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Two Weeks Later, 234 Nigerian Schoolgirls Are Still Missing. Where Is The American Media?

Nigeria

Two weeks ago, I noted that a large number of Nigerian schoolgirls had been kidnapped from their school, apparently by the Islamist rebel group that has been battling the government in that country for some time now. Two weeks later, those 234 schoolgirls are still missing and the Western media doesn’t seem to be paying any attention at all:

Two weeks ago more than 230 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their school by a local terrorist group, and as the search wears on, the Guardian reports, families are starting to lose hope.

As Smart News wrote earlier, the perpetrators are assumed to be part of a group of militants that calls itself Boko Haram, a terrorist organization tied to Al Qaeda. The group’s name translates to “western education is sin.” Boko Haram has been on a campaign against schools around Nigeria, though the group’s targets also include markets, churches, mosques and other public places.

It’s been 14 days since the girls went missing and no progress has been made on tracking their whereabouts, either by the military or by groups of machete-weilding parents searching through the countryside. The search for the kidnapped girls also has been muddled by misinformation. In the immediate wake of the kidnapping, says BuzzFeed reporterJina Moore, the Nigerian military claimed to have found and freed the girls and captured one of the terrorists involved—a claim that was proven wrong and ultimately retracted. And, according to a report by Voice of America, the Boko Haram terrorists are threatening to kill the girls if the search operations aren’t called off.

Except for a few incidental mentions in between coverage of a missing plane that is obviously somewhere at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, a crazy old man in Nevada who doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the Federal Government and thinks it’s perfectly legitimate to let his cattle graze on land that he doesn’t own, and another crazy old man in Los Angeles who apparently hates African-Americans while at the same time being content to let them earn him millions of dollars a year, there has been almost no coverage of this story in the American media. I have seen it covered in more detail when I’ve watched BBC World News and Al-Jazeera America, but obviously, those networks have very few viewers in the United States.

Quite frankly, it’s obvious that this story would be getting a lot more attention in the American news media if we were talking about the abduction of a cute, blond cheerleader from Kansas. But even leaving aside the fact that we’re talking about something happening in a foreign country, it strikes me that this is yet just another example of how woefully bad the American news media is when it comes to covering international events that don’t directly impact the United States. Here we have a situation where hundreds of young girls have been kidnapped and are being held for purposes that nobody seems  to know for sure. In the best of all possible worlds, this could all just be part of a massive ransom demand by Boko Haram designed to secure the release of prisoners being held by the government. At least in that situation, we could be assured that the girls are at least being kept relatively safe, because when a hostage has value you don’t want them to die The worst case scenarios are, quite honestly, too horrible to contemplate. Rape, murder, or sent into sexual slavery. It’s a reality that is unfortunately all too true for far too many young women throughout Africa.

One would have thought that something as brazen as kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls from their school would garner a lot more attention from the media, but perhaps I’m being naive. Like I said, unless it involves a cute, blond cheerleader the American media just isn’t going to give a crap.

Photo via the BBC and Reuters 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    I completely agree, Doug. The only place I’ve gotten regular coverage on this is through the BBC World Service, at least when I’m in the U.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  2. Matt says:

    Well if they were blonde haired and blue eyed someone might care…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. bill says:

    drudge has links, i guess it’s not sexy enough for our msm? honestly, i don’t want to know what’s going to happen to them, i kinda know already and a certain religion will not stop any of it-even if they could. now if it were Israeli’s that kidnapped them….you know!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Not only are the kidnapping victims not blonde and white, but the kidnappers are Muslim extremists, and we’re not supposed to talk about atrocities carried out in the name of Allah. For example, how many people remember the fire at the girls’ school in Saudi Arabia? 15 girls died because they tried to flee the flames without first putting on Muslim-approved dress, so the Morality Police shoved them back into the fire and kept rescuers from getting to them.

