Muslims fear Muslims more than Jones
by Salim Mansur
Over the past few weeks the mainstream media in the U.S. provided a textbook lesson of how to inflate an obscure story, and by implication suggest an overwhelming majority of Americans are perilously close to being bigots in opposing the building of the Ground Zero mosque in New York City.
Terry Jones, a Christian minister of a small church in Gainesville, Fla., threatened to burn copies of the Qur'an on the ninth anniversary of 9/11. After much pleading by just about everyone of any importance in America, the minister relented. The fear of worldwide Muslim rage seemingly abated.
Jones, according to Andrew McCarthy — the former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Omar Abdel-Rahman, the notorious Egyptian-born blind sheikh, for his involvement with Islamist terrorists in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center — writing in National Review, is "obviously a nincompoop."
The mainstream media coverage Jones received, however, was scandalously disproportionate to his demented idea of making a statement against Islam by burning the Qur'an. It was also disingenuous of the media reporting the sight of Jones burning the Qur'an would enrage most Muslims just about everywhere.
Those Muslims in the Arab-Muslim world who would be enraged can be counted on to rage on any excuse as part of an orchestrated effort by government-controlled mosques and political parties.
But to countless Muslims everywhere who are not readily heard from, the conduct of a Terry Jones would merely reflect the thinking of one sick individual and nothing more. They are more sickened by, and more fearful of, the daily outrageous behaviour of fellow Muslims, and hence they are more intimidated by Muslim fanaticism on the one side and despotic governments on the other than by some nincompoop burning the Qur'an.
The Jones story illustrates an old conundrum: Is there news when no one hears or sees a tree fall in the forest? The media, by inflating the Jones story, deliberately obscured the bigger story about the Ground Zero mosque and the man behind it.
In supporting the mosque, the Democratic leadership in the U.S., with liberal-left allies in the media, had found the wedge issue for the November election to slam the opposition Republican party and others who opposed it by branding them as bigots.
What the supporters of the mosque, including U.S. President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ignored, or worse, whitewashed, is the full story around Feisal Rauf while selling him to the public as a moderate Muslim.
It turns out Rauf is not only accused of being a fake Imam, he's also alleged to be a sleazy slumlord surrounded by friends and associates with, at minimum, questionable political affiliations.
This is the story that needed to be pursued by the mainstream media and its army of investigative reporters.
Instead, what the public got is a hyped Terry Jones story as Islamophobia, and, by implication, those Americans, including New Yorkers, opposed to the Ground Zero mosque were seen as some variants of this bigoted Christian minister from Florida.
Related Topics: American Muslims, Muslim-Christian Relations receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free center for islamic pluralism mailing list
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