Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Today's Pandering and Religious Double Standards

I've spoken on many occasions about while the Huffington Post does whatever it can to stir up hatred of Israel, "Zionists," and Jews, they approach Muslims with the softest kid gloves possible, in a classic example of left wing bias. Anyone who criticizes Muslims gets torn to pieces while anyone who criticizes Israel is militantly defended. Today's Religion section does a perfect job with this. Here's my first example:

Now before you get on my case for criticizing the Huffington Post for publishing good news about Muslims, this article by itself is not what I take issue with. It's the context in which it appears. Like the women's art exhibit before, it's pretty clear that the Huffington Post is selectively picking out some Muslims for praise while ignoring very serious and common problems in the Muslim world. Which, again, is not a problem if they treat all religions the same.

The problem is that they don't. Can you imagine the Huffington Post reporting something like "The Top Ten Israeli Innovations That Are Making the World A Better Place?" They can't even stomach publishing Israeli doctors treating Syrian refugees. This is because when you're left wing you divide people into victims and victimizers. Jews and Israelis are victimizers (because they are white and friends of America) while Muslims are victims because they are brown and are often perceived as antagonistic toward America. Except of course that the Huffington Post doesn't want us to see Muslims as antagnoistic toward America, which brings me to my next example:

Craig Considine actually copied and pasted the work of a Muslim activist for this article, but it isn't the first time we have seen the Huffington Post push the "jihad really means internal struggle" talking point. It doesn't appear likely to work, but that doesn't stop the Huffington Post from trying. But like the top ten list, I wouldn't take issue with Considine's article except for the context in which the Huffington Post publishes it. I shall demonstrate with my final example:

This is a pattern that we often see: when Muslims are talked about on the Huffington Post they are either praised, portrayed as "misunderstood," or the victim of some kind of violence. In contrast, when Jews are talked about in the "Religion" section, it is almost always the ultra-Orthodox doing something decidedly illiberal, or other people fighting against them. Just look at the recent love affair the Huffington Post has with Women of the Wall for all the proof you need about that.

You might say, "Why are you complaining? People saving Israel from fundamentalism is a good thing, right?" It is a good thing, but it's still an example of Huffington Post bias because that is the only news we ever hear out of Israel in the Religion section. We don't hear about the vibrant, tolerant and progressive Jewish society in Israel or the USA. We only hear complaints. Punch the phrase "ultra-orthodox" into our blog search bar on the right and see all the results that appear. The Huffington Post can't get enough of it. Because they see no problem at all with endlessly rehashing the existence of fundamentalist Jews, but shy away from ever talking about fundamentalist Muslims. And that doesn't even get into right wing Christians, which I figure goes without saying.

I would like to see the Huffington Post treat all religions equally. If they pander to Muslims with top ten lists, they should also pander to Jews. So far, that isn't happening.

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