The tragedies in Mumbai set in stark relief the variation in media labels for those that kill Jews in Israel and those that kill innocents of other creeds in other places.

You will note that "militants" hardly exist in this horror, but "terrorists" abound. [1]
Will someone please stand up and explain the difference between a "militant" suicide bomber who blows up buses, schools and street-side restaurants in Israel while 'terrorists' are those who attack hotels in India? (Terrorists Paralyze India's Business Capital)

If terrorists are those who intentionally seek out the murder of civilians, will the media please clarify for me why Israeli victims are different from the victims in India?

Even when some of the victims are Jews, whether in Israel or Mumbai, the distinction emerges. Why are terrorists called terrorists in India, Beslan, Madrid, London and Bali - and not in Israel?

Interestingly, now that the rampage in Mumbai is receding from the media's spotlight, attributions of blame are emerging. The "terrorists" are no longer anonymous murderers; shocking no-one, they are now being identified as Pakistani and/or Muslim militants. Strikingly, all of these perpetrators are extremist Muslim Jihadists.

What constitutes a "militant" and what constitutes a "terrorist?” Is it possible that this double standard thrives on sympathies, not facts or truth; that it is the product of agenda driven politics and less than honest journalism?

"Americans, Britons and Israelis are being targeted by the terrorists" according to a proliferation of news reports (see also The Hunted).

You may (sadly) note that Jews are not anywhere noted as specifically "being targeted" in the news headlines. Yet it was the Jewish Chabad House - a religious center and community group set-up for all varieties of Jewish visitors - that was targeted. There are in fact more than 3300 such Chabad-Lubavitch institutions around the world. The center is apolitical with no formal association with Israel.

Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Bahai and Buddhist centers were not targeted.

The victims executed at the Chabad House were Jews, including Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka. What did their Jewish-ness have to do with Kashmir, with India-Pakistan relations, or with Muslim separatist ambitions, with the "liberation of Palestine" or even Israel? Jews were the target, not the Israeli Consulate. [2]

The answer remains chilling: nothing. The fact is that the Jews are the only ethnic or religious group that is consistently targeted by terrorists worldwide, irrespective of where they live, how religious or irreligious they are, or how patriotic or apolitical they may be. Whether they are children or elderly, Jews remain the world's most sought-after terrorist trophies because they happen to share the same invisible genetic source and historical inheritance.

Yet the media chooses to ignore what these terrorists are making clear and evident in their every action - that it is the Jews who are the preferred target. [3] The Mumbai terrorists' separation of Jews (or Americans or Britons, for that matter) from the rest of the hostages for execution is a grim reminder of the Holocaust, of the Entebbe hijacking, and the Munich Olympic massacre. Such reminders are not to be ignored.

The media's coverage of these horrors need not be suffused with appeasement. Victims should not be confused with perpetrators: all the murders are all needless tragedies. All those who did the killing are equally indefensible. Only when the media (and Western societies in general) see that difference, will we be able to successfully protect our freedom and our liberty. [4]

Obfuscating the truth may be politically correct or simply incompetent reporting, but it does little to explain the mindset of these killers or the intentions of their handlers.

As Sadanand Dhume writes in Forbes, "The common enemy is not Islam, much less ordinary Muslims, but a toxic, totalitarian interpretation of that faith that goes by many names - among them Islamism, militant Islam, fundamentalist Islam and radical Islam.  This ideology exported in its Sunni form most fervently by Saudia Arabia and Pakistan, and in a Shia variant by the revolutionary regime in Iran, calls for every aspect of human life to be ordered according to the medieval precepts enshrined in sharia.  What binds democratic America, Israel and India, then, is not merely that they are loathed by radical Muslims, but a shared commitment by most, if not all, Americans, Israelis and Indians to a planet on which all kinds of beliefs (and disbelief) have an equal right to thrive." 

And until we face this, the immovable intentions of these Islamic radicals, our answer to their challenge will remain tenuous and out of reach.



[1] A particularly telling example comes from the UK's Independent, perhaps the most anti-Israel major newspaper in the West.

[2] In 2007, the FBI released its annual 2007 hate crime reports. Of the total 1,628 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, 69.2% were Jewish and 8.7% were Muslim. There were at least 40 times more stories last year about Islamophobia than about anti-Semitism. Investigative Project on Terrorism "They're Winning" by Steve Emerson.

[3] Indian Doctors Shocked at Hostages' Torture

[4] "It's all very well for us to say Islam has nothing to do with extremism and terrorism. We can go on deluding ourselves these psychopaths do not represent us...""The great religion that preaches and celebrates universal brotherhood, equality of men and peace and justice for all has been hijacked by a demented, miniscule minority. And, as my friend says, only Muslims can solve this problem. Only Muslims can confront these anarchists in their midst...""Only they can get their faith freed from the clutches of extremism. This is no time to hide. It's time to stand up and speak out. For the terrorists will continue to speak on our behalf," unless we do speak up. "This is no time for silence. Enough is enough!" "No Time to Hide for Muslims" by Aijaz Zaka Syed.


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