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Is the Leftist Media ‘Fair and Balanced’ on Christian Persecution?

Isn't the MSM supposed to be out to help the “underdog”?

Raymond Ibrahim


January 23, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Likewise, when Islamists bombed an Egyptian church on New Year’s Eve, leaving over 20 Copts dead and dozens maimed, the leftist media reported it — but under headlines such as “Clashes Grow as Egyptians Remain Angry After Attack” (New York Times) and “Christians clash with police in Egypt after attack on churchgoers kills 21” (Washington Post), as if the fact that beleaguered and frustrated Christians are lashing out against persecution is as noteworthy  as the persecution itself. When earlier this month an Egyptian policeman boarded a train, identifying Christians by the small tattooed cross on their wrists, and opened fire, killing one and wounding five to the distinctly Muslim war cry of “Allah Akbar,” the Los Angeles Times deemed it suitable to relate the story under the headline “Eyewitness claims train attacker did not target Copts, state media say.”

This latter headline is indicative of how the leftist media will rarely, if ever, report on Egypt’s institutionalized anti-Christianism, such as how the Egyptian government makes it next to impossible for Copts to build, or even repair, churches; or how state security uses live ammunition on Copts who demonstrate, in one recent instance, killing four unarmed Christians, including a child, for protesting the state’s seizure of a partially completed church. Imagine the field day the media would have if the government of a predominantly Christian country stormed and desecrated a mosque, opening fire on unarmed Muslim protesters, killing several including children, wounding and incarcerating hundreds.

All said and done, leftist media bias is nothing new; one need only look to how Israel is constantly demonized for defending itself. There is a curious difference, however: when the leftist media provide biased coverage on behalf of the Palestinians, they probably rationalize doing so under the pretense that, because the Palestinians are militarily weaker than Israel, they need more media “representation.” Yet, if that is the case, if the leftist media are simply out to help the “underdog,” why do they take the opposite approach in their coverage of underdog Christian minorities suffering in the Muslim world?

Simple: the leftist media are quite indifferent to the suffering of the “weak”; that’s just a cover, when suitable. Rather, their overriding impulse is to delegitimize Western civilization. And what better way to do that than suppress its Judeo-Christian heritage — hence, the bias against anything Judeo (Israel) or Christian (persecution).

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Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum; and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background -- born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East -- has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
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