Wednesday, June 01, 2005

NYT: Anti-Muslim Bias Seen in Charges Against Man Linked to Al Qaeda

The tagline to this post is the exact headline to the story as published in the New York Times. I realize I'm one of those fringe flat-earth tinfoil hat-wearing wackos who believes the media is kinda biased, but doesn't that headline have at least a little bit of an agenda to it?

If you put out a headline like that, don't you have a burden to follow it up with a story that establishes: 1. The prosecutor(s) in the case suffer from an anti-muslim bias and 2. The prosecutor(s) is/are primarily motivated by that anti-muslim bias rather than the facts of the case. (Personally, I could care less if the prosecutor was as anti-muslim as the day is long, provided that the guys being charged really WERE terrorists. To think otherwise is to revive the OJ/Cochran logic all over again. Mark Fuhrman was a racist, so OJ got to go free. Perhaps the lawyers in this case should invoke the famous "wookiee defense"?!? May work!)

Although the headline doesn't explicitly state that the charges are groundless, it certainly infers it.

The article itself takes a decidedly sympathetic tone toward the accused terrorists, and quotes heavily from the defendant's lawyers and other Muslims:
The contention of Mr. Shah's lawyers that Muslims have been unfairly caught up in the government's hunt for terrorists has been echoed in recent days by many Muslims, who expressed a mixture of sadness and skepticism about the case, and described a general malaise in their community.
I'm not sure what the conclusion here is. If these men are guilty of that which they stand accused, am I supposed to nevertheless feel bad that these men were caught, since the arrests make them and their families, and some other people in their community, feel sad and/or uncomfortable? Am I expected to feel sympathy for this man who apparently brags that he could murder a little girl at the drop of a hat? I guess I don't get it...


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