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Fair Reporting and The Tipping Point

| 8 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

It has been an interesting couple of days here on Winds. Lots of comment and debate, as articles have included:

So I'm having an exchange in the "Open Letter to Reformist Muslims" thread, and there's a point I want to make more prominently.

"...just as we wish to media to report both the good news and the bad news from Iraq in a fair way, fairness demands that we cover the people like Ali Eteraz in addition to alerting our readers to the genuine jihadi threat."

The argument for doing so is the same. To ask for one on principle demands that one ask for the other.

2 TrackBacks

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I find the incessant yearning for a "balanced" media to be the just ridiculous, especially coming from conservatives who, as opposed to naive liberals, are supposed to have a better grasp of the darker dimensions of humanity.

Journalism Rule #1: Make money.
Journalism Rule #2: If it bleeds, it leads.
Journalism Rules #3-100: See #1 and #2

It has always been this way. After all, what is "fair and balanced" about Fox News spending 70% of their coverage on abducted or murdered blond women? Does this somehow tell the whole story of what is going on in America? The don't cover school openings and road construction projects because that just doesn't draw ratings.

I think what conservatives really want is the news media to be more patriotic by supporting the President's agenda, and not to eschew violence but to focus exclusively on a specific kind of violence: violence inflicted by US troops on terrorists. This view makes more sense to me, but the whole notion of expecting the US news media to ignore car bombs that kill thirty people in favor of Mosque bake sales is a long distance from reality.

The good news in Iraq- We have the finest armed forces ever known,doing a great job.

The bad news- We have an Administration that has set a regional policy that is counter to the interests of the United States, and our armed forces is now on a radical Islamic nation building tour. Until we change the policy to support the interests of the United States, and put enough troops in threater to keep the ground we have taken, there will not be much good news.
The rest of this,is really just smoke and mirrors.

"I think what conservatives really want is the news media to be more patriotic by supporting the President's agenda"

Correction nate- most conservatives are outspoken against the regional policy in Iraq at this point. It is the Neo Conservatives who want "more patriotic" reporting. You can go the the National review, and read up on that fact if you can also listen to Odem, Kissenger, hell, just about any true conservative will tell you, this administration spends like drunken sailors and this "Democratic Nation Building" in Islam, is a fiasco.

Ali Eterez:
[We] are having a discussion about how to best remove the death penalty for apostasy from Islam ... I argued that classic Islamic Legal Theory cannot lead us out of the impasse. The reason? Because classical Islamic Legal Theory cannot do away with the hadith, and since the death penalty for apostasy comes in by way of hadith (specifically the one that says "kill the convert"), the classical legal theory is stuck.
Now we're getting somewhere. I hope that the paladins of the previous threads will note a few things about what Eterez is saying, compared to what others are saying. He is not trying to fudge his way out of it by pretending that the hadiths say something other than what they do, or by pretending that Islam is the Quran alone (a heretical position in traditional Islam), or by pretending that the whole problem is an Islamophobic mirage.
However: what the Renaissance School seems to be saying is that the reason you cannot kill a convert is because the accuser is not the Messenger of God. What they aren't saying is that the reason you cannot kill a convert is because he has freedom of choice, religion, expression, association and an individual right to his own opinion. In other words, the guy is getting off on a technicality, not on his humanity.
He's not buying any lawyerly cop-outs, either. Even though the cop-outs are so cheap that they're practically giving them away.
In conclusion: within Islamic Legal Theory there is no method that I can accept which allows us to do away with the death penalty for apostasy. The traditionalist method is too cumbersome and has no way of dealing with the hadith ... I tend to consider Renaissance as an intermediate point but a valuable position for where we want to go ... In that sense they are like Martin Luther.
I get rocks thrown at my impregnable ivory tower for drawing parallels to the Reformation, but I guess I'm not the only guilty one.

I'm not sure where Ali Eterez is headed from here, having run up against the brick wall of "Death to the Apostate". But I'm interested. This is what the eyes-wide-open approach looks like, as opposed to rationalization, theological incantation, self-delusion, and outright bald-faced lies. Does anybody else see a difference here?

Angry Dog, the problem is that that approach has no appeal to the pious middle.
It only appeals to people JUST LIKE YOU.

Look how resistant you are to having Sir Richard strip you of the false tenets of YOUR faith.

Joe: Not only is "moderate Muslim" (and so on) coverage "fair" and "balanced", it's part of winning.

On my less-pessimistic days I like to believe that there are many Muslims who, in their hearts, reject the way of the Islamofascist outright. And many, many more who would live a peaceful, prosperous, modern life if only they thought they had the chance to do so. For many reasons these folks don't speak up much.

Reporting and repeating the ones who do (even if what they have to say isn't always necessarily 100% in-line with Western ideology) positively reinforces this behavior and demonstrates that, yes, there is more than one way to live your life.

Just as the actual suicide bombers are only a small number of those who support terrorism, those that speak out against such things are only a small number of those who denounce it.

Call me optimistic (and that's not something I'm often accused of being), but that's got to be the case, statistically. We cannot possibly hunt down every Islamofascist. We need John al-Q Public to side with the modern world.

Actually, "denounce" is obviously the wrong word for those who quietly oppose terrorism. "Abhor", instead, maybe.


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