    At least it’s not as bad as it is in the UK, where recently a British politician was arrested for quoting Winston Churchill’s thoughts on Islam…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 25

  5. Franklin says:

    cute, blond cheerleader from Kansas

    Or even just ONE cute little white girl over in Portugal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. Franklin says:

    BTW, in this Internet age, success of stories is largely driven by clicks. The fact is, this one wasn’t getting enough. This isn’t about the media, it’s about the consumers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Actually, the Saudi girls’ school story was everywhere. And we covered Muslim atrocities obsessively in Iraq. So, huge surprise, you’re wrong.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 2

  8. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: the saudi school girls got minimal coverage, and the msm covered everything in iraq until obama was prez – then it seemed like nothing ever happened over there. weird?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  9. michael reynolds says:

    1) No video. No video, no story.

    2) It’s Africa. The only place we cover less is South America. You want Africa, you do BBC or Aljazeera. The closest American network news bureaus are probably London and Tel Aviv. Why so few bureaus? Because good corporate financial practice favors reading Twitter feeds on-air. So much cheaper. The people who will cover it are state-owned, like BBC.

    3) Americans like a story that conforms to expected narrative norms. This doesn’t feel as if we’ll get an answer. If we ever find out it’s likely to be yet another tragedy. So, either an inconclusive ending or an ending that reads like ‘more awful sh!t in Africa.’ Nothing about this relates to the mom in Des Moines.

    4) Speaking of narrative norms, who’s the hero? Sad relatives who don’t speak English? Corrupt and incompetent Nigerian authorities? No hero, no attachment.

    5) What are the hotels and bars like? Seriously, Big Foot reporters ain’t sleeping in tents for the weeks and weeks this story is likely to drag on.

    6) Where’s the nearest airport to Chibok? Look at a map, it’s the ass end of nowhere. So now we need a chartered plane, camping gear, have to fly in food and water if you don’t want to catch something. . . It’s not exactly Washington or New York. It’s not even Indianapolis, and no one covers that, either.

    So, difficult narrative, no natural viewing constituency, corporate cost-cutting, impossible logistics. Ergo, no coverage.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    You mean we stopped covering Iraq after it was clear we were getting out? No duh.

    As for the Saudi girls, we all seem to know about it, right? See my note above. KSA is an authoritarian state with tight censorship where women can’t even talk to a reporter without a male relative okaying it.

    It’s not a conspiracy, it’s practical realities.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  11. Andre Kenji says:

    In fact, this is a just a small part of much larger conflict. That´s the problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. dennis says:

    “What’d the captain say?”

    “Dafuq you think the captain said?”

    @michael reynolds: Way to smoke ‘em.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. Andy says:

    I dunno, it seems a bit strange for a blog that’s done 5 or 6 posts on or related to a nobody racist rancher in Nevada and bad videogames in landfills to complain about media coverage, but maybe that’s just me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  14. @michael reynolds:

    Yes, you are right of course

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  15. EddieInCA says:

    @Andy:

    Yep. It’s just you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. mantis says:

    @Andy:

    I don’t think OTB has a bureau in Benin.

    Thanks for highlighting this, Doug.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  17. Andy says:

    @mantis: OTB doesn’t have a bureau in rural Nevada either.

    @EddieInCA: I’m not surprised.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  18. mantis says:

    @Andy:

    OTB doesn’t have a bureau in rural Nevada either.

    You miss the point. They have no bureaus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. Rob in CT says:

    It seems this story has started to make the rounds, so it’s more like “why did it take so long.” I think Reynolds basically nails the why. More awful sh*t in a 3rd world country, far from home. Nobody cares.

    It’s awful. Are we going to do anything about it? CAN we do anything constructive about it? Most likely not. Does it involve US interests? No. Ergo, it’s a sad tale (and a tale worth telling, no doubt) and not much more for the US news consumer.

    It does not surprise me that the BBC has covered it. The BBC is a good news organization and the Brits have more historical… let’s say ties, to Africa.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  20. Dave Schuler says:

    @michael reynolds has already done a masterful job of explaining the realities of news coverage. I’ll try to supply a little meta-analysis.

    The basic singular reason the story isn’t getting more coverage is cost-benefit. It would be expensive to cover (both actual and perceived expenses) and the news media don’t think there’s much benefit to it. The publishers aren’t interested, the editors aren’t interested, the reporters aren’t interested, and the readers aren’t interested.

