Friday, October 31, 2008
Traveling across New Mexico yesterday, I saw a column in the Albuquerque Journal about a Navajo woman who was raised as a Muslim after her divorced mother married a Palestinian immigrant. The writer casts it as a "human interest" story and treats her subject with complete sympathy, admiringly quoting her to the effect that her hijab is "a sign of dedication to my religion. Completely practicing the religion. Doing what the Quran says we have to do and just being a good Muslim" and never once asking what "doing what the Quran says we have to do" entails -- such as being "hard against the unbelievers" (48:29) or refusing to have them for "friends and protectors" (3:28, 5:51, 60:1, et al.). To make any such critical inquiry she would have had to look into the Qur'an, and this she clearly had never done -- or, evidently, had any interest in doing.
As one who toiled for fifteen years at a mainstream newspaper, I can testify that such willful ignorance is ubiquitous in the American media. Its consequences must inevitably be dire.