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Media Is Still Portraying Islamic Terrorists as ‘Aggrieved’ Victims

The mainstream media’s approach to and apologias for Islamic terrorism have become as predictable as they are farcical.

In a recent piece titled “A Mysterious Act of Mercy by the Subway Bombing Suspect,” New York Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman portrays would-be suicide bomber Akayed Ullah -- whose foiled attempt under Times Square could have massacred countless Americans -- as just another Muslim youth angered at and responding to the mistreatment of Muslims. Ullah was just a Muslim with legitimate “grievances” against the United States:

Before Akayed Ullah returned home to New York from his native Bangladesh … he had one last thing to do -- an all-night bus ride by himself to help Rohingya refugees [Muslims]. After visiting relatives here in the capital city, Dhaka, he traveled across the country, slept in a mosque and under a tree, and passed out a few hundred dollars of medicine in the crowded refugee camps.

“When he left [America], he seemed happy,” said his mother-in-law, Mahfuza Akhter. “But when he returned, he was so upset. He said those people were living in hell, each and every minute.”

“That lonely trip across Bangladesh in September remains a mystery,” Gettleman opines, wondering whether Ullah was “following his own heart, reflecting some sort of inner struggle as he headed toward his first known act of violence and self-destruction.” Gettleman based this on “extensive interviews with more than a dozen friends, relatives and acquaintances,” all of whom say that the Muslim youth was “outraged by injustices inflicted on Muslims. He was also described by several people who know him well as loving and giving.”

According to Gettleman, such claims “still leave a hole as to why Mr. Ullah did this.”

And so it goes. To anyone paying attention, the NYT’s portrayal of Ullah is virtually boilerplate; the duplicate structure of the portrayals of all Islamic terrorists who strike at the United States.

Recall, for instance, when Abdul Razak Ali Artan -- an 18-year-old Muslim refugee from Somalia who was receiving aid from Catholic charities -- rammed his car into a building at Ohio State University, then got out and stabbed people with a butcher knife, hospitalizing 13 people. CNN, NBC, the Washington Post, and many others sought to rationalize Artan’s violence by citing one of his Facebook posts. Artan had written: “Seeing my fellow Muslims being tortured, raped and killed in Burma led to a boiling point. I can’t take it anymore.”

The problem with both Ullah’s and Artan’s supposed “grievances” is twofold. First, the obvious: how, exactly, does terrorizing and slaughtering Americans avenge the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma/Myanmar? If Ullah and Artan were primarily motivated by the suffering of the Rohingya, shouldn’t they have sought to terrorize and kill Burmese?