Maybe it’s due to budget cutbacks at major establishment news sources, but I doubt it. Maybe it’s because they believe nobody cares about news out of the Middle East. No, that can’t be it. Or maybe it’s because they think that people already know and understand the Muslim mindset. Well, after several decades of press attempts to keep it from us, that doesn’t make any sense either.
Whatever the reason(s), which I’ll get to, a certain piece of what one would think is pretty significant news out of the Middle East has gone unreported for the past five days going on six. What follows are three translations of related articles through Google’s translation tool (which eliminates the budget excuse of “We need interpreters to translate these things from scratch, and don’t have the money”):
(Click on the respective graphics to go to the related articles; the third item is a subscription site, and only the intro is available.)
Raymond Ibrahim at Jihad Watch explained on Wednesday why the call for destruction should not be ignored (HT to an emailer):
Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah is not just some random Muslim hating on churches. He is the Grand Mufti of the nation that brought Islam to the world. Moreover, he is the President of the Supreme Council of Ulema [Islamic scholars] and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas. Accordingly, when it comes to what Islam teaches, his words are immensely authoritative.
Considering the hysteria that besets the West whenever non-authoritative individuals offend Islam—for instance, a fringe, unknown pastor—imagine what would happen if a Christian counterpart to the Grand Mufti, say the Pope, were to declare that all mosques in Italy must be destroyed; imagine the nonstop Western media frenzy that would erupt, all the shrill screams of “intolerance” and “bigot,” demands for apologies if not resignation, nonstop handwringing by sensitive politicians, and worse.
Yet the Grand Mufti—the highest Islamic law authority of our “friend-and-ally” Saudi Arabia—gets a free pass when he incites Muslims to destroy churches, not that any extra incitement is needed (nary a month goes by without several churches being bombed and destroyed throughout the Islamic world). In fact, at the time of this writing, I have not seen this story, already some three days old, translated on any English news source, though “newsworthy” stories are often translated in mere hours.
Likewise, consider the significance of the Grand Mufti’s rationale for destroying churches: it is simply based on a hadith. But when non-Muslims evoke hadiths—this one or the countless others that incite violence and intolerance against the “infidel”—they are accused of being “Islamophobes,” of intentionally slandering and misrepresenting Islam, of being obstacles on the road to “dialogue,” and so forth.
A search on the word “churches” at the Associated Press’s main national site returns nothing relevant. A search on the term “Christian churches” (not in quotes) at the New York Times returns nothing relevant. A Google News search on “churches mufti” (not in quotes) returns 29 items, none of which, except an item at Fox News published earlier this evening, are from establishment press sources.
As noted earlier, the idea that the mufti’s pronouncement isn’t newsworthy is absurd on its face, as is the idea that this is “old news” because “everyone” already knows that Muslims want to destroy all churches. No, they don’t.
In my view, that leaves two possible motivations for establishment press organizations not treating this as the news it really is. The easier and obvious one is that they don’t want us to know. The second is that the Arab state paymaster arrangement first disclosed six years ago, where supposedly reputable news organizations are being paid to present news about the Middle East and Islam in as favorable a light as possible while dumping on Israel at every opportunity, is still in place and as strong as ever.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.