MintPress Founder Mnar Muhawesh On The Media’s Use Of ‘Fast Food Headlines’

Shadowproof's Managing Editor Kevin Gosztola discusses the media's response to the ISIS attacks in Paris and Beirut with MintPress founder Mnar Muhawesh.
By |
Be Sociable, Share!
    • Google+
    CNN hosted conservative commentator Buck Sexton following the Paris Attack to discuss whether there are tenets of Islam that are not compatible with the “values” of the United States.

    CNN hosted conservative commentator Buck Sexton following the Paris Attack to discuss whether there are tenets of Islam that are not compatible with the “values” of the United States. (Video screenshot)

    This is part 2 of Shadowproof’s audio interview with Mnar Muhawesh for the podcast series The Dissenter. For Part 1 of the interview, go here.  This article was published in partnership with Shadowproof.

    In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, as well as the blasts in Beirut, I interviewed Mnar Muhawesh, founder and editor-in-chief of MintPress News (MPN), about the Paris attacks and the response of Western countries to the violence.

    During the latter part of the interview, Muhawesh addresses challenges media organizations should be taking on today and critiques the news media, which she describes as being driven by “fast food headlines.” Muhawesh condemns the two-party system as she talks about the effect the presidential election has on journalism when the media is so dependent on covering every tiny detail. She also talks about a disruptor in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, an activist named Terry Burke, who has targeted her at speaking events because she opposes interventionist foreign policy in Syria.


     

    Listen to Part 2 of the interview by clicking on the below player. You can also listen and download the interview by clicking here, or find our recordings on iTunes under “Shadowproof Presents.”



     


    Below is a transcript of Part 2 of the interview with Mnar Muhawesh.

    GOSZTOLA: How do you view journalism and some of the challenges you think need to be taken on by media organizations? My view is you really have to convince people, in the United States in particular, that journalism is a public service and that on some level you’re going to have to invest in it if you want to get news that isn’t the sort of thing that you and I have spent time railing against in this interview. And so, somehow with independent organizations, you have to find a way to convince people that you’re offering them something that is a public service.

    MUHAWESH: Right, and right now, we live in a very fast food headline-driven news industry. I didn’t talk too much about that in your last question. That’s really why I started MintPress, because we live in the very fast food headline-driven industry.

    People are getting snippets of what’s happening around them, if they’re even getting that. Most of the coverage now is infotainment. It’s celebrity-driven. It’s sensationalized news stories. And the truth of the matter is most people don’t know what is going on around them. We’re inundated day in and day out with the same kind of sensationalized news coverage. This context, this substance to news, is completely lost. So people today don’t really even know what real journalism is and what news media is and that’s no surprise because over 60 percent of Americans don’t even trust the media anymore, and although we do still consume it, most people see it as a form of entertainment and sensationalism. They don’t see it as a source of really getting informed and educated.

    What we’re trying to do at MintPress — I know you’re trying to do this at Shadowproof — is reinvigorate the public through this public service of informative journalism that is lost, that just doesn’t exist anymore and that is because of the consolidation of the media. The media, even in 1980s, was made up of over fifty corporations that owned the media. And, since 2001, they’ve consolidated to about six corporations.

    So, now we have six corporations literally controlling over ninety percent of what Americans see, hear, and read, and so when it comes to conflicts, like what’s happening in Syria or what’s happening in Libya, or issues taking place in Venezuela or Colombia, or even here. The issues that take place here with corporate ownerships and corporate takeover of our own government and the infringements on our Fourth Amendment and First Amendment rights with the spying that is happening toward journalists and regular citizens and activists.

    Most people aren’t getting the truth and then when it comes to me and you, who are presenting the truth, a lot of people either get really, really excited, which is why we have the readership that we have, because people really want something with substance. They’re so excited to see that real journalism does exist. Or, the neocons come out with their attacks, and the attacks are usually not against our journalism, if you notice. It’s usually against something about us personally. It becomes an ad hominem, just like the ad hominems that [Edward] Snowden gets everyday for exposing the government spying.

