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Muslim Religious Extremist Violence And Christian Journalism

Journalists around the world are giving a great deal of attention to the killing of people working at a satirical French magazine. The attackers were Muslims angry about the magazine’s publication of blasphemous images of Mohammed, the central prophet of Islam.

This attention is justified, because the killings were a shocking reminder that religion is often not a peaceful influence in society. Often, it moves people to hate and to hurt. The Muslim killers in France were so blinded by their faith in the supremacy of Islam that they couldn’t perceive the obvious truth that publishing a cartoon that offends religious sensibilities is nothing in comparison to murder.

There’s something odd in the singular emphasis of major journalistic networks on this particular case of religious violence, though. You would think that it’s the only case of religiously-inspired violence taking place. It isn’t.

The United Nations published a report today finding that Christian militants in the Central African Republic are engaged in widespread ethnic cleansing against Muslims in the country. In the attack by Muslims in France, 12 people were killed. In the Central African Republic, Christians have killed thousands of Muslims.

Look at the front web pages of the major American news networks. On CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, PBS Newshour, the news about the Charlie Hebdo attack is the center of attention.

At the same time, there is on the no mention at all on the home pages of any of these news networks of the slaughter of thousands of Muslims in the Central Africa Republic.


The predominantly Christian audiences of these news networks feel justified in their animosity against Islam when they see news of violent Islamic extremism. They lack interest, however, in seeing news about instances of violent from members of their own religion. The journalists at all these networks also retain a post-9/11 bias in focusing on the problem of violence in Islam, while overlooking the problem of violence in Christianity.

There’s also the location of the attacks to consider. As much as we all might have heard about recent protests across America declaring that “Black Lives Matter”, when it comes to American news networks, we see that the lives of 12 Frenchmen matter much, much more than the lives of thousands of Africans. As during the days of slavery, the life of an African human being is regarded as having the fraction of the worth of a European human being.

5 thoughts on “Muslim Religious Extremist Violence And Christian Journalism”

  1. Charles Manning says:

    I agree, and once again thank you for eloquently saying what the mainstream media obscure.

    When I heard about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, I immediately thought about publishing entities in the U.S., such as yours, Common Dreams, and OpEdNews. Surely extremists responding to unfavorable comments about Islam don’t limit themselves to satire or comical depictions. I’m concerned about all outlets that tell the truth about Islam. And of course violent extremists associate with all religions, not just Islam.

    The Charlie Hebdo attack is a godsend for the NSA and other groups that want everyone in the U.S. to have to buy and carry around firearms. Donald Trump started leading that cause today. I’m curious if you feel that you must arm yourselves to defend against extremist operations such as the one mounted in France.

  2. J Clifford says:

    Charles, we have received threats of violence from many different religious backgrounds. We don’t arm ourselves as a result. We keep on doing what we do.

    We see stories of the terrible accidents that can occur when people carry around guns with them, and perceive that as the greater threat.

    If someone showed up and tried to kill us for saying what we like about religion, we probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to go run to get a gun to defend ourselves anyway.

    There’s a big problem in this country, and elsewhere around the world, caused by people allowing the threats and actions of violent extremist to change their behavior. When we do this, we give power to the extremists. For myself, I’m not going to change the way I live because other people can’t express their rage except through threats and violence.

  3. Charles Manning says:

    I admire your courage, and of course hope you continue your work unmolested. Nonetheless, we should pay close attention to what’s happening in France. Some in the MSM have noted that extremists have changed course by no longer attempting large scale actions like those of 9/11, but instead using attacks with conventional arms carried out by “martyrs.” This change appears to have prompted many people to think they have to arm themselves rather than rely on government to protect them.

    Another thing that’s come up occasionally in the MSM is the belief, apparently shared by all religious extremists, in an afterlife in Heaven/Paradise/Valhalla/etc. as a reward for people who die carrying out violent plots they believe are called for by their divine figures, such as Allah. The idea that martyrs have scores of female virgins waiting for them in Paradise must be especially enticing to young Muslims frustrated by strict Islamist rules against sexual freedom. It seems to me that attempts should be made to dissuade young people from such beliefs. But I’ve never heard any Christians or Jews take up that cause. Is it because Christians and Jews have a very similar belief that valiant warriors immediately ascend to heaven when they sacrifice their lives for God? So the best argument they could make to Muslims is that there’s no sex in heaven? Do Christians and Jews believe that?

    1. J Clifford says:

      Muslims and Christians and Jews and Buddhists and Hindus may have different beliefs, but what matters more than that is that all these religions share in common a problem: They have among their members brutally violent extremists who kill people as punishment for the crime of not following their religions.

      If belief in virgins after death was the only religious belief that could inspire zealous religious murder, we would be lucky and be able to merely wipe out Islam, and then enjoy bliss on Earth. Reality is not that simple.

      The Christians of the Central African Republic show us that promises of post-martyrdom bliss are not required for faith-based brutality.

  4. Charles Manning says:

    How are those Christians martyrs? Ethnic cleansing and genocide are different from the martyrdom operations of Muslims.

    I didn’t say the virgins in Paradise myth is the only motivation for Islamic extremists, but surely it’s an important factor.

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