NYT Substitutes 'God' for 'Allah' in Airport Bomber E-mail

August 22nd, 2007 4:18 PM

It seems that the U.S. media has decided to take a pass on revelations that the Glasgow Airport Bomber Kafeel Ahmed left an e-mail claiming that he wanted to "die for Allah". In fact the New York Times avoided this fact altogether by using the word 'God' instead when referring to a Guardian UK article with the headline, Airport bomber's email to relative said he wanted to die for Allah.

The person close to the investigation said that Mr. Ahmed had sent an e-mail to his brother two hours before crashing the Jeep, but it was not opened until 90 minutes after the attack. On Monday, The Guardian newspaper reported Kafeel Ahmed had sent a text message to “a relative” with link to an e-mail and a password to access it, saying he was acting according to God’s will.

The entire tone of the New York Times account of the e-mail is presented in a rather blasé context that steers clear of the 'A' word and ignores the greater context of Kafeel Ahmed's desire to kill innocent people in a ritualistic act of martyrdom more fashionably known today as a suicide bombing. Had the times presented the news of Ahmed's e-mail in the context of martyrdom in the name of Allah its readers would have understood very clearly that this was an al-Qaeda style attack done in the name of radical Islamic beliefs.

The decision to use the word God as opposed to Allah may seem innocuous but I assure you that the distinction between the two is important especially in the case of the casual reader. For instance, Rosie O'Donnell did not criticize Christians for their beliefs in Allah, she directed her venom toward God fearing fundamentalist Christians. It was a typical leftist stereotype that was specifically meant to equate Christians with radical Islam. The only difference being that Christian's don't use the Arab word for God, while Arab speaking people, particularly Muslims, use the word Allah.

In the United States the distinction is clear, when a terrorist says that they want to die for Allah we immediately understand that it is a statement made by a radical Islamic jihadist. This may not be fair in all cases but the percentages have formed the basis of this widely accepted inference.

At first it would seem to be a mystery as to why the New York Times report would go out of its way to homogenize such damning news but we quickly see that an agenda is at stake.

SYDNEY, Aug. 21 — A court in Australia ruled today that the country’s immigration minister had acted improperly when he revoked the visa of an Indian doctor because of his association with the men involved in the botched bombings in London and Glasgow in late June.

The decision was another blow to the government’s efforts to prosecute the doctor, Mohammed Haneef, 27, and the government’s lawyers immediately said they would appeal.

Dr. Haneef was arrested July 2, two days after a distant cousin, Kafeel Ahmed, crashed a Jeep Cherokee into the Glasgow international airport terminal; prosecutors say Mr. Ahmed, an aerospace engineer, had also helped plant two car bombs in central London less than two days earlier.

The two incidents raised fears of a possible new wave of Qaeda-driven terrorist attacks, and eight people, almost all medical professionals, were quickly arrested. But most of the charges have evaporated and most of the suspects freed, and investigators are still trying to determine whether Al Qaeda, or any other outsiders, were behind the attacks.

It is quite clear that the New York Times report is designed to present the defendants in this case as victims of overzealous prosecutors whose case is crumbling around them. Had they presented the news of the e-mail in the context of martyrdom for Allah then perhaps sympathies for the defendants would be a little harder to find. It would also weaken the argument of those who seek to present terrorist attacks as one off aberrations committed by individuals with no ties to any larger offshoot of al-Qaeda.

Contrast the New York Times report to that of The Daily Mail.

The Glasgow airport bomber who died of burns in the attack sent an email confession to relatives, a security source claims.

Kafeel Ahmed, 27, who died in early August of 90 per cent burns just over a month after the bungled terror attack, is believed to have been the driver of the Jeep Cherokee deliberately driven into the terminal.

And it has now emerged that there is damning evidence of the Indian-born engineer's dedication to terrorism.

Not only is he said to have sent an email claiming he was acting in the name of Allah and discussing martyrdom, his relatives have also identified him in CCTV footage fleeing one of the failed nightclub car bombs in London the day before the Glasgow airport attack of June 30.

In addition, analysis of his computer is said to show he visited bomb-making websites, and his mobile phone was found in the burnt-out Jeep.

The evidence is vital for anti-terror experts, who believe Ahmed, who lived in Glasgow, could have provided crucial information about Al Qaeda networks. (src. Daily Mail, Final email of Glasgow airport bomber: 'I want to die for Allah'

Not working for the New York Times makes it difficult to understand why the NY Times would report these events in such a different manner than its peers in the industry, including the left leaning Guardian. Some believe that the Times has a calculated pattern of downplaying ties between radical Islam and the war on terror. Steve Emerson of The Counter Terrorism Blog believes the New York Times acts out of support for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

when given an opportunity to report on CAIR’s Executive Director Nihad Awad being officially placed by the FBI at the notorious 1993 Philadelphia meeting of Hamas activists and supporters, or the fact that there is documentary evidence consisting of official Muslim Brotherhood manifestoes from the trial directly linking CAIR with other noted American-based Hamas-front groups such as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), the Times completely ignores the evidence and is nowhere to be seen.

But when CAIR claims that the U.S. government is involved in a long-ranging conspiracy for the purposes of the “demonization of all things Muslim,” (emphasis added) then MacFarquhar and the Times are right there to serve as CAIR’s unofficial mouthpiece. As far as the Times’ readers are concerned, the free pass given to one of the most controversial and dangerous organizations in America continues unfettered. And despite the mounting and damning evidence coming to light due to the HLF trial, coupled with the already long, troubling and well known history of radicalism, anti-Americanism and virulent anti-Semitism espoused by CAIR officials, no doubt America’s “paper of record” will continue to run cover for them for a long time to come.

Could such alleged support for CAIR affect other reports on radical jihadist activities? Who knows. I personally believe that Emerson brings up a valid point. Informing the public about the links between CAIR and Hamas in conjunction with CAIR's political activities in the United States should be part of that duty to inform that the New York Times rests it's hat on whenever being criticized for divulging national security secrets. The same goes for the seemingly small facts that fall by the wayside once the activists in the newsroom shave off anything that veers from their predetermined narrative.

There may be a small difference between God and Allah when discussing ones commitment to faith but the difference is apples and oranges when reporting the words of terrorists who die in either of their names.

Terry Trippany is the editor at Webloggin.