RECOMMENDED READING: "Reporting The Muslim Brotherhood"


In an article titled “Reporting The Muslim Brotherhood”, Dallas journalist Rod Dreher explores the seeming lack of interest by the U.S. media in covering the extremist connection and activities of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. For example, he notes that there have only been three mentions in the mainstream media of the document introduced in the Holy Land terrorism financing trial known as the “Explanatory Memorandum” prepared by a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, outlining the organization’s goals for its American operations. After recounting his journalistic experiences in Dallas attempting to cover the U.S. Brotherhood, Dreher speculates as to some of the reasons for this journalistic neglect:

I cannot say how typical the Dallas experience is of the broader American experience, but my contacts around the country suggest that this is standard operating procedure. Islam remains a sacred cow in many American newsrooms. My experience with the Muslim leadership in Dallas provides insight, in my view, into why American journalists have ignored the radicalism present in mainstream US Muslim organizations, and in particular why—with the singular exception of an extraordinary 2004 series in the Chicago Tribune—the mainstream media has shown almost no curiosity about the Brotherhood. Why? Reflecting on my experience as a journalist, and as a journalist dealing with Muslim leaders, I have several ideas as to why. First, Muslims provide non-Muslim journalists with an opportunity to demonstrate their broadmindedness. Most journalists are secularists and cultural liberals, as survey after survey has shown. Cultural liberals have a natural sympathy for the underdog, especially besieged minorities. As a general matter, they are predisposed to believe the best about all American Muslims, and to discount evidence to the contrary as right-wing paranoia. Muslim leaders like Sayyid Syeed of ISNA and Mohamed Elmougy understand this, which is why they pitch their presentations to journalists as they do. The legacy of McCarthyism has such a powerful hold on the minds of many journalists that it disarms the instincts that every journalist has to nurture in order to do a proper job. Now that the Cold War is over, we look back at the water-carrying and fellow-traveling so many mainstream liberals, especially journalists, did for the communists, and wonder how on earth they could have been so deluded. Well, they saw what they wanted to see. One day, I am confident that historians and others will wonder the same thing about the silence and incuriosity of today’s journalists with regard to the threat from radical Islam in America.

Dreher then calls on journalists to change the way they cover the Brotherhood in the U.S.:

I am not calling for any sort of journalistic crusade against the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates in this country. I am only calling on my fellow journalists to apply the same professional standards to Islamic organizations as they would to any Christian or other organization that had clear ties to radical ideology. I am only calling on my fellow journalists to pay attention to the documents that are coming out, to connect the dots, and without fear or favor to give the public a clear picture of what we are facing in this country—and, to counter the true bigots and paranoids, a clear picture of what we are now facing. I am calling on journalists to quit being intimidated by empty charges of Islamophobia, and by their own liberal guilt.

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