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Mariam Sobh now works for NPR affiliate

Reader comment on item: Daily Illini Bias Against My USIP Appointment

Submitted by Anna (United States), Aug 25, 2005 at 09:08

Where do Islamist journalism students go when they graduate? Why, to NPR, of course.
You may not remember Mariam Sobh, a regular columnist for the Daily Illini, the student newspaper of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a member of the Muslim Students Association while she was a journalism student there. You may remember some of the things she wrote, however.

As a columnist, Sobh had a "thing" for Israel, and apparently made it the frequent target of her poison pen, perhaps most infamously in her column, Stop turning a blind eye, in which she recycled several clearly fabricated quotes attributed erroneously to Ariel Sharon. CAMERA has a very good synopsis, here, Anti-Israel Venom at University of Illinois Paper: (emphasis in all quotes is mine)

Mariam Sobh introduced her Dec 11 piece with the following statement, purportedly uttered by Ariel Sharon, in order "to show a clearer picture of the Israeli leadership:"
"I don't know something called International Principles. I vow that I'll burn every Palestinian child (that) will be born in this area. The Palestinian woman and child is more dangerous than the man, because the Palestinian child's existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger. I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit I've killed 750 Palestinians (in Rafah in1956). I wanted to encourage my soldiers by raping Arabic girls as the Palestinian woman is a slave for Jews, and we do whatever we want to her and nobody tells us what we shall do but we tell others what they shall do," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in an interview with General Ouze Merham in 1956.

This shocking quote, a staple on Arab propaganda Web sites, is an internet hoax for which the journalism student, not surprisingly, provided no source. There is no record of any "General Ouze Merham" or any truth to the claim that Sharon made the quoted comments. The paper's decision to run such an inflammatory statement with no attribution is indefensible.

The Sharon quote was not the only fabrication. Sobh alleged that former Israeli Chief of Staff, Raphael Eytan was quoted in the April 14, 1983 New York Times as saying: "We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel ... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours." However, a Nexis search of all Times coverage reveals that no one, not Eytan or anyone else, was ever quoted by the paper making the purported statement...

Pressure on the paper resulted first in a defense of the columnist, then a grudging admission on her part, and finally a more full apology which CAMERA credits here: University of Illinois Columnist Fully Apologizes

That article was merely the most egregious example of the repetition of outright falsehood. As I mentioned, Sobh had a thing for Israel. CAMERA:

Sobh's recklessness in misusing sources is longstanding. In one of her first columns for the DI, Sobh wrote that the security barrier Israel is building will separate Palestinians from the water supply and that "they [Palestinians] will eventually be driven to starvation if this wall is completed" ("Modern wall of apartheid" Aug. 28, 2003) . She added "I think that it is sad that we can pay for genocide and act like it's no big deal." Her source for the "genocide" charge was an article from the site Antiwar.com. The Web site, which devotes an entire section to Israel's alleged role in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, can hardly be considered credible.
In another column, the journalism student charged that Israel's attack on the USS Liberty ship in 1967 "was one of the most horrific and deliberate attacks against the United States" (emphasis added). Her claim is primarily based on a conversation she had with Jim Ennes, a leading conspiracy proponent who has called Israel's leaders "amoralistic murderers" who are "worse" than the Nazis. She portrayed Ennes as reliable while Sobh did not even mention the more than six government inquiries into the event. Each and every one of the probes concluded the attack was accidental and not, as she claims, "deliberate."

Illini regular Mariam Sobh has had a free hand to regurgitate baseless propaganda with little or no supervision by the DI editors, faculty or board members of the Illini Media, the entity that owns the newspaper. No doubt the lax attitude toward Sobh's screeds encouraged other DI staff to vilify Israel and Jews...

And here is Sobh defending Mahathir Mohamad's bizarro-world anti-Semitic screed two years ago. (search 'Mahathir' -- for background)

See also this entry at Dean's World on Sobh.

So here we have a person, a former member of an Islamist group, with a background involving a history of writing inaccurate, virulently anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic (there is usually little difference) screeds.

Where do they go after graduation? According to Sobh's resume:

Jan 2004-present
WILL AM... Urbana, IL
Saturday Morning Host for Weekend Edition from NPR
* Research and write news, sports and weather and read live on-air.
* Sub as Host for cut-in's during All Things Considered from NPR.

Yes, she's researching, writing news and hosting for a National Public Radio affiliate.

Posted by Solomon at August 24, 2005 10:57 PM
http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archives/006468.shtml
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