    Why isn’t the media talking about and acting as a watchdog to the government? The media is supposed to be the Fourth Branch of government to keep the government in check. Why isn’t the media talking about government spying and this infringement on our Fourth Amendment [rights]? Instead, they’re going after Snowden, calling him a Russian aid or un-American. If anything, Snowden is the most American person and most patriotic person that probably exists today. So, that’s what we’re trying to do is bring back the true meaning, the real meaning of journalism as defined by our First Amendment and by the Constitution.

    GOSZTOLA: You were talking about infotainment, and one of the more critical issues is that we’ve gone to a model with media that is entirely driven by the elections that happen every four years. It’s very draining on anybody’s effort to do investigative journalism. In fact, at Shadowproof, we adopted a policy of for the most part ignoring any of the horse race in so far as it doesn’t relate to movement issues. So, if the candidates are taking stand and movements are responding, we will do coverage about that. But we’re not going to post videos of candidates dancing or post things that are like this candidate said this really dumb thing yesterday and everyone went wild.

    What’s your thought about how everything has developed in this country to where media is so reliant on the presidential election?

    MUHAWESH: The presidential election is honestly just a circus, if I may say. Really, it does not truly represent the people. It’s really disturbing, and the only reason they are going with it is because a lot of these media organizations are getting thousands upon thousands of dollars in ad revenue from posting about these candidates; their campaign advertisements. And then, they’re getting special interest money from the actual campaigns to push a certain candidate.

    When we have coverage of people like Donald Trump and Ben Carson’s ridiculous statements, it really just shows that it is all a dog and pony show. That’s really all it is. And the real question the media should be talking about is, where are the third party candidates? Most countries have more than two parties that represent the people, and here in the United States we have two-party system and it acts really more like a dictatorship to us, because they don’t truly represent us. They’re representing corporate and special interests and war agendas.

    So, even at MintPress, sometimes we have from our syndicating partners we’ll post something like Ben Carson said this or Donald Trump said this, and how ridiculous it is. But the real coverage should be in why aren’t we giving a voice and why aren’t third-party candidates like Jill Stein or Gary Johnson—Why aren’t they being given a voice? People like Ron Paul even in the last presidential election was ostracized and demonized and ridiculed for speaking up against a pro-war agenda and exposing the corporatocracy that we live in.

    That’s really where the coverage should be, and I really appreciate when independent journalists give those other candidates a voice because we really can’t rely on our media to do that. And that’s unfortunately encouraging people to only vote for those two parties, which is the Democratic and Republican Party. But I believe the number is over sixty percent of Americans don’t identify as Democrat or Republican.

    If we actually listen to Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, we’d probably more identify with independent candidates, which is the truth. And, if we actually put our hearts and minds and we followed what their campaigns stand for, we might actually start to see change within our system. But we’re told day in and day out that we have to vote for only those two parties, and, of course, the media just encourages that and pushes that. So, we know why the media doesn’t really work for us. It’s working for that corporate dictatorship that rules over us.

    GOSZTOLA: It does seem that it fuels arguments and polarization, the very same people usually like to stump and pretend they’re very much against. If you had other parties that were involved, and it wasn’t just always Republican versus Democrat, then you don’t see everything like the way CNN likes to present it, where it’s like there’s two sides to every issues. It’s, oh, now, there are like four or five different perspectives, and here’s maybe one or two that are sane.

    MUHAWESH: Yeah. Absolutely. We’re being given a very polarized view of politics, but this nation is so diverse. I would like to think we’re not a racist nation, as Donald Trump seems to represent. I would like to think that we’re not a bunch of xenophobes, as Ben Carson likes to represent. We’re really not. At the end of the day, most people want access to jobs. They want access to healthcare. They want access to a good education. They want security. They don’t want any more war, that’s for sure.

    And then we have candidates that tell us that’s what they’re going to do, like Bernie Sanders, which I have a lot of respect for Bernie Sanders because he did bring attention to the corporate ownership of America. But at the same time, he is still parroting those same talking points that serve the military industrial-complex, like he’s going to continue Obama’s drone program and continue military aid to apartheid Israel and Saudi Arabia. So, we really have to be careful with these supposed leftist or peace candidates and kind of dig a little bit deeper for the candidates that actually represent our wants and needs.

    GOSZTOLA: Last thing I want to ask you about is part of what motivated this interview was a column that was written by somebody who you have had to deal with in the Twin Cities of Minnesota named Terry Burke. This is a person who acts like an infiltrator. Maybe you could shed a few details before I go on to the other part of my question.