    Additionally, if the wire services thought that there was a market for it, they’d be covering this story end-to-end. That’s something to keep in mind. The news is what the wire services say is news. When they think something is news, it’s covered thoroughly even obsessively, repeatedly, and, importantly, uniformly. Otherwise, not so much.

    Other issues are language and connectivity. As well as I can tell the incident took place in a pretty remote area that in all likelihood has poor Internet connectivity and where neither English nor Hausa is the primary language.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  21. Matt Bernius says:

    @Dave Schuler:
    The only other things to add to this is that the wire services are also understaffed in Africa. Ditto most of the networks.

    For example, NPR has a single dedicated correspondent for the entire continent. This is pretty standard for most news agencies. Contrast that with their five plus people NPR has covering Europe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  22. Dave Schuler says:

    For West African news, I usually turn to the French language media. Their coverage is generally much better.

    In the case of this story the French language media don’t seem to have added anything for a week or so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. TastyBits says:

    @michael reynolds:

    2) It’s Africa. …

    Ting. Ting. (Bladerunner) is getting lots of coverage, but that is a murder trial of a pretty white South African woman.

    3) Americans like a story that conforms to expected narrative norms. …

    Pretty white girl good. Dark young black man bad.

    4) Speaking of narrative norms, who’s the hero? …

    We are missing a white person saving the black folks. Where is Madonna when you need her. I guess she is still pissed because her “black card” got revoked. Where is the racist for all the non-racists to call a racist? That would make this story really take off.

    White people love to be anti-racist as long as they do not have to actually interact with black folks, but I have been assured that this is not because they are not racist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  24. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    the msm covered everything in iraq until obama was prez – then it seemed like nothing ever happened over there. weird?!

    Yes, the “MSM” has virtually ignored everything that has happened during the Obama Administration, including ACA, Bin Laden, Afghanistan, Benghazi, “Fast & Furious” the “IRS Scandal” the two government shutdowns, and much, much more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  25. Woody says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Post and especially this comment was spot-on. No, there’s no polished table with shadowy men handling American media like marionettes. Instead, it’s about eyeballs/financial decisions. If it isn’t made-for-tv, it’s largely ignored by the networks. It’s not a plot – it’s making this quarter’s numbers. This is a great drawback of private media (NOTE: Not meant as saying public media is a “solution”)

    Many events are better covered here than on television – and even some of the commentary I disagree with is more intellectually honest than what airs in the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  26. CSK says:

    There’s a very depressing piece in the Washington Post this morning reporting that all the girls have been sold–for $12 apiece–as “brides” to Islamic militants in Chad and elsewhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. grumpy realist says:

    One of my friends was a radio reporter for UPI for many years. Covered what was going on in Asia for many years. Ran around places like Guam, Vietnam, Japan, China, and Africa. Finally left the profession when he saw where all the cost-cutting was heading.

    News in the U.S. hasn’t been actual news for years. It’s infotainment, with just enough actual facts in it that we can pat ourselves on the back for being “informed.” Further, it’s much easier to have a bunch of talking heads and inside-the-Beltway types natter on for hours rather than send one or more reporters to remote places of the world to actually do reporting.

    Much cheaper, as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. grumpy realist says:

    @Woody: There’s also that. I can often scrounge up better coverage of an event from a blog that tracks what’s going on (and usually has commentary from specialists) rather than a standard news channel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. Just Me says:

    The media likes sexy stories.

    Africa isn’t sexy and in many ways can be hard to cover-given that a lot of times the different ethnic groups involved make the story harder to tell.

    Egypt isn’t even as widely covered as it should be and it’s one of the few African countries the media pays attention to.

    I also think the media tends to shy away from civil war stories in other countries but especially Africa and I think they shy away from a lot of stories that involve Islam.

    Christian persecution in Islamic led countries doesn’t get much play either. Probably because liberals generally want Christians to be the bad guys and not the persecuted.

    The MSM likes simple stories for the most part-which is why racist NBA owners and pretty missing white girls get coverage but Africa doesn’t.

