In separate attacks a month apart, Islamist terrorists made it clear that they believed they acted in the name of their religion, exacting vengeance for their fellow Muslims. Yet several media pockets have gone into overdrive to deflect attention from that Islamist motivation.
Still carrying the weapons that killed British soldier Lee James Rigby in his bloody hands, Michael Adebolajo explained why he attacked an unarmed man on a London street Wednesday: “We swear by Almighty Allah, we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. The only reasons we killed this man is because Muslims are dying daily. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. We apologize that woman had to see this today, but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you.”
Media Matters for America went further, accusing Fox News of “Islamophobia,” for comments about the attackers’ motivations. The liberal organization made no reference to the attackers’ own words, but emphasized condemnations of the attack from British Muslim leaders. Commentator Michelle Malkin was singled out in the Media Matters post for saying the videotaped attacker was “quoting chapter and verse, sura and verse, from the Quran the justification for beheading an innocent solider there, and of course they’ve targeted civilians as well.”
In fact, that’s exactly what Adebolajo did at 1:15 of the graphic video below.
“But we are forced by the Qur’an, in Sura At-Tawba, through many ayah in the Qu’ran, we must fight them as they fight us,” he says.
Yet Media Matters cites Malkin’s comments as an example of Fox’s “Islamophobia.”
Following the Boston bombing last month, not even the discovery jihadist propaganda on Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s YouTube channel and other social media platforms was enough to convince some media liberals that the he and his brother Dzhokhar were motivated by religion. Instead they chose to look for other more secular explanations such as Chechen nationalism or disillusionment with U.S. foreign policy.
Hours after Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s names became public, The Atlantic‘s Megan Garber penned a column titled “The Boston Bombers Were Muslim: So?” in which she suggested pinning the Muslim label on them reduced them to being “caricatures” and “whitewashed” their humanity.
Had the bombers been white right-wing extremists like Timothy McVeigh chances are that Garber would not have called for tolerance and suggested using a label made them into “caricatures” or demeaned them.
Not to be outdone, Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert charged that Fox News was engaged in a “war on Islam,” a conspiratorial, delusionary and incendiary narrative that Canadian intelligence says is the leading cause of radicalization among young Muslims.