    MUHAWESH: Sure. So, yeah, Terry Burke has been basically harassing me for nearly two years now. Whenever I have an event, I expect her to be there. I’ve never met her before. I’ve never even seen her face. I don’t know what she looks like because I don’t think she has any photos of herself online. But she has been coming to my events as a heckler or a disrupter to the events.

    Of course, she tells the organizers she is an antiwar activist and she is a liberal, a leftist — all of those things, but she comes from an organization called CISPOS, which is the Committee in Solidarity with the People of Syria. It supposedly works to bring attention to Bashar al-Assad’s war crimes, which Assad has definitely committed war crimes in Syria. But she attacks journalists. She attacks other activism groups if they focus on non-interventionist foreign policy, which is just really change.

    This woman had been a part of Women Against Military Madness. It’s a national organization. It’s woman-based. It’s like CODEPINK but just a little bit smaller. She used to sit on their board, and she was a part of the group. But when the group spoke out against the war in Syria, this woman, Terry, went on to disrupt their events, smear them locally. She contacted other media to say they are pro-Assad, even though all of these organizations, including myself, are just trying to bring attention to a non-interventionist foreign policy.

    She’s been disrupting and acting as heckler to not just myself — I’m just the latest victim of her disruptions — but to several antiwar groups, including the local chapter of Veterans for Peace. And her thing is to smear these organizations as pro-Assad, and I just find that really, really interesting.

    GOSZTOLA: The reason I wanted to raise this with you is that I followed the cases of activists—around half of them are from the Twin Cities area. The Anti-War Committee was raided by the FBI in 2010. The activists there, and then there’s people around Chicago and Michigan, had been involved in organizing a march at the Republican National Convention in 2008. The climate there for organizing has been and continues to be one where people are probably on edge and very concerned about anyone around them, who would engage in this sort of behavior. Because there was a woman who identified herself as Karen Sullivan and infiltrated their group and was part of the planning meetings for the march at the RNC in 2008.

    I don’t know if you have anything to add, but in your experience, this is something you have to be concerned about when faced with characters who approach you so relentlessly, like Terry.

    MUHAWESH: I was actually contacted by a few antiwar groups [in the Twin Cities] about people like Terry and about Terry herself. We don’t know. We just don’t know, but they suspect based on her behavior, of being a part of the antiwar group then being really supportive of the war in Syria or at least parroting those establishment talking points about Syria and then disrupting events, like my event.

    Last year, I had an event that was called “How the Corporate Media Beats the Drums of War.” She was outside my event. I had never heard of her before, never met her, and the organizers had told me she had been disrupting all of their events and smearing them as pro-Assad. So, based on this behavior, they do actually suspect locally that she is an infiltrator within the movement. She’s made quite the name for herself, and she’s trusted quite ironically by people at MinnPost, who are a part of an establishment media organization, who give her a voice.

    But what she’s doing is really just McCarthyism. She wants everybody to not speak up against U.S. intervention. Although she says that she’s antiwar and her organization, CISPOS, is antiwar, she’s very adamant about all of us not speaking up against that. We most only talk about Assad’s crimes. Of course, Assad has committed grave crimes. He reacted to the rebels infiltrating in his country with grave, grave force. It’s just a mess in Syria.

    It’s not that all of us are trying to blame just the U.S. government or just NATO for what’s happening there, but we really have to get to the root cause of this. When we act as watchdogs, we get these people to harass us. Again, I think it’s all a diversion. The smearing and this infiltration is just diversion to break us up. In fact, CISPOS is now responsible for breaking up several antiwar groups. She’s divided several antiwar groups in rallying to support the war in Syria. You know, I don’t know but these organizations do believe she could be an infiltrator based on her behavior.

    GOSZTOLA: Nobody knows. I’ll be tremendously clear about that, but it wouldn’t take much. All the FBI would have to do is maybe be in conversation every now and then. You wouldn’t have to be an informant or be working meaningfully for the FBI. They could just be talking to her and she could [be made to] feel like she’s doing something important and have conversations with the FBI. I just know they have been active in the Twin Cities.

    MUHAWESH: They definitely have.

