any religious compatriots of mine.)

  • Broga

    Somehow, I don’t think the media would have been so reticent if he had been described as an atheist. That would soon be a “militant atheist” espousing “agressive secularism.” Soon to be followed by claims that this is what happens if you shake of the benificent values of faith which have been the foundations of our “values and way of life”……….
    Ross Limbaugh is a vicious nutter.

  • NeoWolfe

    The threadhead quotes Monica Crowley:
    ” Not a single reference to his being Muslim.”
    That’s total bullshit!!! CNN has been airing that he stated that his motivation was that “America was attacking islam.” Add to that, it is reported that his last trip to Pakistan landed him in the Taliban controlled tribal area adjacent to Afghanistan. The radical muslim connection is all over the news. While politicians may be dancing PC around the issue, the media is not.
    NeoWolfe

  • Arnold Lane

    Not to jump to conclusions, but I reckon he was a millitant Hare krishna Jedi. They are common in Pakistan and are known to be violently anti US.

  • drcancerman

    If anyone doubt he is a muslims… here is something for you to read.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/world/middleeast/07awlaki-.html
    “WASHINGTON — The Pakistani-American man accused of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square has told investigators that he drew inspiration from Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American cleric whose militant online lectures have been a catalyst for several recent attacks and plots, an American official said Thursday.”

  • Non Euclidean

    It may just be me but in the last 10 or 15 years, while the imbecilic European apologists have been falling over themselves to drop pants and bend over for political islam, I’ve always thought the U.S.A. could be depended upon not to go the same way.
    Unfortunately, this increasingly seems not to be the case.
    He may or may not be a muzzy but considering the current climate it’s definitely relevant to the piece to clarify this. As Broga points out, if he was an Atheist, it would have been all over the story.

  • Broga

    The lust of these guys to blast indiscrimately people innocent of anything these sad killers think causes them to deserve being annihilated or with their limbs sliced off sickens. Does he see something heroic in this? Now he loses his own wife and child, so they suffer, and he will have a long, long time to contemplate his cowardly actions.
    This is not war and they are not warriors. They are the detritus of humanity; patsies for others who keep safe will they send their creatures to kill. Great religion, isn’t it?

  • Stonyground

    I suspect that reticence about this man’s religion is possibly intended to protect more moderate Muslims from violent reprisals. We are after all only partly rational animals, and many are a lot less rational than others. I feel that the media would not want to be held responsible when the local corner shop, or possibly the Sikh Temple, gets firebombed.

  • barriejohn

    I came across this piece, but I can’t vouch for its truth or authenticity:
    http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/may/07/shahzad-has-done-a-noble-job-says-pakistan-taliban.htm
    “This is a noble job and we pray that all the Muslim youths should follow Faisal Shahzad. But he is not part of our network,” Tariq was quoted as saying in a report posted on the website of CBS News.

  • barriejohn
  • RussellW

    @Derek,
    I agree, if we(the West) bomb people in Third World countries it’s only natural that they try to bomb us in return,the difference is technological not ethical.
    FYI I have absolutely no sympathy for Islam or any other religion.

  • drcancerman

    @RussellW and @Derek
    Why do you think “we” bomb those countries? Maybe something to do with islam, terrorists, violence…

  • RussellW

    @ drcancerman,
    Well perhaps ‘islam, terrorists, violence..’ may have something to do with the fact that ‘we’ bombed those countries in the first place, confiscated their land or interferred in their internal politics. It’s somewhat ‘chicken and egg’ isn’t it.

  • drcancerman

    @RussellW
    If we consult the history of islam, we will understand that their hatred comes from before all that.
    Remember when Mohammed was shuned by the jews because they didn’t want to believe the things he was saying? Remember when Mohammed decided to write about us infidels? Remember when Mohammed finally decided to take Mecca and Medina?
    And concluding with the fact that they took Jerusalem, and we decided to launch the Crusades to stop it?
    Islam hates the “infidels” not because of bombing in Pakistan, or “land grabbing”, it is because we are not muslims, and not submitted to their will… and because the world is still not under the islamic dream of everyone being muslim., called “caliphate”.
    So, here it is the reason why they hate us… Yes it is that “simple” and not quite the “chicken and egg” thing.
    If we talk about land, we must talk about Persian empire, Indian Holocaust, and eventually the Armenians, to what Happanened to the Romans and Byzantines.

