A cri de coeur - with a rescue by Gore


The New York Times seems to have a fetish for taking the statements of Muslims who claim to be victimized by America as being of probative value.  This was so in last week's lachrymose front—page coverage  of an illegal alien teenage girl deported to Bangladesh because of well—founded terrorist suspicions directed against her. This was also true regarding individual Muslims who have claimed mistreatment by American security forces.

This same over the top—treatment gets employed again in today's editorial pages. In this op—ed, the Times provides space in one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the journalistic world to provide a first—person (actually an only—person) account of Al Gore being nice to a Muslim woman by picking up a set of keys that dropped from her while she was exercising. Whooppee!
The op—ed has the author bemoaning the prejudice against Muslims in America, stating that every television in her gym

"highlighted some aspect of America's conflict with the Muslim world: the war in Iraq, allegations that American soldiers had desecrated the Koran, prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay, President Bush urging support of the Patriot Act".

She went on to claim that people in the gym were staring at her. I exercise at a few different gyms and I almost never find any of the televisions tuned to anything involving conflict with the Muslims — let alone ALL of the televisions.

Also, let's examine her agitprop: every aspect of her report depicts America as the aggressor against Muslims: America going to war in Iraq, Americans abusing the Koran, Americans abusing prisoners, the Patriot Act (which is completely neutral regarding religion in its provisions) as being anti—Muslim.

I suggest that she is paranoid or fabricating this narrative of "abuse" at the gym. The al Qaeda training manual has sections regarding the need for Muslims to claim to be victimized since a compliant press will come to their rescue. Clearly, this Harvard student is not a terrorist.

However, the Times should obey its own journalistic requirements not to rely on single—source evidence in its articles and editorials (inclusive of op—eds). The essay contains an outright lie: that there are 10 million Muslim—Americans. This figure is beyond the high end estimates of self—serving groups wishing to maximize the total. A more realistic figure is under three million.  Even an optimistic Muslim advocate only claims  three to four million. These population estimates are readily  available for a fact—checking editor's inquiry, but the Times instead ventures even further into fantasy than its previously published estimates of six to seven million American Muslims.

After all, the reason this policy exists is to prevent people fabricating stories to push their agenda. Here, the agenda is quite clear: depict America(ns) as oppressing Muslims. Specifically, to also depict George Bush as being oppressor—in—chief. Only the miraculous and divine intervention of Al Gore (who in the Times' view should rightly have been elected President 5 years ago) comes to the rescue! What balderdash! What a man! What a fatuous attempt to burnish his reputation!
Furthermore, this Muslim woman seems to have a problem with America. Might I recommend that she look at much of the Muslim world and ask if a) she would ever be able to attend the Arab world equivalent of the Kennedy School of Government and b) if she would be allowed to exercise in a co—ed health club.

Ed Lasky   6 23 05