    I’ve often believed the power of the media isn’t tied so much in what they cover but in what they choose not to cover.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  30. Matt Bernius says:

    @Just Me:

    Christian persecution in Islamic led countries doesn’t get much play either. Probably because liberals generally want Christians to be the bad guys and not the persecuted.

    I have to call foul on this repeated talking point. This isn’t about Islam or Christianity.

    The fact is *religious persecution* of all types, regardless of which religion is the target, is not typically covered by the news (unless Americans/Europeans are involved).

    This isn’t about a “war on Christianity.” And if the media liked Islam so much, you’d expect that there would be a lot more coverage of Buddhist and Hindu attacks on Muslims that are happening in places like India and Thailand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt Bernius: I have to call foul on this repeated talking point. This isn’t about Islam or Christianity.

    This is precisely about Islam. The kidnappers are acting pretty much like Mohammed did. His exploits are quite thoroughly documented, and he would be quite at home among the kidnappers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt Bernius: This isn’t about a “war on Christianity.” And if the media liked Islam so much, you’d expect that there would be a lot more coverage of Buddhist and Hindu attacks on Muslims that are happening in places like India and Thailand.

    If that was brought up, it just might lead to asking people just what was the whole story going on. To most Americans, Hindus and Buddhists are seen as very peaceful folks, and they’d be very interested in what led to Hindus and Buddhists attacking Muslims — and that would bring up Muslim aggressions against Hindus and Buddhists.

    When most people think of Hindus, they think of Gandhi and his pacifism. When they think of Buddhists, they think of the monks who set themselves on fire in Viet Nam.

    But when people think of Islam, the first words that come to mind are not “pacifist” or “passive resistance” or “peaceful…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  33. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    I am always impressed when someone who, across all of his posts, has demonstrated a stunning lack of knowledge about most religions (including Christianity), simultaneously considers himself an expert on Islam.

    Bigotwriteswhat?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt Bernius: Would you care to cite specific examples showing where I’m wrong, or should I just go into the Koran and cite references?

    Or are you referring to my comment about the general perceptions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  35. Matt Bernius says:

    Only if you’ll extend the same argument to the Jews, and by proxy Christians. Cause the OT is rather chock full of righteous genocide, rape, and other actions.

    And if you’re willing to discuss the actions of said Religions throughout their given histories.

    See here’s why you’re are a pretty obvious bigot on this issue — You pay attention to all the ugly details in one religion’s history and texts because you “dislike it”, while completely ignoring all of the ugly details in other religions that you “like.”

    But we’ve done this dance before. And it never gets us anywhere, other than you proving your rather obvious bigoted reaction to Islam, me pointing out all of the problems with your arguments, you trying to switch to equally stupid arguments, me pointing out all the problems with them, and you then crying victim and disappearing from the thread. Sorry, its no longer worth my time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  36. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt Bernius: And if you’re willing to discuss the actions of said Religions throughout their given histories.

    I’m willing to talk about the here and now, if you don’t mind. The other major religions have grown the eff up and matured; Islam, for the most part, hasn’t. The Boko Haram are pretty much following Mohammed’s example.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  37. Andre Kenji says:

    The first thing that I think when I think about Hinduism is about their HORRIBLE caste system, that as bad or even worse as Class issues in Muslim countries….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. Eric Florack says:

    They’re out chasing squirrels, that’s where.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Christians have “grown up?” Christians in Africa are busy rounding up and imprisoning gay people. Christians in Russia are the ones pushing for Putin to back Assad in Syria. Christians are backing the Egyptian government. Christians in the United States are demanding science be removed from classrooms.

    If Christians are no longer murdering people in large numbers it’s from sheer exhaustion, having managed to kill off vast swathes of Africa, South America, Australia and North America. They’ve killed everyone they could get at, including each other, because Muslims can’t hold a tiny flickering candle to the Christian killing of other Christians. If you’re a Protestant believe me, your beef is with Catholics, and vice versa, not with Muslims.

    But more to the point, what do people like you think you gain by incessantly attacking Islam? What’s the end game? What do you think we should be doing that we aren’t doing?

    Is it genocide you want? If not, why would you promulgate hatred by one group against another? Have you read a history book? Have you no clue as to where that kind of hate leads?

