Friday, April 2, 2010

Blaming the "T" Word (And Maybe the Jews)

This letter to the editor appears in the Globe and Mail:
Russell Smith (A Terrorist By Any Other Name - Review, April 1) highlights the reticence on the part of the media and security organizations to use the word "terrorist" to describe the Hutaree, and the reservation of that word almost solely to describe Muslims who commit similar acts.
It is through such willful stereotyping that all adherents and followers of the Islamic faith are stigmatized, and the subtle xenophobic seeds of discontent and disquiet against Islam and Muslims are sowed.
The letter elicits the following comment from someone with the wildly inappropriate nic Insitefull_1:

I wonder if the ethnicity of media ownership impacts coverage?
That might provide a key to understanding systemic muslimophobia in msm.
Funny you should mention it, Insightfull_1. A lot of influential media, including al Jazeera and even FOX News, does happen to be owned (or in FOX's case, partially owned) by Muslims, and that's bound to have an impact. But I'm pretty sure you're referring to an entirely different "ethnicitity," if I catch your Judenhass drift. My letter:

Russell Smith (A Terrorist By Any Other Name--Review, April 1) and Yavuz Selim (A terrorist is a terrorist--letter to the Editor, April 2) both have it wrong. The media and security organizations do not reserve the “t” word solely for Muslims. In fact, they typically go out of their way to avoid using it and employ a euphemistic alternative--“militant,” “extremist,” “hard-line,” “radical,” etc.--lest they be accused of “xenophobia” and in order to spare Muslim feelings.
But then, the problem isn’t really the use of the word “terrorist”. The problem is the actions of those who feel the need to perpetrate mass murder in the name of their cause. And these days the vast majority who feel the need to do so seem to be Muslim. If anything can be said to sow “the subtle xenophobic seeds of discontent and disquiet against Islam and Muslims,” as Mr. Selim describes it, it is that.

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