    GOSZTOLA: To wrap, I’d like to end on a strong point here. It’s always been my opinion that when you’re writing about anything or providing commentary or putting together investigative journalism that you focus on the actions, the misconduct, or crimes of your country, and that you’re particularly focused on what you’re government is doing because you’re a citizen or resident of that country. That’s what matter mosts. I can’t really do anything about what Vladimir Putin is doing to other people. I’m not Russian. I can’t really help topple Assad. I’m not Syrian. But I can do something for the Syrian people by speaking out about what my government is doing to make things more difficult for Syrian.

    I’ll make that statement and allow you to wrap up our interview with any final thoughts you have.

    MUHAWESH: I don’t know if I have anything else to add. You said it perfectly. We are taxpayers. We are citizens of the United States. It is our job to keep our government in check. The last time I checked we were supposedly a democracy. The only way to have a functioning democracy is to have a free press that acts as a watchdog to our government. And that’s what we need to continue doing, and when we do get attacked, which this happens to so many of us —

    When we get pressured, when we get critiqued for not exposing our things, whatever it may be, it’s really just a diversion because we are truly making an impact, and I think a lot of us need to wear these attacks and the smears against us as a badge of honor, especially when they’re coming from people or organizations that are parroting those neoconservative talking points. It’s definitely something to be proud of.

    *For Part 1 of the interview, go here.

    Be Sociable, Share!

     

    Print This Story Print This Story
    You Might Also Like  
    ___________________________________________
    This entry was posted in Front Page: National, Inside Stories, National, Top Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
    • James Wherry

      Elanor Roosevelt is famous for saying that it is “better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

      Perhaps the best way to counter bigotry is simply to shine a light on the positive. http://news.yahoo.com/paris-attacks-muslim-guard-stade-de-france-suicide-bomber-171955539.html

    • SeaNote

      Muslims aren’t happy if they aren’t cooking goat meat over a camel dung fire while they pederast all the children who are forced into child labor.

    • tapatio

      THE TENETS OF JUDAISM ARE TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE WITH “AMERICAN VALUES”……………….

      HERE ARE 2000 YEARS OF JUDAISM, THE SELF-STYLED “CHOSEN” MASTER-RACE,……….

      2000 years ago:

      Baba Mezia 114a-114b. “Only Jews are human” (Talmud)

      Sanhedrin 58b. “If a Gentile hits a Jew, the Gentile must be killed.
      Hitting a J6w is the same as hitting

      God.” (Talmud)”

      “A Jew should and must make a false oath when the non-Jew asks if our
      books contain anything against them.”

      -Szaaloth-Utszabot, The Book of Jore 17

      “Jews are human beings, but the nations of the world are not human beings
      but beasts…” -Saba Mecia 114, 6

      “When the Messiah comes every Jew will have 2800 slaves.”-Simeon
      Haddarsen, fol. 56-D

      (The above quotes taken from the “Jewish Virtual Library” site. They
      are only a sampling of the obscenity of the Jewish Talmud and, to an

      extent, in their Torah.)

      “Thanks to the terrible power of our International Banks, we have
      forced the Christians into wars without number. Wars have a special value for
      Jews, since Christians massacre each other and make more room for us Jews. Wars
      are the Jews’ Harvest: The Jew banks grow fat on Christian wars. Over
      100-million Christians have been swept off the face of the earth by wars, and
      the end is not yet.”
      (Rabbi Reichorn, speaking
      at the funeral of Grand Rabbi Simeon Ben-Iudah, 1869)

      Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, head of the Kever Yossev Yeshiva (school of Talmud) in
      Nablus stated:
      The blood of the Jewish people is loved by the Lord; it is
      therefore redder and their life is preferable.”
      “The killing by a Jew of a non-Jew is considered essentially a good deed,
      and Jews should therefore have no compunction about it.”
      “If a Jew needs a liver, can you take the liver of an innocent non-Jew passing
      by to save him? The Torah would probably permit that. Jewish life has an
      infinite value. There is something infinitely more holy and unique about Jewish
      life than non-Jewish life.” (Twice, large illegal Israeli organ harvesting
      rings have been caught stealing organs in the US
      and Europe – NEVER from Jews)

      “The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain
      world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers,

      the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the

      Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.
      In this New World Order, the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering
      opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic
      will fall without difficulty into the hands of the Jews. It will then be
      possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to
      make use of the resources of the state.
      Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which it is said that when
      the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole
      world in their hands.

