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Posted in: Global Culture, Islam

Published on Jan 25, 2012 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Israel National News

Is The NYT's Agenda to Normalize Islam in the West?


On a single day, the New York Times has been known to publish anywhere from two to six anti-Israel articles, editorials, op-ed pieces, and letters. Today, I see a new danger arising in their pages.

After spending a year proclaiming the triumph of democracy and the miracle of the Arab Spring and, as PM Netanyahu has just noted, refusing to document the existential danger in which Israel finds herself, the Newspaper of Record has now begun the process of normalizing Islam in North America and Europe. Its pro-Muslim "multicultural" agenda is, paradoxically, another form of racism, but I quibble.

Yesterday, there were at least three articles (3,200 words, four photos, one illustration), devoted to Islam in America and Europe. A 934-word op-ed article titled "How to Integrate Europe's Muslims" by a Boston College professor is a veritable manifesto of appeasement and racism disguised as a rational call for integration and fairness. Jonathan Laurence suggests that Muslims will be "integrated" into Europe if they are allowed to study Islam at state-sponsored schools, continue their Muslim religious practices, veil women, speak Arabic, Persian, Dari, etc. In his view, this will fend off "fundamentalism" and magically lead to reciprocity in terms of tolerance towards infidels and apostates and to the abolition of Islamic gender and religious apartheid.

According to Canadian professor and author, Dr. Salim Mansur, multiculturalism and the appeasement of tribalism defeats the possibility of citizenship and amounts to a form of "soft bigotry." As Pascal Bruckner has phrased it: "Multiculturalism is the racism of the anti-racists; it chains people to their roots." Immigrants are kept confined to their "group" and not encouraged or expected to become "individuals" and "citizens" of a modern democracy.

As we may all recall, the 2011 Goldstone recantation did not make the front page of the NYT; it was buried on page 8. But today, a 1,200 word article, entitled "In Police Training, a Dark Film on U.S. Muslims" is on page one. It continues on page 23 with two photos and it takes up 3/4th of the second page. The article condemns the use of the film, The Third Jihad, as a "training" device for 1,489 police officers. What is so offensive about this film, which is narrated by a (truly) moderate Muslim, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a physician and former American military officer? First the film has been funded by Orthodox Jews and Zionists (horrors!). Second, it dares suggest that Muslims have launched a war against the West, a "third jihad." And, there is "ominous" music. Then "Muslim terrorists shoot Christians in the head, car bombs explode, children lie covered by sheets…"

Is this reporter unfamiliar with the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries and with the Islamic terrorist attacks against Muslim and infidel civilians and against Western military and civilian targets?

In the last four months of 2011, there's this: In the fall, a 12 year-old Christian girl living in Pakistan was gang-raped, converted, and then forced to marry her Muslim rapist. The incident was by no means a unique occurrence but part of a series of rapes, forced conversions, and forced marriages carried-out by Islamic extremists against female members of Pakistan's Christian communities. In October of 2011, twenty-two Egyptian Coptic Christians were murdered in clashes with the military government forces during protests. Thugs were directed to target and attack Copts. On November 5th of 2011, the New York Times itself reported that at least 67 people had been killed in a terrorist attack in Nigeria carried out by the Islamist Boko Haram. The area of Lagos is well-known as a predominantly Christian territory.

But apparently these incidents—and there are many more--do not count as much as the film's "doctored photograph (which shows) an Islamic flag flying over the White House." Here, I will venture no cheap comment.

This reporter, Michael Powell, and his newspaper seems to forget 9/11; Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed thirteen and wounded 29 soldiers at Ft Hood, Texas (2009); Abdul Hakim Mohamed (formerly Carlos Bledsoe), who opened fire with an assault rifle targeting soldiers in front of a military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas (2009); on Christmas Day, Umar AbdulMutallab tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight #253 in Amsterdam destined for Detroit (2009); Faisl Shahzad, tried to blow up Times Square (2010). All four Muslim/Islamist terrorists were influenced by the infamous Anwar al-Awlaki who died in Yemen in 2011 in a targeted military assassination.

But this is all so recent. The NYT reporter seems to have forgotten all about the first Islamist-Muslim World Trade Center bombing in 1993; the truck bombing which killed 19 American servicemen in Saudi Arabia in 1996; the Al Qaeda detonation of two car bombs which destroyed the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salam simultaneously, killing 224 and wounding thousands; and the 2000 Al Qaeda bombing attacks on the U.S.S. Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, killing 17 sailors. Even I was about to move on without mentioning the 1979 Iranian Islamist kidnapping of American diplomats in the Embassy in Teheran and their being held hostage for 444 days.

I really could go on but I think I have made my point. There is an Islamic/Islamist war that has been declared against the West as well as against both Muslim and infidel civilians, but it is one that the Paper of Record refuses to acknowledge, or to fight or win.

Finally, in the same issue, (1/24/12) there was also a 1,200-word book review of a new anthology: Love, Inshallah: The Secret Lives of American Muslim Women, which Neil MacFarquhar handles as if it is a news story or an interview. This piece is titled "Lifting Veil on Love and Islam." This is a new anthology which hopes to dispel stereotypes and to depict American Muslim women as normal, average, and American in terms of love, sex, and marriage.

Many of the contributors are writing under pseudonyms. Most were found through Facebook and Twitter. MacFarquhar describes these women as grappling with "universal issues." Perhaps the contributors to this anthology really do so. I hope they do. But the reporter's examples include how to tell your date that you can't drink Champagne because you are a religious Muslim; "a Jewish convert to Islam (who) detailed the pain of alienating her father, while another spoke with rapture about joining a polygamous family." The only contributor who is quoted here and who writes under her own name is an Iranian comedienne, (Zahra Noorbakhsh), who voices the pathos of the self-censorship that Muslim women engage in. "You leave yourself vulnerable to people using your voice to attack your community, so we kind of censor our own voices."

Of course, the danger is also from one's own tribal/ethnic community who will treat you as a traitor and act accordingly.

In this very issue, (1/24/12) there are seven additional articles which are set in Jerusalem, (concerning "Palestinian" demonstrators), Islamabad, Cairo, Baghdad, Homs (Syria), Iran, and Saudi Arabia.Clearly, the Times understands that the Islamic world is important to the survival of Western democracies and to their own civilians as well. What is relatively new—and I predict we will see a lot more of this—is their focus on Islam in the West, particularly in America.

In general, journalism has changed in the last decade. Publications like the New York Times emphasize "opinion pieces" more than objective journalism. And, the opinion columns are universally written by single-minded leftist and Islamist apologists. There is no nuance, no balance, no justice. The journalists who dedicate numerous words and hours to such dismal reportage seem psychologically driven to apologize for North American and European (Israeli too, of course), ideals of social equality, magnanimity, scientific inquiry, tolerance, self-criticism, and economic prosperity.

Why have papers likes the Times become so obsessed with protecting the religious rights of one single minority group at the expense of every other religious group, including members of moderate and anti-Islamist Islam, and at the expense of women, who represent approximately 53% of the world's population? Are they, too, possibly being funded by leftists and by Arab oil magnates? Or, do they simply hope to be?

Just wondering.


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