  • NeoWolfe

    Dcancer said:
    “If we talk about land, we must talk about Persian empire, Indian Holocaust, and eventually the Armenians, to what Happanened to the Romans and Byzantines.”
    Okay. But, I’m a little confused. The Roman Empire and the Byzantines are the same thing, only split in half. And that period of the Persian empire was the most enlightened of any muslim period in history. They invented steam power and hydraulics long before western culture discovered it. It’s hard to imagine what sent them back to their tents to jack off to the Quran. I guess that’s what religion does.
    NeoWolfe

  • drcancerman

    @NeoWolfe
    Steam? I thought it was the greeks who did it! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolipile
    Secondly, like you said, “And that period of the Persian empire was the most enlightened of any muslim period in history.” Thanks to the culture of the Persian empire BEFORE the islamic conquest, the beginning of the “islamic age” in persia was “enlighted” because of the past. In fact, the most enlighted dominated culture by the muslims were from Persia.
    I have to apologize for that, I was going to write something else, then decided to just close on Romans/Byzantines, but I clearly forgot to delete the “and” and add the “/”
    The biggest problem I see about islamic “inventions” is that most of those “inventions” were already discovered or invented before islam took hold.
    One of the biggest is Algebra, we call it Algebra because it was the muslims who transfered it to us with their culture of expansionism. But the fact is, it was the Indians who did it… The numerals, and even the concept of Zero we all own it to the Indians who were being massacred by the muslism.
    What I’m trying to say is, trying to polish “shit”(islam) is not going to work, because at the end, all that you are going to have is a very shiny…shit.

  • RussellW

    @drcancerman,
    I agree that Islam may be inherently hostile to the West and militaristic however there’s more to Western-Islamic relations than theological differences.Once the balance of power shifted overwhelmingly in Europe’s favor the Islamic world was more or less irrelevant to the West. The difference now is obvious, it’s oil.
    You seem to be suggesting that Islamic hostility is basically religiously motivated, it’s not. Many Islamic nations have been invaded and devastated by Western armies,why is it incomprehensible that some Moslems retaliate and attack the West?
    I don’t have much respect for Islamic civilization either,however this is a human rights issue not an exercise in cultural comparisons.

  • drcancerman

    @RussellW
    You must also remember that muslims have invaded other infidel lands as well. So, this “war” or indifference is mostly islamic expansionism that they copied from the christians and religious differences.
    If you don’t convert, well, just look up some of the news here in freethinker as to what happens to you.
    The only “land” I see you might be referring to is Israel. That “land” belonged to the jews/west/us way before the islamic invasion. So, with the end of the first and second world war, it was only right to give them/us that little piece of land, which was in fact a lot bigger originally… Thanks to islamic cries, they decided to have the ’48 borders…
    Palestine is what Jordan is today. Remember, Palestine only became Palestine because the Romans named it so, and because the islamic nations promissed the muslims that lived in Israel before that they would kick the jews ass. You also must remember that Jews were also kicked out from islamic countries.
    The other land issue, must be Andalucia, remember, that was part of Spain, and muslims are still pissed off after centuries of it being liberated from the muslims.
    If it was for “oil” I’m sure we would have invaded much more than Iraq, and as soon as the invasion occurred, we would have opened factories and pumps there in no time. instead of having elections, and even a competition with oil companies around the world as to which one could develop that area. If i’m not wrong, Afghanistan barely has any oil!
    That “oil” excuse came from the muslims themselves.

  • alec s thompson

    alright i’ll bite……….
    1st off, how many of you ‘left wing nazis’ have actually read the koran and hidaths and sirat?
    2nd off, do you know that according to these so called holy texts demand that the faithfull muslims regard us as being worthy of throwing us all off a cliff, (or high building if a cliff is not handy)? And as being less than human because we’re athiests?
    I could go on for hours,days,weeks ,months etc with you but i dont want rsi!
    Suffice to say, you owe it not just to yourself, but also to your children, grandchildren and all those who come after you to stand and be prepaired to fight for your values!
    Otherwise you’r all talk and no balls and therefore part of the fucking problem!

  • drcancerman

    @alec s thompson
    Well said!!
    I wholeheartedly agree with you!
    We are worth something, just after goats, camel’s, women… ermm ok…we have no value to them lol

  • drcancerman
  • barriejohn

    This is a fascinating article, for anyone who should stumble across this comment now!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/weekinreview/09sanger.html?ref=world

  • barriejohn

    Drdancerman: I’ve never come across Sheik yer’mami before, but I shall certainly visit him in the future!

  • drcancerman

    @barriejohn
    I visit that website constantly, as much as I do with freethinker.
    Check, on the upper right side the songs he made. They are hilarious!