CNN's Chris Cuomo pressed Pam Geller on Thursday's New Day over her leadership of "a group that does take shots at Islam on a regular basis." Cuomo underlined that "you can show the cartoon. People have the equal right to criticize your showing the cartoon as an overt provocation of a religion." He also wondered, "Why go slight for slight with the Muslims?" The anchor later asserted, "It just seems like you're throwing a stone at something that doesn't really help anything."
The Daily Beast's Dean Obeidallah denied the existence of Islamism as an ideology during a segment on Monday's CNN Newsroom. Obeidallah, responding to conservative commentator Erick Erickson applauding Saturday Night Live's draw Mohammed skit as "a perfectly humorous way to point out the absurdity of radical Islam's refusal to let people draw Mohammed," wildly claimed that "the [SNL] writers'...goal was not to make fun of radical Islam – this made-up idea."
At Mason High School in Ohio this past week, the school's administration originally supported but has now cancelled a "Covered Girl Challenge." The goal, according to a school email captured in full at Jihad Watch and almost nowhere else, was to "celebrate ... diversity and promote open mindedness" by promoting the Muslim Student Association's invitation to "all female students to ... wear a headscarf for the whole school day."
Jihad Watch, unlike every Ohio-based establishment press outlet report I have seen, including one found in the Cincinnati Enquirer, also linked readers to a reminder that collegiate chapters of the Muslim Student Association, which also encourages the creation of high school chapters under its aegis, have served as breeding grounds for terrorism (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Apropos of President Obama’s refusal to use the terms “Islamic extremism” or “radical Islam,” Saletan opines, “If we’re going to start calling out religious and political groups for extremism, we could start at home with Republicans. Too many of them spew animus. Too many foment sectarianism. Too many sit by, or make excuses, as others appeal to tribalism. If Obama were to treat them the way they say he should treat Islam—holding the entire faith accountable for its ugliest followers—they’d squeal nonstop about slander and demagogy. They’re lucky that’s not his style.”
Even the Wall Street Journal news pages can get caught in the politically correct labeling games that mar so much of today's reporting -- especially when it comes to Islam. Case in point: Friday's story about Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, complete with big headline and large photo, occupying the whole top third of the back page of the front section. The article explored Western governments’ reluctance to fully back Al Sisi's call for military action against Islamic State's terrorists in Libya. According to the article, Western diplomats object to Al Sisi's "crackdown at home on moderate Islamists."
Vox writer Max Fisher argues that Obama “has veered so far into downplaying Islamist extremism that he appears at times to refuse to acknowledge its existence at all, or has referred to it as violent extremism. While he has correctly identified economic and political factors that give rise to extremism, he has appeared to downplay or outright deny an awkward but important fact: religion plays an important role as well.”
In covering President Obama’s refusal to refer to terrorism as Islamic extremism, CBS and NBC devoted portions of their reports on Thursday night to comments Rudy Giuliani made the day before with NBC reserving a majority of their airtime to attacking the former New York City Mayor for having “set off a war of words” and taking presidential criticism “to another level.” Andrea Mitchell declared he set off “a firestorm” over telling an audience that “I do not believe that the President loves America” and suggested that Giuliani went too far.
In their Wednesday night coverage of President Obama’s speech on “violent extremism,” CBS and NBC did the best they could to ignore the criticism surrounding the President’s speech in addition to his conscious and repeated inability to refer to the beliefs of terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda as Islamic extremism.
NBC News took the step of acknowledging on Friday’s Today show that the man accused of killing three Muslims in North Carolina held atheist beliefs after having ignored that element of this tragic story in both their morning and evening newscasts since the first stories aired on Wednesday night. During the program’s 7:00 a.m. hour, newsreader Natalie Morales referred to Craig Stephens Hicks in a 27 second brief as “a self-described gun-toting atheist” and is now “facing first-degree murder changes.” The brief did not bring up Hicks’s liberal political beliefs (as have fellow networks ABC and CBS in their coverage).
After making no mention on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, NBC continued its streak on Thursday's NBC Nightly News of ignoring the militant atheism and liberalism of the North Carolina man accused of killing three Muslim-Americans. While none of the three networks have alluded to Craig Stepehn Hicks’s liberal beliefs, what differed from each of the past two network news cycles was that CBS dropped any mention of Hicks’s atheism after correspondent Vicente Arenas had included it in reports on Wednesday’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and Thursday’s CBS This Morning.
On Friday, CBS This Morning reported on news that Duke University had cancelled plans to have a Muslim call-to-prayer projected from the school’s famous bell tower at the Duke Chapel and, while Duke suggested that there were “several factors” that led to the decision, the segment prominently tied it to Rev. Franklin Graham and subsequent threats against them.
CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman fretted that the cancellation came as “students, faculty, and administrators spent months working on a new way to make campus feel more inclusive for its 700 Muslims.”
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin attacked Fox News and others on Monday's @ This Hour on CNN for placing "an unfair burden on Islam," particularly in the wake of Islamist terrorist attacks. Shihab-Eldin asserted that those calling on Muslims to condemn terrorism are "not aware of Google; or not paying attention; or perhaps, watching too much Fox News, where hosts constantly are...driving this point home – this us versus them...this point home that Muslims aren't speaking out....I think it's regrettable, and I think, arguably, bigoted."