On January 3, 2015, the New York Times posted a large color picture on its front page about people in Sweden standing against a suspected arson attack on a mosque. The article on page A4 that continued onto page A9 described how anti-Muslim sentiment has taken hold in a country that had been known for its liberal immigration policy.
Anti-Muslim vs. Anti-Semitism
It is interesting to note how the paper highlighted the “anti-Muslim sentiment” in the title of the article after three suspected arson attacks against mosques in Sweden over the previous ten days. There were no witnesses and no arrests in the attacks but the Times drew its own conclusion that the fires must have been driven by “anti-Muslim” anger.
Compare that conclusion with the one at which the Times arrived in reviewing the actions in Europe during a week in July 2014. There were a dozen incidents involving thousands of people:
- A synagogue was firebombed in Paris
- Jewish stores including kosher butchers were looted and 18 people were arrested
- A mob that gathered outside a synagogue with a hundred Jews trapped inside, shouted “Death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right”
- In Belgium signs posted in store windows read “no Jews allowed”
- In Berlin, an imam called for the murder of Jews
- In Paris, a riot of 4000 people with weapons called for attacks on Jews; 70 were arrested
- A Facebook page with the names and faces of Jews was posted with a call to attack the individuals who were later beaten
- The leaders of several countries in Europe condemned the attacks as raw “anti-Semitism”
Despite the clarity of the attacks against Jews, in two separate articles the New York Times said those incidents had an “anti-Semitic tinge”. “TINGE” – meaning that the anti-Jewish sentiment was barely noticeable.
The Invisible Cause
The Times article on Sweden did not highlight any Muslim actions that may have caused the Swedish “anti-Muslim” sentiment. It mentioned European “rising fear of Islamic radicalism” in a general manner, and mentioned the poor economic situation that recent immigrants find themselves in, and the generous benefits afforded by Sweden’s welfare economy. But the article sought to distance the economic strain on Swedish society by quoting a recent immigrant who stated: “We were not looking for food or benefits. We were looking for somewhere to feel safe.” Some stories neglected by the Times article:
Muslim riots: In 2013, various riots broke out in Sweden with Muslim immigrants burning cars and neighborhoods and throwing stones. Some of those events were covered by the Times. The paper referred to the rioters as “immigrants” throughout the article, and never mentioned their Islamic faith.
Explosion of Rape cases: Over the past decade, the number of reported rapes in Sweden has exploded. The country now ranks as the third highest country in terms of the number of rapes, as the frequency has jumped 250% between 2003 and 2010. While most of the world has seen reported cases of rape dropping or leveling out, the trend in Sweden has been alarming and the focus of much discussion and debate. Many people have attributed the dramatic spike as due to the influx of immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and southeast Asia where rape is much more common than western Europe. This piece of information was also not included in the Times article about Swedes becoming “anti-Muslim”.
Interestingly, in perhaps a related trend, a huge scandal broke in the summer of 2014 about 1400 girls in northern England who had been systematically raped by a gang of Pakistani Muslim men over 13 years. During its reporting of the story, the New York Times refused to publish that any of the attackers was Muslim and just referred to them as men with “Pakistani heritage”. Other media outlets did not exclude the common faith in their reporting.
It would appear that the New York Times deliberately avoids mentioning the religious background of Muslims when reporting crimes, but is quick to blame crimes against their community as “anti-Muslim”.
Conversely, in reporting the European riots protesting Israel, the New York Times seemed perplexed as to why Americans supported Israel while Europeans did not. It put forth an absurd idea that Americans supported Israel “because of the failure of the Arab Spring to spread democracy in the Middle East.” It ignored the actual evil actions and comments of the Palestinians that have been waging war against Israeli civilians for years. Once again, the Times absolved the Muslims of culpability. Regarding the riots in Europe against innocent Jewish citizens of their respective countries who were not Israelis, the Times dismissed the anti-Semitism as not noteworthy.
Racism and anti-religious feelings are indeed real. The Times has shown that it is adept at finding or ignoring such sentiments as it fits the narrative they are selling.
Global rape statistics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics
Pat Condell on Sweden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZsvdg1dkJ4
Related FirstOneThrough articles:
Anti-Semitic Tinge: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/an-anti-semitic-tinge/
NY Times calling “an anti-Semitic tinge” for a second time: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/tinge-two-idioms-for-idiots/
1400 girls raped in Britain, yet the NY Times refuses to point to the rapists as Muslims: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/the-ties-that-bind-and-those-unmentioned/