If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t hear much reporting on some of the dreadful traditions and lack of rights that women in the Islamic world often face, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry provided a perfect illustration in a recent discussion with Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy.

Eltahawy’s essay, which appeared in the magazine Foreign Policy, is a straightforward attempt to disabuse people of the notion that there is any sort of equivalence between the treatment of women in the Islamic and Western worlds. In her words, non-Arabs need to “resist cultural relativism and know that even in countries undergoing revolutions and uprisings, women will remain the cheapest bargaining chips.”



The Chicago News Cooperative is -- or was -- a nonprofit journalistic entity that produces content for the Chicago edition of the New York Times. It will cease filing this weekend, having lost an expected grant. Among the delights Chicago readers will miss: Suggestions that the GOP is fueling anti-Muslim rhetoric and even hate crimes, under the label of objective reporting. David Lepeska contributed “A Group to Counter Anti-Islam Sentiment” to Friday’s Chicago edition of the Times, making unsubstantiated assertions and commiting bias by omission.

As anti-Muslim rhetoric rises locally and nationally -- some of it fueled by the presidential campaign -- a group of Chicago-area Muslims is battling back, using tactics including a television ad campaign and public forums against bigotry.



Christian evangelist Franklin Graham made some comments about President Obama on MSNBC's Morning Joe Tuesday that have liberals across the fruited plain hopping mad.

So angered is MSNBC's Chris Matthews that on Tuesday's Hardball he said, "I think we should stop inviting this guy to talk about politics...he ain’t his father’s son" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Republicans are deceitfully playing with words to avoid being slammed as homophobes, racists, and bigots, claimed CNN contributor L.Z. Granderson on Tuesday morning's Newsroom. Anchor Kyra Phillips simply let Granderson air his liberal diatribe without any challenge, and no conservative guest was brought on to respond.

Republicans "aren't fighting for Muslims and mosques," said Granderson of their claims of "religious freedom," but simply "fighting for Christianity."



With the news that an American air strike has killed the U.S.-born head of Al Quaeda in Yemen, Anwar Al Awlaki, the media will explain his significance in the terrorist organization, and his role in inspiring the Ft. Hood shooter and the “underwear bomber.” What they probably won’t tell you is that they once celebrated Al Awlaki as a “moderate” and a bridge-builder “between Islam and the West.”

Awlaki once served as imam of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia, the very same place that attracted many of the 9/11 hijackers and, later, Major Nadal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter.



CNN's Fareed Zakaria made it quite clear last summer that he supported the construction of the Ground Zero mosque. He was much more neutral in an interview with the mosque's developer Sunday, but was content to let his guest tell his side of the story without any scrutiny from the CNN host.

Although the once-proposed mosque is no longer making headlines, Zakaria decided anyway to feature the mosque's developer Sharif El-Gamal for a soft interview one year after the controversy ignited. El-Gamal received fawning coverage by CBS and NBC last summer for his work.



Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin said Friday that there is a deep-seated anti-Catholic bigotry at the New York Times.

Speaking with Clayton Morris on "Fox & Friends," the former George H.W. Bush administration official also called the Gray Lady "a hub of liberal thinking" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Over the course of the last few months, Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, has been cherry-picking the Pledge of Allegiance in an attempt to portray prominent Republicans as bigoted islamophobes. 

Earlier this year, Ellison responded to the Peter King hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims by saying that conservatives believe in liberty, but are against the “and justice for all.”   In an appearance on MSNBC two weeks ago, he advised Herman Cain to “review that Pledge of Allegiance”, particularly the part proclaiming “liberty and justice for all.”  And more recently, Ellison gave an interview to C-SPAN, in which he ran off a list of supposed differences between himself and Michele Bachmann.  That list included a declaration that he, and apparently only he, “believe(s) in liberty and justice for all.”

One line however, does not an entire pledge make.

We know why Ellison is invoking this specific phrase from the pledge – liberty and justice for all.  It is an attempt to push the progressive agenda of placating radical Muslims.  But it is also important to counter such slander, by examining the motivations behind those that Ellison hopes to marginalize as islamophobic.



At the Daily Kos blog, the blogger known as SixDollarLiberal created a ruckus on Wednesday by titling an article “In Defense of Sharia.” You know the article was a bad idea when it began with the disclaimer “I was raised a Christian, and became an atheist/agnostic as an adult. I have a much better understanding of Christianity than of Islam. If I get anything wrong in this, please feel free to correct me in the comments section.”

S.D.L. doesn’t explicitly defend Sharia law, but suggests that hey, Islam has some extreme tenets that most moderate Muslims don’t follow, just like Christianity has some wild old practices as dictated by the Old Testament about stoning adulterers and so on. So S.D.L. thought let’s be fair and balanced: “We don't call out Christianity for being a very violent religion that calls upon the execution of women, children, and homosexuals; so let's not do it to Islam either.”



In December of 2007, a conservative organization known as Freedom Watch created an advertisement with a message of support and thanks to America’s troops serving around the world.  They were rejected by NBC. 

In April of this year, a Muslim organization known as the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) created an advertisement with a message to counter Islamophobia from the ‘conservative right’.  They are currently running on NBC Universal media networks.

The alleged difference?

NBC claimed their reason for rejecting the Freedom Watch ad was because “the group insisted that the spot contain the URL address of its Web site.”  However, the new ICNA ads clearly contain the groups WhyIslam.org website.

The real difference?

Freedom Watch is an organization that supports the war on terrorism.  The ICNA simply supports terrorism.



It’s a “news”` outlet dedicated to coverage of the Middle East, but it ignores ongoing atrocities against Israeli civilians. Its Arab language sibling threw a lavish birthday party for a terrorist who infamously murdered a Jewish family, and its reporting during the Iraq War was called “vicious, inaccurate, and inexcusable” by the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The list of op-ed contributors to its website reads like a Who’s Who of left-wing and Muslim anti-Americanism.

It’s Al Jezeera English, and liberals and the U.S. media want to give it prestigious awards and greater access to the U.S. cable news market.



On April 2nd, The New York Times published a piece by Ethan Bronner titled, "In Israel, Time for Peace Offer May Run Out." In the piece, Bronner discussed various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including statehood, violence, peace talks, religion, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

But while Bronner spent many paragraphs detailing the difficulties in establishing peace between Israel and Palestine, it wasn't until the 2nd page that he Donner admitted a "central obstacle to the establishment of a State of Palestine" is the political and physical divide between the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza. The more moderate PA has suggested elections for a unified government in both territories.