    Let me point out the obvious to you: the Muslim world is poor and weak. They are poorer and weaker relative to the Christian world than the American Indians that Christians exterminated. So here you are, some half-educated twat pushing for the world’s only superpower to show more contempt, more depersonalization, more hate, for yet another vulnerable group.

    So tell me again, how Christians have grown up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  40. dennis says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Wow. I’m cutting, pasting, and saving that, mr, for future posting whenever those b.s. excuses arise. With proper attribution, of course. That was well-stated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @dennis:

    Thanks man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Nice to see you haven’t lost touch with your inner raging sociopath, Mickey.

    Christians have “grown up?” Christians in Africa are busy rounding up and imprisoning gay people. Christians in Russia are the ones pushing for Putin to back Assad in Syria. Christians are backing the Egyptian government. Christians in the United States are demanding science be removed from classrooms.

    The Christians in Africa are a small group of nuts. The Christians in Egypt are backing the government that opposes the Muslim Brotherhood, which was persecuting the Christians, working they way up to genocide. And if “Christians” in the US were demanding anything en masse, it would get the hell done — according to the CIA World Factbook, 80.5% of Americans self-identify as “Christian” of some denomination. And that includes Americans like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, all of whom are — in my opinion — really crappy representatives of their faith.

    If Christians are no longer murdering people in large numbers it’s from sheer exhaustion, having managed to kill off vast swathes of Africa, South America, Australia and North America. They’ve killed everyone they could get at, including each other, because Muslims can’t hold a tiny flickering candle to the Christian killing of other Christians. If you’re a Protestant believe me, your beef is with Catholics, and vice versa, not with Muslims.

    How much of that you got that dates from, say, the last 114 years? (No particular reason, just going back to a nice, round number that also happens to be around the maximum human lifespan.)

    But more to the point, what do people like you think you gain by incessantly attacking Islam? What’s the end game? What do you think we should be doing that we aren’t doing?

    Is it genocide you want? If not, why would you promulgate hatred by one group against another? Have you read a history book? Have you no clue as to where that kind of hate leads?

    What I say at times like this is truth, and truth both needs no defense and is an absolute defense.

    Let me point out the obvious to you: the Muslim world is poor and weak. They are poorer and weaker relative to the Christian world than the American Indians that Christians exterminated. So here you are, some half-educated twat pushing for the world’s only superpower to show more contempt, more depersonalization, more hate, for yet another vulnerable group.

    The Muslim world contains some of the richest nations on Earth. Dubai. Saudi Arabia. The UAE. Allah has truly blessed certain of the Faithful.

    So tell me again, how Christians have grown up.

    You meant that as a rhetorical coup de grace, but I’m gonna take that and ram it right down your throat.

    I remember when the pedophile priest scandal broke. The Catholic Church announced that no one had the right to question its practices, and anyone who did would face death for insulting the Church.

    I remember when that museum exhibited Serrano’s “Piss Christ,” the Southern Baptists stormed and burned the museum and issued a death sentence for Serrano and the museum’s Curator.

    I remember when “The Book of Mormon” opened on Broadway, thousands of outraged Mormons — led by Mitt Romney and Harry Reid — burned down the theatre and lynched Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

    Oh, wait, none of that happened — because Christians have grown up enough to not pull that crap.

    On the other hand, when a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Mohammed, there were riots worldwide and people were killed. The cartoonists were issued death sentences, and one of them was attacked and wounded by a Muslim for his cartoon.

    When Newsweek published a false story about a Koran being flushed down a toilet at Guantanamo, there were more riots and more deaths.

    When this con artist put up a video on YouTube “insulting Islam,” there were more riots and more deaths around the world. Not in Benghazi, despite the spin the Obama administration put out to protect Obama’s re-election campaign, but in a lot of other places.

    When Theo Van Gogh put out a film that “insulted” Islam, he was sentenced to death — and was actually murdered by a good, faithful Muslim who felt the need to defend his faith by killing the infidel who dared insult the Faith.

    When a pain-in-the-ass minister in Florida threatened to publicly burn a Koran (his own copy, bought and paid for), the Obama administration dispatched top officials to beg him not to exercise his First Amendment rights and preemptively apologized to the Muslim world because our pesky Constitution wouldn’t let them do more than ask him to not do it.

