Political correctness at the New York Times....
The Times finds it hard to talk about muslim terrorists...
Last week's arrest of four men in the Bronx, New York on charges of plotting to bomb two synagogues and shoot down a military aircraft with a missile has revived an ongoing debate about the connection between Islam and terrorism and the twin pitfalls of religious bigotry and willfully blind political correctness.
The New York Times has been assailed by conservative critics such as Dallas Morning News columnist and blogger Rod Dreher for downplaying a troubling aspect of the case: all the suspects are Muslims. (They had converted to Islam while in prison for drug offenses, theft and other crimes.) The first Times report on May 20 mentioned this fact only in passing - despite a statement by New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's at a press conference that the four had talked frankly about wanting to "commit jihad."
The next day, the Times ran a story on the secret FBI recordings in which the men discussed their hatred of Jews and their intent to kill U.S. soldiers in retaliation for killings of "Muslim brothers and sisters in Muslim countries." The article's lead paragraph focused on the men's criminal backgrounds; not until the fourth paragraph was there a reference to their jihadist motivation (they shouted "Allah Akbar!" as they brought their newly acquired stash of weapons to their warehouse).
In a particularly odd passage, the article noted that "law enforcement officials initially said the four men were Muslims, but their religious backgrounds remained uncertain Thursday" and that three had previously identified as Christian in prison records. This, despite ample evidence in the same article that the plot, set in motion with the help of an FBI informant, was motivated by Islamic fanaticism.
By contrast, the opening line of the New York Post story on the arrests referred to "four homegrown Muslim terrorists on a mission from hell" - inflammatory, to be sure, but arguably far more accurate.
Is the suspects' religion relevant? Given that they were driven by religion-based extremism and hate, common sense certainly suggests that it is.