The Two Faces of Anti-Americanism
magazine published a scoop last week.
an unnamed source, Newsweek informed the world that American
interrogators of suspected Islamic terrorists at Guantanamo Bay
had flushed pages of the Koran down a toilet.
If this were
true, the interrogators would be both morally wrong and stupid.
The words of the Koran and the pages on which they are written
are considered intrinsically holy to Muslims.
As it happens,
it was not true. Like Dan Rather and CBS News, Newsweek put politics
and craving a scoop ahead of truth, not to mention ahead of America's
As I said
on my radio show days before Newsweek revealed that its
report was baseless, even if the report were true, the magazine
was highly irresponsible when it published the report. It could
have only one effect: inflaming the wrath of hundreds of millions
of Muslims against America.
If an American
interrogator of Japanese prisoners desecrated the most sacred
Japanese symbols during World War II, it is inconceivable that
any American media would have published this information. While
American news media were just as interested in scoops in 1944
as they are now, they also had a belief that when America was
at war, publishing information injurious to America and especially
to its troops was unthinkable.
Such a value
is not only not honored by today's news media, the opposite is
more likely the case. The mainstream media oppose the war in Iraq
and loathe the Bush administration. Whatever weakens the war effort
and embarrasses the president raises a news source's prestige
among its domestic, and especially foreign, peers.
is directly responsible for the deaths of innocents and for damaging
America. As a typical member of the American news media, Newsweek's
primary loyalties are to profits and to its political/social agenda.
We are very fortunate that in America, at least, we now have talk
radio and the Internet; the mainstream news media are no longer
Americans' only sources of news.
the rest of the world still rely almost exclusively on news media
for their understanding of the world, which is a major reason
for their anti-Americanism.
And now a
word about the rioters. They have desecrated their religion and
their holy text far more than the alleged flushers of Koranic
Did any Buddhists
riot and murder when the Taliban Muslims blew up the irreplaceable
giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan?
Did any Christians riot and murder when an "artist"
produced "Piss Christ" -- a crucifix immersed in a jar
of the "artist's" urine?
Christian services and even the wearing of a cross were banned
in Saudi Arabia? When Christians are murdered while at prayer
in churches by Muslims in Pakistan?
Jews rioted in all the years since it was revealed that Jordanian
Muslims used Jewish tombstones in Old Jerusalem as latrines? Or
after Palestinians destroyed Joseph's Tomb in 2000 and set fire
to the rebuilt tomb in 2003?
It is quite
remarkable that many Muslims believe that an American interrogator
flushing pages of the Koran is worthy of rioting, but all the
torture, slaughter, terror and mass murder done by Muslims in
the name of the Koran are unworthy of even a peaceful protest.
one will have to search extensively for any editorials condemning
these primitives in the Western press, let alone in the Muslim
press. This is because moral expectations of Muslims are lower
than those of other religious groups. Behavior that would be held
in contempt if engaged in by Christians or Jews is not only not
condemned, it is frequently "understood" when done by
phony reports about an American desecrating Koranic pages, should
really upset Muslims. It won't. Just as the CBS and Newsweek
debacles won't upset the American news media.
The lowest of the Muslim world and the elite of the Western world:
Anti-Americanism makes strange bedfellows.
2005 Creators Syndicate
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