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The Western Press Misleads Its Readers

Reader comment on item: [Beslan Atrocity:] They're Terrorists - Not Activists

Submitted by Lawrence I. Gould (United States), Sep 9, 2004 at 08:53

Dear Daniel Pipes:

Refusal of the Western Press, with very rare exceptions, to call terrorists terrorists reflects universal journalistic refusal to accept a definition of terrorism as a guide. I offer the following agreed to by the consensus of those who attended a seminar about the subject in 1979 in Jerusalem sponsored by the Jonathan Institute, "Terrorism is the deliberate and systematic murder, maiming and menacing of the innocent to inspire fear for political ends."

To my knowledge, no Western World newspaper, their reporters assigned to the Middle East (and other areas where terrorist acts occur) nor their executives who run departments that review and approve printing of news articles nor the publishers of the papers accept that definition. Thus they mislead hundreds of millions of readers, but won't admit it to themselves, let alone to their customers.

In a sense, aren't those journalists and executives who run their papers cavalier, even inhumane, in their attitude towards the dead victims of terrorists and the greater number of wounded who survive, some maimed for life? That is the ultimate tragedy. For over 300 slaughtered in Russia recently (including many young school children), over 1,400 Israeli civilians murdered by Muslim terrorists in Israel since the Oslo "Peace" Process began, 11 Israelis murdered by Muslim terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics, 241 Marines murdered by a Muslim suicide truck bomber in Beirut in 1983 and over 100 slaughtered by Muslim terrorists in Bali several years ago cannot cry out against the infamy of newpapers who heartlessly refuse to define their killers as terrorists.

What a terrible legacy for Western journalism. Which newspaper in the U.S. or elsewhere in the Western World will be the first to terminate use of euphemisms and define the Muslim murderers as what they are, terrorists? How long must hundreds of millions of customers of Western newspapers hold their breaths until that happens?

Orchids to Daniel Pipes for calling a spade a spade about a journalistic disgrace that has been shoved under the rug much too long.

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