Tag Archives: newspaper bias

Muslims Shield Christians with Their Bodies

The wail of the Islamophobes is, “Why don’t moderate Muslims speak out against terrorism?” Meaning, “Why don’t I bother to search the internet for stories of Muslims speaking out against terrorism, instead of just trusting that if Fox News didn’t show it, it didn’t happen?”

Personally, I would never have found this story if a Facebook friend hadn’t posted it. The newspaper is Ahram Online, an Egyptian paper, and the story is Egypt’s Muslims Attend Coptic Christmas Mass, Serving as “Human Shields.”

Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

Among those shields were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, popular preacher Amr Khaled, the two sons of President Hosni Mubarak, and thousands of citizens who have said they consider the attack one on Egypt as a whole.

“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly. “We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together.”

In the days following the brutal attack on Saints Church in Alexandria, which left 21 dead on New Year’ eve, solidarity between Muslims and Copts has seen an unprecedented peak. Millions of Egyptians changed their Facebook profile pictures to the image of a cross within a crescent – the symbol of an “Egypt for All”. Around the city, banners went up calling for unity, and depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents, together as one.

The New York Times did not cover this story. The Associated Press did not report this news. Reuters has nothing about it.

Not too long ago I saw this post on MyRightWingDad.net:

Couldn't find it today at MyRightWingDad.net so this is from another WordPress blog

Of course we won’t hear what the islamophobes have to say about Egyptian Muslims volunteering as human shields to protect their Christian neighbors, because no major news source is reporting it.

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Filed under arabist, bigoted idiots, Islamic relations

Muntazar al-Zaidi in Switzerland

AP News has a news article about my favorite show thrower that reads like a blog post. The author/reporter couldn’t resist injecting his own point of view into his article, and for some reason the editor let it run.

He [Muntazar al-Zaidi] condemned the United States, saying it played a role in 1 million deaths and forcing 5 million people to flee. He made no mention of the violence among Iraqi groups since the 2003 U.S. invasion.

Did the author/reporter, Bradley S. Klapper, used to write speeches for George W. Bush? Because this sounds exactly like something he’d say. As if, when talking about the US invasion of and years-long @#$%ing of Iraq, it’s unfair not to mention that some of the deaths were at the hands of Iraqis fighting each other as a result of the world-class incompetence of the Bush administration. I think this is an outgrowth of the “fair and balanced” trend in journalism today where if you have a scientist on your show explaining global warming, you must give equal time to whacked out minister or small town board of education member countering that God wouldn’t make the earth any warmer than we can handle.

Most of Iraq’s 2 million international refugees live in neighboring Syria and Jordan, while the International Organization for Migration says a similar number of Iraqis are uprooted inside the country’s borders. About 100,000 Iraqis have suffered violent deaths over the last 6 1/2 years, according to The Iraq Body Count, a London-based group whose figures are widely considered a credible minimum.

And here he’s complaining about al-Zaidi’s accuracy. Klapper provides us with an unattributed estimate of 2 million refugees abroad and a vague, also unattributed estimate of “a similar number” inside Iraq to imply that al-Zaidi is making stuff up. He also gives us a lowball estimate of 100,000 deaths and hopes we won’t notice the word “minimum” right next to the word “credible.”

Al-Zeidi’s reception in Switzerland was noteworthy. While his shoe-throwing act of protest in December made him a hero for many in the Muslim world, there was little public outpouring of support for him when he was released last month in Baghdad.

To back up his claim that al-Zaidi got a lukewarm reception in Iraq, Klapper gives us no facts whatsover. We’re supposed to take his word for it because he’s a news-talking guy.

Here’s a YouTube clip from the news at the time of al-Zaidi’s release last month:

It kind of looks like he’s missing a tooth or two. This one shows a little more of the crowds’ sentiments. They look jubilant to me:

I mean, I can understand that Mr. Klapper wants to make the pinko Swiss look un-American, but what’s his angle, trying to make it sound like Iraqis weren’t happy to see al-Zaidi out of jail?

The article started like this:

The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush leaned back in his chair and soaked in the round of applause.

This was not Baghdad or Damascus or Beirut. This was Geneva, where Muntadhar al-Zeidi was given a hero’s welcome Monday far warmer than the subdued reception in his own homeland.

Again with downplaying the way the Iraqi’s received him. That is so bizarre.

By the way, Muntazar al-Zaydi now has 46,248 fans on his Arabic-language Facebook page.

Here’s a Guardian audio article about the celebrations in Baghdad on the occasion of al-Zaydi’s release.

“It’s a mood of high celebration…”

They do report that it was more subdued than they expected. That could be because it was in the middle of Ramadan. Possibly because al-Zaydi wanted some peace and quiet.

From the Telegraph:

Mr Zaidi returned to his home in the Shia suburb of Sadr City, where relatives had gathered with balloons, banners and sheep to slaughter in his honour.

Scores of people, including local politicians and tribal leaders, joined them for the celebration. “They are very happy and they are singing and dancing,” one of his brothers, Maytin, told The Daily Telegraph. “This is our tradition when someone gets released, we play music and dance.”

Another brother, Uday, said the journalist would be sleeping at an “undisclosed location” and would travel to Greece for treatment on Thursday.

“I congratulate the Iraqi people and the Muslim world and all free men across the world on the release of Muntazer,” said Uday Zaidi. “Every time Bush turns a new page in his life he will find Muntazer’s shoes waiting for him.”

And OMG, I went one click too far, and found this execrable post by Bob Barr saying al-Zaydi should quit whining, because if he had thrown his shoes at President Bush while being a swarthy Iraqi in the United States, he would have been treated much worse, probably including waterboarding (which he says he was treated to in Iraqi prison, too). As if everyone didn’t know that already.

Seriously, it’s unbelievable.

I don’t usually link to assholes, but the commenters are pretty funny. Apparently Bob can’t attract his own kind to his blog.

UPDATE: My apologies to Bob Barr. A little bird suggested that my sarcasm meter must have gone out of whack, as Barr’s whole post was a work of sarcasm. I am disappointed in myself, since sarcasm was the only language my family spoke at home.

Also, if parts of this post appear to missing, blame WordPress. I don’t know what’s going on with that.

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Filed under arab, Our glorious war in Iraq, War in Iraq

New Blog to Recommend!

This time it’s not just a new blog to me, it’s a new blog altogether. Mantiq al-Tayr has commented here recently and just decided to create his own blog.

The events in Gaza have harshed my mellow recently, so I’m glad that bloggers like Mantiq al-Tayr are tackling the tough issues so that I can sit back and blog about unibrows* and houris.

Yesterday I went to a site that estimated the reading level of my blog and said it’s high school level. I don’t mind that**, but I’m going to boost my intellectual cred right now by using another big word.

Mantiq al-Tayr’s eponymous blog can be found right here. His inaugural post is a look at how the Washington Post sneakily lies to the American public (specifically about what’s going on in Gaza).

He’s a funny guy.

I’m happy to report that his blog is also on WordPress, which I like better than Blogspot because I can leave comments more easily with less stress to my antivirus software.

*I’m still working on the unibrow post. It’s hard to find enough supporting evidence.
**But I should point out that I am not in high school and haven’t been for over twenty years.

And just for extra measure, here’s a lovely photo of a hoopoe, to celebrate Mantiq al-Tayr’s new blog:

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Filed under arab, arabist, Blogroll