      –Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx (written – 1879), printed in La Revue de
      Paris, p. 574, June 1, 1928

      We should turn Russia into a desert populated with white Ni**ers. We will

      impose upon them such a tyranny that was never dreamt by the
      most hideous despots of the East. The peculiar trait of that tyranny is that it
      will be enacted from the left rather than the right and it will be red rather
      than white in color. Its color will be red literally because we would spill such torrents

      of blood that they will pale all human losses of the capitalist wars and make

      (the survivors) shudder.
      THE LARGEST OVERSEAS BANKS WILL COOPERATE WITH US MOST CLOSELY (Rothschild
      Cartel, which funded the Bolshevik “revolution”). If we win the
      Revolution and squash Russia, on the funeral pyres of its remains we will
      strengthen the power of Zionism and become a power the whole world would drop
      in the face of on its knees. We will show (to the world) what real power means.
      By way of terror and blood baths we will bring the Russian intelligentsia into
      a state of total stupor, to idiocy, to the animal state of being…. And so far
      our young men dressed in leather – the sons of watch repair men from Odessa and

      Orsha, Gomel and Vinnitza – oh, how beautifully, how brilliantly do they master hatred of

      everything Russian!
      With what a great delight do they physically destroy the Russian intelligentsia
      ~ officers, engineers, teachers, priests, generals, agronomists, academicians,
      writers!
      ” ~ Leib Bronstein (also known as Lev TROTSKY)

      (Few in the world today are aware that the original leadership of the
      Bolshevik/Communist “Revolution” was almost entirely Jewish and most
      were not Russian. They slaughtered more than 30 million Russians, all

      Christian, and mostly well educated, before being stopped by a Russian
      faction.)

      Our race is the Master Race. We Jews are divine gods on this
      planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects.

      In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best.

      Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the

      inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron.

      The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.” –
      –Speech byIsraeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to the Knesset, –Reported by
      Amnon Kapeliouk, a Jewish-Israeli journalist in New Statesman Magazine, June
      25, 1982 by Amnon Kapeliouk. (Kapeliouk was a highly respected Israeli journalist.
      New Statesman is the British equivalent of Foreign Affairs Magazine).

      Ovadia Yosef, late Chief Rabbi of Israel and “spiritual” leader/advisor to

      various Israeli Prime Ministers, including Netanyahu and the
      “most popular rabbi in Judaism” according to the Jerusalem Post (2001
      & repeated in 2010, both “sermons” are on YouTube):
      Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in
      the world – only to serve the People of Israel.

      • James Wherry

        You know full and well that your “Talmud” quotes are all lies.

        • tapatio
          • James Wherry

            My goodness. I keep trying to answer, but for SOME REASON, this website won’t let me quote the KORAN!

            • tapatio

              Golly, gee whiz. I don’t seem to have any problem…………….

              No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah . And whoever believes
              in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.
              Quran 64:11

              And incline not toward those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch
              you, and you have no protectors other than Allah, nor you would then be
              helped. Quran 11:113

              And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the
              earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them
              (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. Quran 25:63

              • James Wherry

                Good, then you won’t mind embracing these verses of the Koran.

                As I’ve written,
                violence, hatred and bigotry get their starts early on, in the small things
                that we allow or do. When you call someone an “in%$el,” you judge and
                denigrated them and degrade them to a “thing,” less than human.
                According to the Koran, Muslims may not befriend non-Muslims, as Isalmweb, an
                Islamic website, has stated:

                QUESTION: “Is it okay to have a Christian teacher or friend? I look
                forward to your answer.

                ANSWER: : All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify
                that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad , is His
                Slave and Messenger.