    And you’re an author — a very successful one. Do I need to do more than simply say the name “Salman Rushdie?”

    It is a fact that anyone who “insults” Islam in a suitably public fashion is putting their life at risk, as well as the lives of countless other innocents who run the risk of simply being too close to outraged Muslims or having something in common with the person or persons who insulted Islam. (Danes were targeted for the actions of that one newspaper, just to cite one example.)

    So, yeah, I said that Islam need to grow the eff up. Why are you so upset about that? Are you afraid that I just might trigger more Muslim riots?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @dennis: Wow. I’m cutting, pasting, and saving that, mr, for future posting whenever those b.s. excuses arise.

    I cut and pasted and saved it, too. It’s the easiest way to properly Fisk such things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    About what I expected. THEY are all unitary, WE are all individual. So if one Muslim in one place says one thing, that’s all Muslims in all places saying the same thing.

    It’s common state of mind among bigots.

    So, in your mind, Indonesia is responsible for the actions of a group of fanatics in Nigeria. 12,000 miles distance, radically different cultures, are all meaningless because they are THEY, and you don’t care about the details. Because why? Because THEY, and they are always one big, undifferentiated mass. But one Christian isn’t responsible for what another Christian does, right?

    Group guilt. Juden raus.

    The rest of your babble is that same intellectual failure repeated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  45. Andre Kenji says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The Christians in Africa are a small group of nuts.

    Christians are 45% of the population of Africa.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: It seems like the US and maybe other countries could send in a team of experts, like F.B.I. agents to track and find these missing people. I haven’t heard any thing from the president about this. Even though there was a lot of involvement in trying to help find that missing airplane .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: How did I know that Indonesia would be your go-to counterexample? If the rest of the world’s Muslims comported themselves like their Indonesian brethren, the world would be a better place. But those all-too-predictable lethal riots I noted? They happened from Europe to Turkey to Libya to India/Pakistan.

    And since you went Godwin, let me bring up my own example. John Kerry’s recent reference to Israel and “apartheid?” Israel’s alleged “partners in peace” have managed to make “Juden raus” the official policy of Gaza and the West Bank, and explicitly plan for a “Judenfrei” Palestinian state.

    @Andre Kenji: Christians are 45% of the population of Africa.

    My apologies, and thank you: I should have specified “those Christians,” not “the Christians.” I was referring to a subset. And, in the case of gays, I think it’s also largely a cultural thing, because the Muslims are even more unenlightened about gays — it’s a capital offense under Islam.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  48. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And, in the case of gays, I think it’s also largely a cultural thing, because the Muslims are even more unenlightened about gays — it’s a capital offense under Islam.

    And under *biblical jewish* law as well (which isn’t that far from Sharia).

    In actual practice of Orthodox Jewish Law and Sharia law (in many locations — since it’s important to note that there isn’t a single interpretation of Sharia, just as there is no single interpretation of Orthodox Jewish Law) it’s an offense, but not a capital one.

    And under the emerging Christian law of Russia, things don’t look so good for Jews either.

    Yet, somehow, amazingly different countries have laws that don’t make it a capital crime. For example there is no law forbidding Homosexuality in the predominantly Muslim nation of Indonesia. In the areas where Sharia law has been allowed to take precedence, its *not* a capital crime.

    And there are gay Muslims throughout the world, including in the US.

    Again, here’s why we call you a bigot on this issue — you always seem to find exceptions for *only* Christians and Jews. Muslims on the other hand, can never do right.

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  49. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: minimalist reporting and no finger pointing towards the white house. the only thing that lasted a while was the obamacare launch computer fiasco, and they fell all over themselves assuring us it was the web designers fault. good thing they got sebelius to fall on the sword.

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  50. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt Bernius: Matt, can you come up with some arguments that don’t involve 1) going back at least a couple of hundred years or 2) citing Indonesia, you aren’t making much of a point when the topic is 1) the here and now and 2) Muslims outside of Indonesia.

