Utah Media Blinded By Political Correctness, Paints Salt Lake Mall Shooter as Victim

Filed under:D. Sirmize,Media,Opinion,Politics,Religion — posted by D. Sirmize on February 15, 2007 @ 1:25 pm    Print Post

Let me give a little disclaimer right out of the chute. My rantings on this blog do not by any means reflect the political and/or philosophical views of this blog’s owner. The title of this blog is Desultory Thoughts (thoughts jumping from one subject to another without any logical connection to each other). Reading through the recent post list, it’s obvious that Tyler and I discuss a myriad of topics- some light-hearted, some very heavy. Unfortunately, my thoughts lately have been anything but desultory as my mind has turned almost indivertibly to the very real threat of radical Islam. It is not my intention to turn this mostly light-hearted forum solely into a discussion about that subject. To those of you aren’t interested into this, I apologize. Second only to my hate for radicalism is my disgust for political correctness.

I’m absolutely amazed at the Utah media’s reaction to Monday’s shooting rampage. To be fair, there have appropriately been many tributes to the off-duty Ogden police officer who led the charge that ended the violence. I believe he was inspired 1) to be there that night, and 2) to have brought his firearm, which he didn’t originally plan to do. Perhaps if Officer Hammond had not been the soul person in that complex with a gun, the fatality count might have even been lower, but that’s a rant for a different post.

In the days following, Utah and national media have attempted to whitewash the incident by ignoring the Muslim connection and painting Sulejman Talovic as a victim.

The LDS-owned Deseret News leads today’s paper with an arguably sympathetic article:

The atrocities of war and “ethnic cleansing,” and the pressures of daily life in a new country after he immigrated to the United States, could have created immense pressure on Talovic, according to Greg Jurkovic, a psychology professor at Georgia State University who has studied Bosnian teenagers in both Atlanta and Sarajevo.

“What we’re finding is that so many of these kids are suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder),” he said. “What seems to be most important is what they were exposed to, their war exposure.” Jurkovic said it is not being a victim of violence that automatically causes some people to perpetrate it. Instead, he said it is the constant “everyday stressors” — including poverty and the effects of losing ties to family back home in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Now I’m all about getting to the roots of a problem, and I don’t doubt Malovic’s traumatic childhood played a role in his actions Monday. What bothers me about the Deseret News’ reporting is that it borders on rationalizing the rampage. The News follows this article with an editorial (formatted as a news article) decrying anybody even daring to wonder if Malovic’s religion was a factor.

On ultraconservative Web sites like littlegreenfootballs.com, the story of Monday’s shooting rampage at Trolley Square has been reduced to one fact: “Salt Lake City Killer Was a Muslim.”

There is no record that Talovic attended any of the mosques in the Salt Lake area, according to both Tarek Nosseir, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, or Bobby Darvish of Muslim Forum. Nosseir noted that many Bosnian Muslims are more secular than religious.

The authors of the article then utterly destroy their credibility by quoting CAIR, Islamofacism’s PR arm here in the U.S.

“Welcome to my world,” said Ibrahim Hopper (sic), communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., about the angry e-mails. “I get tons of it every day.”

Had the Deseret News not been so eager to dismiss any religious influence on Malovic’s killing spree, they might have discovered that Mr. Hooper is no stranger to radical Islam. They might have also spelled his name correctly in the article.

While I’m sure many reasonable people sent reasonably-worded emails scolding the News for avoiding reporting Malovic’s religion, the authors focus only on the most vitriolic. Nobody reasonable is outright accusing Malovic of killing people under the banner of Islam. But what floors me is the widespread effort to unequivocally deny that his Muslim faith played any role in the motive.

All week, SLPD has claimed they know very little about Malovic. And if SLPD knows very little about him, rest assured the public knows even less. Yet KSL, the Deseret News, and Rocky Anderson know without doubt that Malovic’s religion had nothing to do with it.

To use a Glenn Beckism, blood’s about ready to shoot out of my eyes.

What’s worse is a staggering effort to turn any discussion of Islam into a racist issue. Keith Roderick has an excellent piece in Tuesday’s American Thinker that addresses this point:

“Islamophobia,” coined as a term to describe prejudice and fear against Muslims and Islam, has gained institutional legitimacy. It is now used to fend off criticism of anything negative arising from Muslims or Islam. Less a psychological state of irrational fear, it creates a pseudo-racial classification for Muslims and Islam that allows criticism of, or opposition to it, to be defined as racist.

Understandably, Salt Lake City officials are looking to avoid a backlash against the estimated 10,000 Bosnians living here. But SLPD Chief Chris Burbank’s comments this morning on KNRS AM make Roderick’s point precisely:

“I really hate to see some of the rhetoric that’s going around and the bias and the prejudice and really, outright hatred towards another race, towards another group of people, based solely on an individual’s actions.”

Ok, hold it right there, Chief. I eat, sleep, and breathe Salt Lake City and I haven’t heard so much as a word against Bosnians or their race. But let’s assume for a moment that you really don’t mean to equate suspicions about Malovic’s religion with discrimination against Bosnians. If you are detecting an anti-Muslim prejudice, it’s not based solely on one individual’s actions, sir. Who’s responsible for most mass slayings these days? Sure, “every religion has its extremists.” But then again you don’t read a lot of news stories about scientologists mowing down innocents in crowded marketplaces these days, do you?

Of course it must be noted that Chief Burbank was personally chosen for his position by uber-liberal Mayor Rocky Anderson. While Burbank (and Rocky for that matter) should be praised for SLPD’s flawless response to the incident, the man is drunk with Rocky’s PC Kool-Aid. It’s a bit alarming when the chief of police rules out any religious connection before the evidence comes in.

So who is more unreasonable here- those of us who refuse to rule Islam out as a potential factor until the evidence is in, or those who are already just certain it wasn’t?

I’ll reiterate what I say on a daily basis- the road to America’s downfall is paved with political correctness. Especially as it relates to radical Islam. Political correctness originates in the former Soviet Union, where citizens who dared voice a disagreement with communism were sent away to re-education camps until those views were corrected. In an America where anybody who questions Islam’s “peaceful” role in the world is condemned as a racist bigot, one wonders if our collective ideology is closer to that of Washington’s or Lenin’s.

UPDATE: One more thing about the media’s hypocrisy in not mentioning Malovic’s religion. Newsbusters’ Warner Todd Huston remembers:

Remember how Timothy McVeigh was immediately called a Christian, a White Separatist, or that he was part of a militia, etc.? There was little waiting for facts to emerge with McVeigh.

Yep, but Christianity and Judaism have always been exempt from the graces afforded by political correctness. Sucks to be us, huh?

one comment so far »

  1. Well reasoned and written. Thanks!

    Comment by Jeff Lindsay — February 20, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

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