The Media’s Double Standard for Muslims

The mainstream media claims to be multicultural, respecting all cultures equally, but actually holds Muslims and the Islamic world to a standard so low that it would have brought a furious blush to the cheeks of the most dyed-in-the-wool White Man’s Burden-carrier in the old British Raj.

Case in point: have you heard about the London vicar who said that if a newborn baby is not an Anglican, “the devil inserts his index finger into the anus of the newborn, who thus becomes a passive homosexual”? Of course, no vicar ever said such a thing; it was actually the London-based Shi’ite cleric Yasser Habib, who said on his Fadak TV satellite channel on May 24 that at birth, “if the newborn is not one of our Shiites, the devil inserts his index finger into the anus of the newborn, who thus becomes a passive homosexual.” If a Christian minister really had said such a thing, the outcry would be immediate, indignant, and international; but the world will little note nor long remember the statements of Yasser Habib. A Muslim cleric saying hateful things about those not within his fold? Go back to sleep.

There will be little note of this because for all its multicultural protestations, the mainstream media simply doesn’t have the same expectations of Muslims that it has of non-Muslims. Another example: the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which routinely enjoys a free pass from the media as a neutral civil rights organization when it has actually been amply established as a water-carrier in the U.S. for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, is holding a rally in Southern California on June 23. Billed as a “Summer Night for Civil Rights,” the rally will feature Dean Obeidallah, a self-styled comedian who is less concerned with being funny than with pushing Islamic advocacy groups’ false victimhood narrative of “Islamophobia.”

Hamas-linked CAIR’s rally promises to claim that Muslims in the U.S. are denied civil rights. Muslim groups in New Jersey advanced that claim this month as they filed suit against the New York Police Department for its surveillance of Muslims in both states — a program that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, no right-winger he, has stoutly defended, and that New Jersey officials have investigated and found perfectly legal.

Not only do groups like CAIR claim that Muslims are denied rights; they also charge that Muslims are disproportionately the victims of hate crimes. Here again, however, their claims flounder on the facts. In reality, hate crimes against Muslims are infrequent. FBI statistics show that anti-Jewish attacks constitute 70% of hate crimes, while anti-Muslim attacks are only 9% of hate crimes. And so in order to deflect attention away from jihad activity and try to portray Muslims as victims, so as to shame non-Muslims into not investigating or even being suspicious of further jihad activity, CAIR and other Muslims have even fabricated “hate crimes.” CAIR and other groups like it want and need hate crimes against Muslims, because they can use them for political points and as weapons to intimidate people into remaining silent about the jihad threat.

Yet while CAIR’s “Summer Night for Civil Rights” is certain to feature complaints about the chimeras of “Islamophobia” and denial of Muslims’ civil rights, it will almost certainly say nothing about Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who awaits execution in the Islamic Republic of Iran for the crime of converting from Islam to Christianity. Muslim spokesmen such as Harris Zafar, Mustafa Akyol, Salam al-Marayati, M. Cherif Bassiouni, and Ali Eteraz insist that Islam doesn’t punish apostasy with death – and yet Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, said, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). And all the schools of Islamic law still teach that death is the proper penalty for apostates. Nadarkhani and other apostates from Islam suffer from this death sentence all over the Islamic world, even as these smooth Muslim spokesmen in the West reassure their credulous non-Muslim media sycophants that only “Islamophobes” think that Islam mandates death for apostasy.

Such spokesmen are never challenged in the media. They’re never asked uncomfortable questions. Hamas-linked CAIR’s hypocrisy is never exposed. It seems that the mainstream media simply has an unspoken lower standard for Muslim groups, and does not hold them to the standards of consistency and accuracy to which everyone else is held. It’s richly ironic in light of their multicultural protestations, but it is hard to escape the conclusion that in covering Islam and Muslims, the mainstream media is as paternalistic and condescending as any old colonial occupier ever was.

To stand for the rights of apostates from Islam, Pamela Geller and I, along with Nonie Darwish of Former Muslims United and prominent ex-Muslims including Ibn Warraq and Wafa Sultan, are presenting a “Summer Night for Human Rights” in honor of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, just down the block from the CAIR victimhood event on the same night (register to attend — it’s free — by writing to [email protected]). If the media reports on our event at all, it will parrot talking points devised and propagated by CAIR and its allies, presenting our event as “Islamophobic,” “hateful,” and “bigoted.”

Youcef Nadarkhani, languishing in a prison cell in Tehran, would think otherwise. And so would all the other apostates from Islam who live in fear throughout the world. The media’s double standard for Muslims and Islam must end. Too many lives depend on it.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage assembled from multiple images.)