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  51. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Indonesia is the example because it’s the largest Muslim nation. But if you’d prefer, how about Turkey, whose evil Muslims have been our NATO allies for decades and have fought and died alongside American troops.

    Collective guilt for THEM, individual exoneration for US.

    If the hobnail boot fits, wear it.

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  52. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That was an enjoyable read – I wonder if that implies that British and Canadian journalists have lower convenience standards. The story has gotten a lot of press in Canada, and also the BBC.

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  53. Matt Bernius says:

    Bingo @michael reynolds, the classic Jenos/Bigot dance:

    Jenos: Let me point out how *bad* Islam is using the Koran.
    Us: Ok, fair. How do you reconcile that with the *bad* passages in the Bible or Torah.
    Jenos: Silence.

    Jenos: Ok, well lets look at the *bad* history of Islam.
    Us: Ok, fair. How about lets look at the *bad* histories of other religions.
    Jenos: Silence.

    Jenos: Ok, who said history. Let’s talk about the present, Islam is bad everywhere!
    Us: Really, because lets look at Muslims in X, Y, Z, locations, they aren’t behaving the way you describe.
    Jenos: Well those aren’t “real” Muslims. What about what Muslims are doing *here.*
    Us: Ok, what about present Jews/Christians/Hindus/Buddhists taking similar bad actions *here.*
    Jenos: Those are “some” Jews/Christians/Hindus/Buddhists, they don’t count.
    Us: Wait, why are only the “bad” Jews/Christians/Hindus/Buddhists not real Jews/Christians/Hindus/Buddhists, yet the “Good” Muslims are not the “real” Muslims.
    Jenos: Silence.

    Jenos: Let’s go back to all the bad things in the Koran…

    or the alternate path:

    Jenos: Well its clear that you are Anti-Christian.
    Me: Funny, as I’m Lutheran and attend services. BTW, what type of Christian are you?
    Jenos: I don’t go to church or necessarily believe in Christianity, I just hate to seem the put down so much while Islam is praised.
    Me: Funny, where exactly do you see this happening?
    Jenos: EVERYWHERE! YOU CAN’T SEE IT?
    Me: No, can you present some proof?
    Jenos: Silence.

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  54. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    You eviscerated him nicely, but he will of course be unaware of just how thoroughly he’s been gutted. Like most bigots, the facts are irrelevant except as carefully selected tools used for the sole purpose of extending his irrational hatred.

    Shorter: Haters gonna hate.

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  55. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    With apologies to Brian Wilson and Mike Love, and yes, it doesn’t scan quite right:

    Well, the Middle East Muslims strap bombs to their sons and daughters,
    And North African Muslims love them some sensesless slaughters…
    The South Asian Muslims are known for chopping off of heads,
    And the sub-Saharan Muslims leave little girls’ groins in shreds.

    I wish they all could be Indonesian
    I wish they all could be Indonesian
    I wish they all could be Indonesian Muslims…

    Seriously you guys, is there some kind of script you all talk from? Pretty much any time there’s yet another Muslim atrocity, it’s always the same two points:

    1) “You have to look at the historical context, going back centuries…”

    No, we don’t. We’re talking about the here and now.

    2) “The biggest Muslim country is Indonesia, and nothing like that happens there.”

    We’re not talking about Indonesia, but pretty much any other Muslim nation, or any other nation with a sizable Muslim populace. (For example, in England two Muslims attacked and beheaded a British soldier in the name of Allah, and Theo Van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn were assassinated by Muslims in the Netherlands in the name of Allah.

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  56. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You are a liar. In addition to being a hater. And a sneak.

    Having been spanked about six different ways, you wait 24 hours until the thread is dead and come crawling in with a false, “Hey, I wasn’t saying all Muslims. . .”

    You’re a hate-monger. You preach the doctrine of collective guilt against all Muslims. Then when caught, you start to lie.

    Pitiful performance.

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  57. Matt Bernius says:

    @michael reynolds
    Yeah, I forgot to build in “ignore everything anyone responds with and continues with bigotry unabated” in my list of scenarios.

