By Alicia Colon(www.irishexaminerusa.com)
As the midterm elections roll around, the mainstream media is increasingly on the bandwagon to demonize Americans as rabid haters and Islamophobes. A recent ABC News program, "Witness to Discrimination: What Would You Do?" hired some actors to catch ordinary Americans being intolerant of people in Muslim garb. Was this scheduling a result of the liberal National Public Radio firing commentator Juan Williams for expressing similar anxiety?
ABC's production crew outfitted a busy roadside bakery near Waco, Texas, and had an actress play a female customer wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf known as a hijab. The sales clerk behind the counter was played by an actor who refused to serve her and spouted anti-Arab and anti-Muslim slurs.
He said, "Get back on the camel and go back to wherever you came from. You got that towel on your head. I don't know what's underneath your dress. Just please take your business and go elsewhere with it." The actress in the hijab then responded that she was an American, born and raised here, and asked another customer to buy something for her, but he refused. The program then recorded the mixed responses from the onlookers who either agreed with the store clerk or sympathized with the Muslim shopper.
The entire premise would have been more credible if ABC had captured real incidents of discrimination on camera. That, however, would have required legitimate research and time, so why not just make it all up?
Let me take you down memory lane to the afternoon of September 11, 2001, when I finally ventured out to a local 99-cent store run by Yemeni Arabs in Muslim garb. There were very few customers in the shop and the radio was tuned to what sounded like an Arab language station. I told the clerk that perhaps he should turn the sound down. He didn't. No one in the store made any derogatory or threatening remarks. In fact, the only thing I personally witnessed soon after 9/11 was a woman passing my Albanian neighbor's house and muttering, "Speak English."
There were no rocks thrown at any establishment owned by Muslims. There were unsubstantiated reports of some Muslims cheering when the Twin Towers fell, but these were never confirmed.
A month later, I went to a deli on Bay Street in Staten Island and asked an Arab woman behind the counter if she had encountered any trouble since the terrorist attacks and she said her son was attacked at school but he was all right. Most of the community showed concern for their Muslim neighbors and if the worst that ABC and the mainstream media can point to are some ugly words, after Muslim fanatics carried out the worst attack on our country in history, I would hardly rate that as discrimination. Call it a natural human response to a devastating tragedy and a homicidal attack on our beloved fellow citizens. I still regard New Yorkers' relative restraint against vengeance, considering our devastating wounds, as quite admirable and evidence of our respect for our innocent neighbors.
The desperate mainstream media, however, is determined to rush to judgment whenever there's an incident that will support its agenda that we're all bigots. The Ground Zero mosque controversy in Lower Manhattan gave it the opportunity to label all those who opposed it as Islamophobic. Originally, the proposed mosque was to be called Cordoba House, but when it was publicly pointed out that it would be highly inappropriate to name the mosque after the city that became the capital of the great Islamic caliphate when the Moors conquered Spain, the name was changed to Park 51.
Mayor Bloomberg, Attorney General Cuomo and other local liberals ignored the fact that the survivors of 9/11 and their families were vehemently appalled by the insensitivity of a mosque two blocks away from where Islamic jihadists leveled the Twin Towers. Protesters who rightly decried the project were routinely labeled bigots and hate-mongers
When an Arab cab driver in New York City had his throat slashed by a young white man, the media was quick to blame the attack on the right-wing hosts on talk radio and Fox News. The national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, blamed the incident on the heated debate over the mosque and the protests. He said in a statement: "As other American minorities have experienced, hate speech often leads to hate crimes. Sadly, we've seen how the deliberate public vilification of Islam can lead some individuals to violence against innocent people."
But the accused attacker, Michael Enright, was a leftist supporter of the mosque, and the victim, Ahmed Sharif, a native of Bangladesh, opposed the mosque. That didn't quite fit the leftist scenario so the blogs left these details out or buried them. They turned instead to those mosque burnings in the evil Bible Belt by those crazed Christians.
Well, actually, if there was a mosque burned in the South, it was probably torched by white supremacists, the same group of people that have been burning churches and synagogues for decades. In Georgia, however, the surprise arsonist was a Muslim himself, an illegal alien from Gambia. Tamsir Mendy was charged with arson and held without bail for torching a mosque in Marietta. Now why would he do that?
For that matter, why would a Democrat operative vandalize a Democrat campaign office? Maurice Schwenkler, a left-wing canvasser for a Democrat candidate, smashed 11 windows at Denver, Colorado Democrat headquarters last year. At first, the vandalism was blamed on Tea Party protesters of the Obama health-care bill. Did the Marietta arsonist burn his own mosque to place the blame on anti-Muslim hate speech too?
Consider also the outrage that the media raised when a charred Koran was left at a mosque in Virginia and brought national media attention as a possible hate crime against Muslims. Members of the Islamic Center of Blacksburg found the burned religious text in a plastic bag near the front door of the building. As it turned out, however, the burned Koran was left there by a traveling Egyptian Muslim who confirmed that he left it at the mosque because it had been damaged in a house fire and he didn't know how it should be disposed of properly.
Meanwhile, suspicious fires were set at two Mormon churches and a house in South Salt Lake, Utah, recently. Investigators suspected arson after a brick was found thrown through a chapel window where one of the fires started. In Seattle, Washington, a Mormon church was torched not long ago in the suburb of Mukitleo but damages to churches and synagogues no longer rank as significant hate crimes in the eyes of a media obsessed with Islamophobia.
All this is not to suggest that anti-Muslim incidents do not occur, but when will ABC and other networks devote prime time programming to hate crimes committed by Muslims who react far more violently to supposed slurs against their religion? How many people were killed after Newsweek falsely reported that a Koran was desecrated in Gitmo? Newsweek apologized. Meanwhile, 15 people died in anti-American protests in Afghanistan.
Theo Van Gogh, the grandnephew of Vincent Van Gogh, was brutally slain in the Netherlands for directing a short film, "Submission," critical of Islam. Death threats and fatwas were issued against a Danish newspaper for publishing editorial cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. There were protests across the Muslim world, some escalating into violence, resulting in more than a hundred dead. Danish embassies were torched and European buildings were stormed.
A Catholic priest was murdered while praying in Church in Turkey by a remorseless 16-year-old Muslim who said that he'd been influenced by the cartoons. Only a handful of daily newspapers in the U.S. dared to publish them. The New York Sun, where I worked, had to have NYPD protection for a week after it became the first publication in America to print one of the cartoons.
These are only a very few examples of the absurd lengths to which angry, fanatical Islamists will go to intimidate and bully any critics of Islam and yet Americans are the ones targeted as bigots by a cowardly and politically correct media.
Until it develops a spine to produce fair and balanced coverage of hate crimes, the major news networks deserve their dwindling audience and our disdain.
Click to view image: 'Listen Up! We Are Not The Bigots!'
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