It’s a “Major Study,” declares leftist site AlterNet:
416 Labs report states that there is a “significant bias” against Islam and Muslims in the New York Times that is likely to lead the average reader to “assign collective responsibility to Islam/Muslims for the violent actions of a few.”
Horrors! Could it possibly be true that the New York Times, of all news outlets, has joined the ranks of the “Islamophobes?” The study notes:
While the liberal media has been more nuanced in its portrayal, it has ultimately adhered to the same convention that portrays Muslims as the “other.”
Islam was portrayed negatively in 57 percent of headlines during the period of analysis, with cancer and cocaine being evaluated at 34 and 47 percent respectively. Islam was portrayed positively in less than half the headlines as cancer.
Christianity and Judaism, meanwhile, were portrayed negatively in 37 and 34 percent of headlines, 20 or more percent less than Islam.
The co-author of the “study,” Usaid Siddiqui, expressed surprise at the results:
When we went into it we didn’t think it would be surprising if Islam was one of the most negatively portrayed topics in the NYT. What did really surprise us was that compared with something as inherently negative as cancer, Islam still tends to be more negative.
The other co-author, Owais Arshad, was less surprised:
Over time it just became too rampant to ignore. Among the Muslim friends I have, there’s been a distinct recognition that the media is a source of information, but a source of biased information.
Siddiqui, Arshad, and their fellow researchers came to this conclusion by analyzing over 2.6 million New York Times headlines dating from 1990 to 2014, classifying each as “positive,” “negative,” or “neutral.”
Here are a few they classified as “negative”:
— Sexual Misery and Islam
— Iran’s Zarif Tells European Lawmakers Islamist Militancy Also Their Problem
— Bangladesh Arrests Publisher for Books Said to Hurt Muslims
— Trial Starts in Attack at Exhibit of Anti-Islam Cartoons
Yes, the New York Times is “Islamophobic” and is “normalizing inflammatory rhetoric regarding Islam and Muslims” because it reported on:
— The trial of a jihadi who plotted to attack our Garland free speech event
— Censorship of books to which Muslims objected in Bangladesh
— The foreign minister of Iran, who is a Muslim, talking about “Islamist militancy”
— The oppression of women under Islamic law
“Islamist militancy” is obviously a problem by whatever name it may be called. It has an undeniably Islamic character, based on the statements and behavior of jihadis themselves. Thus if Muslims would stop committing jihad attacks, censoring dissent, and oppressing women, New York Times coverage of Islam would substantially improve.
The New York Times is actually quite solicitous of Islam, and routinely downplays and whitewashes the Islamic character of jihad violence and Sharia oppression. But as far as these Leftist “scholars” are concerned, the only thing that would clear the Grey Lady of charges of “Islamophobia” would be for it to ignore jihad news altogether — or to scrupulously make sure its jihad coverage was balanced by a sufficient number of puff pieces showing Muslims doing beautiful things.
Does any other group get such treatment?
We hear so much about supposed “right-wing extremist” violence nowadays. Would 416 Labs or AlterNet demand that the New York Times balance its coverage of that alleged threat with puff pieces about sweet, cuddly white supremacists?
The insidious agenda here is to silence even the slightest (and the New York Times is about as slight as you can get) critical word about anything related to Islam and Muslims. The Times, and other media outlets as well, would be forbidden, or — for fear of “Islamophobia”-shaming — voluntarily refrain from reporting on jihad terror attacks.
This would have the effect of silencing all opposition to the advancing jihad. It would be a recipe for defeat and surrender. And the likes of Usaid Siddiqui and Owais Arshad aren’t going to stop pushing for it.