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December 19, 2006

More Media-inspired Misplaced Blame: Framing Muslims As Victims For Their Actions And Inactions

There's little doubt that the media works hard at finding and reporting divisiveness, making minority groups - particularly Muslims, victims while ignoring this part own contributions to whatever conditions they find themselves in as a result of their own actions and/or inactions, and blaming Western society and culture for what can only be described as normal reactions to the violence, hate, intolerance, and destruction to life and property that has increasingly been experienced during the past years - especially since 1979.

As most are aware, no media organization has worked harder in this endeavor than the Associated Press. Now, once again, one of its journalists has gone beyond the pale to portray Muslims as victims (which does a great disservice to millions of educated, moderate, and peace-loving Muslims). Such is the case with Bryan Murphy's, "Muslims Face 'Islamophobia'." That this is the case, let's take a look at a few excerpts from Murphy's article (via Curt at Flopping Aces) and compare them to a somewhat tongue-in-cheek version (the "truth" version, below) by Jules Crittenden:

Paragraph one frames Muslims as victims and ignores their failure to assimilate and attempt to "fit in" European society:

The AP's version: ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Muslims across Europe are confronting a rise in ``Islamophobia'' ranging from violent attacks to discrimination in job and housing markets, a wide-ranging European Union report indicated Monday.

The truth: VIENNA - "Europhobia" is on the rise across Europe, where many Christian, Jews and secular Europeans are menaced and misunderstood -- some on a daily basis -- the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia said Monday in a new report.

Paragraph two calls for a cure by the wrong community - its not non-Muslims who are failing to integrate, and ignores Muslims' tacit approval of terrorism and their relentless assault on Europe's long-existent and deeply held values, laws and cultural traditions:
The AP's version: The study, compiled by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, urged European authorities to strengthen policies on integration. But it also noted that Muslims need to do more to counter negative perceptions driven by terrorism and upheavals such as the backlash to cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The truth: The Vienna-based center, which tracks ethnic and religious bias across the 25-country European Union, said westerners routinely suffered problems ranging from terrorism attacks to assassinations to relentless assaults on their deeply held values, laws and cultural traditions.

Paragraph three focuses on differences and cloudy "complexities," calls for 96.5 percent of the European population to accommodate the demands and intolerances of 3.5% of the population, and ignores the behaviors and tacit approval of violence by the minority populace:
The AP's version: The 117-page survey details the many divides between the EU mainstream and the estimated 13 million Muslims - now at least 3.5 percent of the 25-nation bloc's population - and seeks to offer a street-level view of the complexities blocking efforts to bridge the differences.

The truth: It called on leaders to strengthen policies on integration of Muslims, and on Muslims to "engage more actively in public life." It also told them to "get over" nonsense like the Motoons (edit: Muhammad cartoons), start ratting out the murderers in their midst, and if they want to live in western democracies, "figure out which end is the dog and which end is the tail."

Paragraph four again portrays Muslims as victims and places the entire blame for their victim hood on the non-Muslim European community rather than the Muslim community that has committed violence, tacitly approved of terrorism by their inaction and unwillingness to speak out agaist it, and appears to focus on divisiveness rather than encouraging both sides to seek common ground:
The AP's version: `The disadvantaged position of Muslim minorities, evidence of a rise in Islamophobia and concern over processes of alienation and radicalization have triggered an intense debate in the European Union,'' said Beate Winkler, director of the Vienna-based group

The truth: "The key word is 'respect,'" said Beate Winkler, director of the group. "People need to feel respected and included. We need to highlight the common ground that we have."

The AP's piece not only has focused on a report that portrays Muslims as victims, but also ignores counter arguments and evidence to the contrary, such as a report that indicates Jews are far more likely to be victims of faith hatred than Muslims (and of course entirely ignores the persecution and conditions of Christians in Muslim lands), by Tom Harper and Ben Leapman (hat tip - Flopping Aces):

Jewish people are four times more likely to be attacked because of their religion than Muslims, according to figures compiled by the police.

One in 400 Jews compared to one in 1,700 Muslims are likely to be victims of "faith hate" attacks every year. The figure is based on data collected over three months in police areas accounting for half the Muslim and Jewish populations of England and Wales. The crimes range from assault and verbal abuse to criminal damage at places of worship.

Police forces started recording the religion of faith-hate crime victims only this year. They did so on the instruction of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), which wanted a clear picture of alleged community tensions around the country, following reports of Muslims being attacked after September 11 and the July 7 London bombings last year.

However, the first findings, for July to September, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph under freedom of information legislation, show that it is Jews who are much more likely to be targeted because of their religion.

The figures also suggest that many faith-hate crimes remain unsolved, contrary to the picture painted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in a report this month. The CPS said only 43 people were charged with "religiously aggra-vated" offences last year, and concluded that the large rise expected after the July 7 bombings had not materialised.

Police figures suggest, however, that hundreds of faith-hate crimes are being committed, with very few ever reaching court. Those figures include any crime that is reported to police which the victim believes is motivated by hatred of his or her religion.

The CPS report revealed that not a single person accused of an anti-Semitic crime had been prosecuted on a charge of religiously aggravated offending. It said: "The police statistics include incidents where no defendant has been identified or where there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution."

A report by MPs in September said British Jews were more vulnerable to attack and abuse now than for a generation. Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, who sat on the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, said it was "perverse" that not all police forces recorded anti-Semitic incidents and said that some forces "verge on the complacent". The Acpo directive was ignored by most forces, whose systems are not designed to record religion, though they routinely record ethnicity. Acpo said large organisations take time to adjust to new systems.

The Sunday Telegraph has obtained information on faith-hate crimes from the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester, South Wales and West Mercia forces. In London and Manchester, where Muslims outnumber Jews by four to one, anti-Semitic offences exceeded anti-Muslim offences (see table). The figures do not record the faith of the offenders.

Rabbi Alex Chapper, 33, was the victim of a "faith-hate" crime in July last year. He was returning from a synagogue in Ilford, Essex, with three Jewish friends after conducting a service. All were wearing skull caps. Seven Asian teenagers followed them down the road shouting "Yehudi", which means Jew in Arabic. One of them shouted, "We are Pakistani, you are Jewish. We are going to kill you", before punching Rabbi Chapper in the face and hitting one of his friends over the head with a bottle.

"It was very frightening, we were all very shaken," said the rabbi. "I thought we were going to get seriously hurt but someone threatened to call the police and they ran off.

"We identified the youths and told the police but they were never prosecuted. They just did not seem interested. I feel very let down."

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust, which monitors attacks on Jews, said: "Many people hoped and believed anti-Semitism had burnt itself out. This is not the case."

Borrowing from the words of Helle Merete Brix, It has taken Europe and Western society nearly two thousand years to adopt the principals of freedom we now accept as a matter of course. The murder of the maker of Submission Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam in broad daylight in november 2004, and the plethora of violent events committed by Islamists since 1979, have made it clear that that the clash between islam and western values in the heart of Europe is now entering a decisive phase. It's my earnest hope that the West, and especially Europe, will wake up, lay aside its fears and understand that the battle isn`t lost, but it`s getting late in the day.

Islam gets concessions; infidels get conquered

Flopping Aces offers an additional example of the media's mis-characterizations, exaggerations, and focus on placing blame on majorities while ignoring the contributions to perceived stereotypes on the part of minorities themselves (CNN reports nearly all white Americans may be racists and gives it front page treatment).

Source: Hyscience

Posted by Richard at December 19, 2006 10:06 AM

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