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The silence of the Western media

The vicious killing of three Muslims in the United States, three young university students, has largely been shrouded by silence in the Western press. (“US gunman kills three young Muslims; motive disputed”; Feb 12, online)

Sanjay Perera

The vicious killing of three Muslims in the United States, three young university students, has largely been shrouded by silence in the Western press. (“US gunman kills three young Muslims; motive disputed”; Feb 12, online)

Where are the incessant reports, commentaries and interviews regarding an instance of Islamophobia under the guise of a parking dispute at a condominium?

The assailant, a self-proclaimed “anti-theist” who is against all religions, picked on his three victims earlier for whatever excuse he could find.

At the disturbing centre of the tragedy is his claim of freedom to insult those who insult and “judge” him and that it is the duty of rational people to insult such religions and their adherents.

Unfortunately, much of his pleas seem like a subtext, if not a paraphrase, of some who insisted that the killing of the Charlie Hebdo journalists was an attack on free speech.

That brutality, when framed as a freedom of speech issue, brought together vast amounts of people, including world leaders who marched in solidarity, in protest against the murders.

No doubt, where the leaders were concerned, doing so appeased some of their supporters and does not seem to have hurt them politically.

But the murders of the three people in the US, who seemed blameless of any intolerance or maliciousness, cannot by any measure have been justified.

That their deaths have mostly been met with a form of silence shows both the lack of moral values of the Western media and the politicians who waxed lyrical in France but are tongue-tied at present.

Where is the march of a million people anywhere to protest the deaths? Imagine the uproar if it were a Muslim who killed three American students for ideological reasons.

This brings us to whether reports and interviews by media outlets that tout freedom of expression and honesty should ever be taken seriously when it hinges on which side they will trumpet for in a controversial matter.

Clearly, it depends on what their paymasters tell them and what potential outrage they may face in reaction.

While no media, including in Singapore, is perfect under all circumstances, we must be careful not to give too much credit to all the blather from the Western press, which regularly shows a lack of conviction and integrity.

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