Reuters: Danish Rioters Merely 'Youths'

The British newswire that strenuously avoids calling a terrorist a terrorist also has trouble identifying the radical religious motivations for rioters setting Denmark ablaze.

Roger Kimball of Pajamas Media has the story:

Consider the opening of this story from Reuters about the latest rash of rioting in Copenhagen:

Danish youths riot for sixth night [Update: make that the seventh straight night]

Gangs of rioters set fire to cars and garbage trucks in northern Copenhagen on Friday, the sixth night of rioting and vandalism that has spread from the capital to other Danish cities, police said on Saturday.


That odd odor you smell is the aroma of politically correct mendacity wafting through the hallway. Danish youths torching cars for six nights running because spring is coming? What’s wrong with this carcass? You can’t tell from the first four paragraphs, but the cat peeks out of the Burka in the paragraphs that follow.

Kimball later rips into Reuters' reticence to link radical Islam to the violence and for the wire's failure to condemn the violence as unacceptable in a liberal democracy (portion in bold my emphasis):

Two points: 1. Where is the connection between the “youths” of the opening paragraphs and the “several hundred Muslims” who gathered to protest that slip into the story at the end? Why does Reuters take advantage of the Peel option, referring to “youths” (“That Root”) instead of “Muslim youths” (the “plain potato”)? It’s not “manners,” as Young suggested was the motivation for Sir Robert, but a desire to avoid reality, aka cravenness. Reuters, remember, was the news service that, following the bombings of September 11, cashiered the word “terrorist” because, Steven Jukes, Reuter’s global head of news, wrote “We all know that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Do we really?

2. One thing we all do know is that Muslims are “offended” by depictions of the Muhammad. In fact, the list of the things Muslims are offended by would take over a culture. They don’t like ice-cream that (used to be) distributed by Burger King because a decoration on the lid looked like (sort of) the Arabic script for “Allah.” They are offended by “pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet” appearing in the workplace. They take umbrage at describing Islamic terrorism as, well, Islamic terrorism and have managed to persuade Gordon Brown to rename it “anti-Islamic activity.” But here’s the thing: one of the features of living in a modern, secular democracy is that there is always plenty of offense to go around. No Muslim is more offended by cartoons of their Prophet than I am by their barbaric reaction to the cartoons. But their reaction when offended is to torch an embassy, shoot a nun , or knife a filmmaker. I write a column deploring such behavior. You see the difference.

Religion Europe Islam Denmark Reuters Online Media Blogs Journalistic Issues Roger Kimball

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