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July 28, 2016 5:10 am

The New York Times Downplays Islam, Omits Israel From Story on Terror Attacks

avatar by Ira Stoll

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The scene of the Nice attack. Photo: Twitter/UN Human Rights.

The scene of the Nice attack. Photo: Twitter/UN Human Rights.

A New York Times article about the recent spate of multiple murders in Europe and the United States is headlined: “Mass Killings May Have Created Contagion, Feeding on Itself.”

The story goes on for 13 paragraphs before the word “Islam” or “Muslim” is mentioned.

The killers, instead, are identified as an “Iranian-German,” a “Tunisian” and “the Orlando gunman.”

Only in the final paragraph of the article is there any mention of the Islamic State. Instead, the recent terrorist attacks are lumped together with the Sandy Hook and Columbine school shootings.

It’s almost as if the Times is contorting itself to avoid mentioning radical Islam as a motivation for murder. Doing so might risk contradicting the Times’ recent “virtual reality” portrayal of Mecca as “truly peaceful” and the “city of the future.”

I can understand the reluctance to introduce religion into a story where it is not relevant or to avoid tarring all Islam as violent. I’m sympathetic to both those hesitations. Maybe in the Munich attack, the killer was indeed a deranged copycat, rather than a fervent Islamic radical.

But it’s worth noticing, too, that there is one other pointed omission in this Times story, too. The Times mentions attacks in Nice, in Munich, in Orlando, in San Bernardino; “in Paris, at airports in Brussels and Istanbul, and in public spaces in Mumbai.” It mentions the school shootings in Columbine and Sandy Hook and at a community college in Oregon.

But it doesn’t mention a single mass terrorist attack in Israel. The Jaffa stabbing spree goes unmentioned, as does the attack on a Jerusalem bus. Including the Israeli attacks might undercut the Times’ thesis. It might suggest that the violence is caused by radical Islam, rather than by “contagion feeding on itself.” Or it might even suggest that since the radical Muslims are attacking Nice and Paris and Istanbul and Brussels along with Jaffa and Jerusalem, their real grievance or target isn’t merely Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank, but rather something else.

Anyway, now add the New York Times to the list of media outlets that have managed to write about the recent terrorist onslaught while mysteriously omitting Israel from the list of victimized countries.

The same pattern is on display in the big Times project on “the human toll of terror.” The newspaper managed to find an Israeli victim, but of a terror attack in Turkey. The project focused on two weeks in which there apparently was no fatal terrorist attack in Israel. The Times refers to “what feels like an endless stream of terror attacks. Orlando and Beirut. Paris and Nice and St. Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. Germany and Japan and Egypt.” Not Jaffa or Jerusalem. Strange.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here. 

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Suzanne

    Ben, that was beautiful. The big question is , to protect that belief system, and the genuinely
    Good people who believe your words, Why are you all not loudly publicly proclaiming your horror at the evil people who disacrate your peaceful faith.That Big and multiple statements would help calm the rightful fears of your fellow Americans.We , I need to hear you are on America’s side, the Western world needs to hear it. ARE you afraid of retaliation, from the evil ones among you,I understand. There are ways to assist our protectors, yours also, and remain anonymous.Be brave , protect your beliefs,your children and theirs , you choose to live in this country.Why did you move to the freedom of the west, protect it, you must speak out loudly ,not just try and tell “others” about a peaceful terrorist suspect faith.

  • El Cid

    The confusion about the threat we face as Western Civilization had better be resolved soon.

    No doubt, young people who joined the SS during WWII had varying motives too.

    Yesterday I had two Israelis over for dinner, one an Arab Muslim and the other a daughter of Persian Jews.

    They do not suffer from this confusion.


    This is why I loathe the New York Times. I’m waiting to see if they mention the joint US Marines-IDF joint sea and land drill. I expect a long wait.

  • Ben

    Dear People of the word…..
    Do you know the truth about….. Islam?
    Or do you think it’s about
    Bombing planes and killing innocent people…..?
    Forget about the lies…..
    I’ am here to tell you how it really is…..
    You deserve to know the truth
    About this beautiful way of life…..
    People of the world
    Islam is all about peace
    Terrorism it doesn’t teach
    Its all about love and family and charity
    And praying to one God
    This is Islam
    It’s something you should know…..
    I know it’s really helped me grow
    It does away with greed, filth, arrogance
    And teaches us morality
    A perfect way to live…..
    So don’t believe all you see and hear
    Too many people wear a title of a Muslim…..
    But they don’t practice Islam…..
    People of the world
    Islam is all about peace
    Terrorism it doesn’t teach
    Its all about love and family and charity
    And praying to one God
    This is Islam
    And it teaches us the creator’s made this life for us a test…..
    And if we follow truth and do good deeds, He’ll reward us in the Next…..
    If we remember God & teach each other the truth and patience in His way
    Together we can live… peace…..
    This is Islam
    Lyrics by Yusuf Islam
    Please Google Islamic research foundation and visit the FAQ section for answers to the questions you may have about Islam.
    I am sure that you will find that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, justice, kindness, charity, love and worshiping one God.