                “The term friendship means love and affection. Therefore, it is not
                permissible for a Muslim to befriend a non-Muslim, whether he is a Jew, a
                Christian or of any other religion. Also, it is not permissible to socialize
                with them or befriend them because this leads to loving them and being loyal to
                them. Allaah Says (what means): {You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who
                believe in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose
                Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers, or
                their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred (people). For such He has
                written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rûh (proofs, light
                and true guidance) from Himself. And We will admit them to Gardens (Paradise)
                under which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allaah is pleased with
                them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allaah. Verily, it is the Party
                of Allaah that will be the successful.} [Quran 58:22]

                “The matter is even more forbidden and more serious if the friendship is
                between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man, or between a Muslim man and a
                non-Muslim woman, because this involves evil that leads to committing Zina
                (fornication and/or adultery).

                “Therefore, a Muslim should be very careful and cautious about this,
                because being friendly to non-Muslims is very serious. Allaah Says (what
                means): {O you who believe! Take not as intimate those outside your religion
                (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their
                best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already
                appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed
                We have made plain to you the signs if you understand.} [Quran 3:118] Besides,
                the Prophet , said: “A person is upon the religion of his friend, so you
                have to choose whom you befriend.” [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi and
                others]http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=88293

          • James Wherry

            Let’s start with exhibit A: you have called me a monkey. How can you complain, if a fake Talmud quote refers to you as an animal? You just did the same thing.

          • James Wherry

            Glad you feel that way. Now apply the same thinking consistently to the Palestinian Arab Muslims.

            1. Jewish snipers have not targeted non-combatants. By contrast, YOU have called for the murder of every single Jew – man, woman and child. You repeatedly said that you plan to help the Palestinian Arabs do to the Jews every thing you CLAIM they do to Palestinian Arabs. Does that include organ harvesting, Munro? Apparently so.

            HamasTV teaches little children to kill ALL Jews – men, women and children.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ORAM-usqhQ

            Palestinian Arabs teach to murder all Christians and Jews “to the last one.”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjxm3OSy4EE
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H8HFb-YG00

            2. Palestinian Arabs torture children in Gaza, not Israelis. http://blogs.cfr.org/abrams/20

            3. You keep trying to pass that lie that the Israeli Justice Minister is plotting a “genocide.” She is not. Where’s you evidence, Munro? You’ve had it shoved in your face for weeks now that you lied and deliberately tried to deceive readers into believing that.

            4. There is no organ harvesting and how could there be? Organ transplants across racial lines virtually always fail and YOU have lied and claimed that Jews are really Russians and that Palestinian Arabs are the Philistines of 10,000 years. How could there POSSIBLY be any organ harvesting under your lies. This is the same blood libel that claimed that Jews use the blood of Christian children to make the matza for the Passover.

            Really, Munro, you have to keep your lies straight.

    • James Wherry

      All of the media uses quick, short phrases to publish headlines, as does MPN. But yes, a lot of in-depth understanding is lost in the process. It’s what’s taught in Journalis School. Let’s take the headline used above for example, the idea that Islam and Western values are not compatible.

      1. Over the past 1,400 years, we have debated ethics and morality. In dialectic arguments, no two contradictory ideas last very long. Thesis is confronted by anti-thesis and that leads to synthesis (or someone admits they are wrong). It has NOT always gone the Western Way. When Islam started out, 1,400 years ago, it had a well-developed Code of Military Conduct (al-Siyar). In those days, the victor could do what he liked, in the West and the lives taken were in his hands. It would not be until the Lieber Code of the 1860’s, that the West had codifed rules such as those under Islam. I do feel that the West passed Islam up, at some point, but our modern rules of warfare are compatible with those of Islam.

      2. Democracy. Yes I agree that there have been a lof of dictatorships and “caliphates” under Islam, but there have been in the West as Kings, Queens, and dictatorships ruled the way. In Islam, the Caliph governs with the advice of the Ummah, the body of believers. That sounds pretty compatible to me.

      3. Human rights. Arab nations are signatories to all of the major human rights charters from the UN, with the occassional exceptions of Sa’udi Arabia and Somalia. I’ve worked with womens’ rights activists in Iraq as they have sought to fight against rape and to ensure equal rights and equal access to justice for women, children and minorities. Sorry, but that sounds like downtown Selma, Alabama, today. A friend of mine from Hull College (U.K.), Dr. Nawaz Sharif has a great book on womens’ right under Islam AND a new book on Islamic military law.

      I DO agree that ISIL and the West do not compare, but then neither does ISIL and Islam.