    BTW, do we really want to get into what fringe Christian groups have done in places like the US? Or do things like a radical christian’s “justified homicide” of abortion provider Dr Tiller while said Dr was ushering in a church service not count? It’s as spectacular as the two other incidents that were brought up. And that’s before we get to all the lesser reported acts of religious violence by people of all sects and creeds that still take place.

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  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: You are a liar. In addition to being a hater. And a sneak.

    Having been spanked about six different ways, you wait 24 hours until the thread is dead and come crawling in with a false, “Hey, I wasn’t saying all Muslims. . .”

    Mickey, I got a life. And like I said, I’ve found other communities where I participate. I started working on my Beach Boys riff, then went to sleep to finish it in the morning.

    And yeah, my riff was inaccurate — the specialties I assigned to geographic groups was a bit arbitrary. I was a slave to the oeuvre I had chosen. The only one that was accurate was the practice of female infibulation is predominantly limited to sub-Saharan Africa. The senseless riots and slaughter, suicide bombings, and beheadings are a bit more universal.

    Except in Indonesia, of course. As long as we’re not talking about the Indonesian Muslim terrorists like Darul Islam, Jemaah Islamiyah, or Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid.

    Hey, wasn’t there some big-ass bombings in Bali a few years ago? And weren’t those bombs built and set off by Muslims? Indonesian Muslims?

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  59. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    There was also a big ass bombing in Oklahoma City, the work of a Christian. Or as close to being a Christian as the people you attack are to being Muslims.

    You can squirm all you like, but you’ve relentlessly pushed the concept of group responsibility, collective guilt, guilt by religious affiliation, which is intellectually identical to the collective guilt assigned to the Jews down through history. You made yourself part of a virulent disease that has long afflicted the human race. You’ve put yourself in the stable alongside the worst people in human history.

    So why don’t you take some of the energy you put into lying to cover your ass and put it into asking yourself how the hell you came to this sorry pass. Because once you subscribe to the notion of collective guilt, you unsubscribe from civilization. Ask yourself why you do that.

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  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: There was also a big ass bombing in Oklahoma City, the work of a Christian. Or as close to being a Christian as the people you attack are to being Muslims.

    You call me a liar over and over again, but McVeigh was a pronounced atheist. Like you, I beileve. So perhaps you should apply your own standards to yourself.

    And as far as collective guilt, kindly explain how you are not indulging that when you talk about conservatives, the GOP, and the Tea Party.

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  61. Matt Bernius says:

    @michael reynolds & @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You call me a liar over and over again, but McVeigh was a pronounced atheist.

    Actually, neither of you are correct on this one.

    McVeigh’s faith, such that it was, was by all accounts (including his) fluid. Wikipedia has a good summary:

    McVeigh was raised Roman Catholic.[84] During his childhood, he and his father attended Mass regularly.[85] McVeigh was confirmed at the Good Shepherd Church in Pendleton, New York, in 1985.[86] In a 1996 interview, McVeigh professed belief in “a God”, although he said he had “sort of lost touch with” Catholicism and “I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.”[84] In the 2001 book American Terrorist, McVeigh stated that he did not believe in Hell and that science is his religion.[87][88] In June 2001, a day before the execution, McVeigh wrote a letter to the Buffalo News identifying himself as agnostic.[89] Before his execution, McVeigh took the Catholic sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.[90]
    [source]

    At one point he was Roman Catholic, then genera-Christian, later, a pronounced atheist (though that turn apparently came after the bombing — which if we are counting means that Terry Nichols prison conversion to Christianity should be counted as well).

    In the end, he seems to have finished a Agnostic who opted, in the end, for Pascal’s wager.

    The reason I wouldn’t refer to Oklahoma City in this thread is that was an attack about government control *not* religion.

    However, if one looks at the circles that McVeigh was running in, there are a number of crossovers with radical, militant Christianity. Which points to the fact that radicals often tend to cluster together.

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  62. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    My point was that McVeigh was as Christian as many of these Muslims are Muslim, which is to say, of a very dubious religious fidelity. We have this very detailed, individualized, nuanced view on McVeigh, but every middle eastern aszhole with a bomb is automatically assumed to be a practicing as well as professing Muslim.

    Apparently the religion of the victims – most often Muslims as well – is to be ignored.

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