Journalistic distortion is also apparent in the decision to suppress reporting when Christians are subjected to brutalities, especially when the perpetrators are Muslim. "The murder, torture, and persecution of Christians in the Third World, and even prosperous countries, is one of the worst, and least-reported, of global human rights abuses;" noted former Time magazine senior correspondent and Beijing Bureau Chief David Aikman. The radical Islamic regime in Khartoum in Sudan has killed more than two million non-Muslims-mostly Christians-who have refused to convert to Islam. Nevertheless, "mainstream press coverage [of this persecution] is tepid and understated as a rule;" according to some media watchers. Similarly, when three Southern Baptist missionaries were killed in a Muslim terrorist attack in Yemen on December 31, 2002, the major media reacted, characteristically, with relative disinterest.
Likewise, much of the press was silent over the Muslim identity of attackers who brutalized and killed Christians in Nigeria after becoming outraged over a newspaper story. The Muslim mayhem was reduced to a two-sided, blameless dispute by CNN correspondent Nancy Curnow, who casually referred to the story as "religious violence between Muslims and Christians." And when a Muslim murdered a Christian medical missionary in Lebanon, the New York Times headlined the story, "Killing Underscores Enmity of Evangelists and Muslims." This wasn't a duel between two consenting combatants, but a murder. But speaking of enmity, the widower of the victim, Bonnie Witherall, announced his forgiveness for the murderer. "It's not easy," said Garry Witherall. "It took everything I have, but I can forgive these people because God has forgiven me."
At home in America, the D.C. sniper case had the American public riveted for months, and many in the D.C. area lived in terror. When suspects John Muhammad and John Malvo were captured, very little emphasis was placed on Muhammad's ties to radical Islam, and his religious beliefs were dismissed as a possible motive for the killings. According to military analyst Christian M. Weber, "Muhammad fits the pattern of the disaffected outcast who becomes increasingly radicalized under the influence of Islamism." Weber said Muhammad "seems to follow the model of John Walker Lindh, Richard Reid, and Jose Padilla-men exposed to Islam who become disenchanted with the movement's pace and progress and who take the road to jihad." Yet, the mainstream media not only did not address Muhammad's connection to Islam forthrightly; they arguably suppressed it.
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