28 August 2006

Had not heard of this blog before, but the Powerline folks put me on to this post. (Which I reproduce completely here.)

NYT: Just Because You Were Forced at Gunpoint to Convert To Islam Doesn't Mean You Were Harmed In Any Way

We know we said we were done for today, but really, these people have just lost it:

Two journalists kidnapped in Gaza were released unharmed today after being forced at gunpoint to say on a videotape that they had converted to Islam. The two journalists from Fox News - Steve Centanni, 60, an American reporter based in Washington, and Olaf Wiig, 36, a freelance cameraman from New Zealand - were held for 13 days in an abandoned garage in the Gaza Strip as hostages of a previously unknown group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades.

You idiot! You total blistering idiot! Being forced to convert is a harm. It might be the oldest harm short of death - being forced to renounce your faith and your god. Millions of people - literally millions - have died rather than deign to utter words that would force them to give up their faith. No wonder liberal journalists are utterly baffled by fully half of the United States - they don't think having to give up your religion is harmful. We are beyond certain that if Muslim prisoners at Gitmo were forced to convert away from Islam as a condition of their release, the New York Times would not be putting the phrase "released unharmed" into their lede. Way beyond certain.
There's a deeper explanation for how paragraphs like this can get written. It's not really bias, as much as it is the blind spots imposed by any ideology. And within that dynamic are questions about the degree of myopia and the room for self-reflection that particular ideologies allow. But don't worry about that right now. Just bask in the beauty of the phrase "released unharmed... after being forced at gunpoint to say... that they had converted to Islam"

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