Home The Muslims the Media Doesn't See
Home The Muslims the Media Doesn't See

The Muslims the Media Doesn't See

The media coverage of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has one theme and one tack. Like 30 of the 31 men on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list, they were terrorists who just happened to be Muslim.

While the New York Times dispatched its best and brightest lackeys to Boston to write sensitive
pieces on how hard it was for the two Tsarnaevs to fit in leaving them no choice but to bomb the Boston Marathon and then send LOL texts to their friends, it fell to a UK tabloid like The Sun to conduct an interview with the ex-girlfriend of the lead terrorist and learn that he wanted her to hate America and beat her because she wouldn't wear a Hijab.

There are all sorts of jobs that Americans won't do. Like pick lettuce, bomb the Boston Marathon and report honestly on the motives of the bombers. The only news network that operates outside the media consensus is owned by an Australian mogul who also owns The Sun.

Americans like to think of their press as freer, but it's only free in the sense that it voluntarily puts on its own muzzle. European tabloids get into bloody brawls with regulators. American newspapers have nothing to brawl about. They will gleefully report anything that undermines national security at the drop of a hat, knowing that they won't be touched, but there is a long list of subjects that they won't touch with a million mile pole.

In Europe, editors risked their lives to publish the Mohammed cartoons. In America, on the rare occasion that they were depicted, they were usually censored. CNN, which could show Kathy Griffin trying to molest Anderson Cooper, without the benefit of pixelation or a suicide button, blurred out Mohammed's face; assuming that Muslims would appreciate the sensitivity of treating their prophet's face like an obscene object.

The American media does not need to be censored. It censors itself.

Did the New York Times really fail to come across Tamerlan Tsarnaev's ex-girlfriend and domestic abuse victim while they were busily interviewing every single person in Boston who ever ran into the future terrorists? Doubtful. The New York Times may be incompetent, but it isn't that incompetent. If it could track down Tamerlan's old coach, it could track down his old girlfriend. It chose not to.

So did every other paper.

Either The Sun is staffed with crack journalists who could do what no American newspaper, news channel and network news program could, or The Sun got the scoop on Nadine Ascencao because no newspaper on this side of the ocean wanted to touch it. And it's easy to see why.

Nadine talks about being beaten in the name of Islam, forced to memorize Koran verses and being taught to hate America. Most journalists on this side of the ocean want quotes on what nice boys the two Tsarnaevs were and how, in true liberal fashion, no one could have expected them to do something like this.

Every background story on them is filled with the same pabulum, because the endless march of “We couldn’t have known” quotes provides the government-media complex with the plausible deniability it needs to continue doing the same thing all over again. If the people couldn’t have known, then it stands to reason that their government or their media couldn’t have known either.

No Islam please, we're American was the mainstream media's unspoken message. We don't do Islamic terrorism. We only report on terrorists who happen to be Muslim.

The only newspaper besides The Sun to do an interview with Nadine Ascencao was the Wall Street Journal; which just happens to be owned by the same tabloid mogul. But there is an interesting difference between The Sun and the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ piece doesn't mention Hijabs, Koran verses or hating America. It doesn't mention Islam at all.

Co-written by a Pakistani journalist, it emphasizes only that Tamerlan was a bully of no particular religion. That reporter's twitter feed features a retweet from another Muslim WSJ reporter who broadcasts that the plans of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to head to Times Square amounted to nothing. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Nothing to see here is the theme of the media's coverage. Like a movie, it begins with inspirational tales of courage, and then just when the villains were about to come on the scene, the credits began to roll. It's only been twenty minutes, but the audience gets hustled out of the theater and told to leave their sodas and popcorn behind.

The "folks who did this", in Obama's patently false folksy parlance, were caught. Or at least one of them was. The sacred liberal ceremony of the Miranda warning was recited by a judge at his bedside and the trial will now move through the traditional phases of expensive lawyers paid for by the taxpayer pleading that their client was traumatized by our foreign policy and the entire story being shoved to the back of the media's coat rack behind the next sports star who comes out of the closet.

This is the surreal world of the American media, which wields its weapons of mass distraction with clinical precision, so that the news hour and the local paper are virtually indistinguishable in content from an old episode of The Jerry Springer Show. But it can't possibly spare the time for a coherent discussion of the real world motives of two men who carried out a major terrorist attack in Boston.

Soviet citizens listened to the Voice of America to find out what their own government wouldn't tell them. American citizens have to read The Sun and the Daily Mail, publications whose standards are slightly above that of The Huffington Post and yet, like the National Inquirer, have become one of the few outlets that will chase after the stories that the media has embargoed as effectively as Pravda.

Instead of wasting time on a dead end like Islam, the media has spent its time chasing down every other possible angle.

Did Tamerlan turn terrorist because he took too many blows to the head while boxing? Could the Boston Marathon bombing have been prevented if only we had let him win?

The New York Times assembled a touching story of an aspiring immigrant boxer radicalized by the petty restrictions of a government that wouldn't let him apply for citizenship because of his history of domestic violence and appearance on a terrorist watch list. But how does that jibe with the Tamerlan from five earlier who beat up a boy that his sister was dating because he wasn't Muslim? 

When the media must deal with Tamerlan's theology, it keeps him in the category of the troubled man who turned to some wacky extremist version of Islam propounded by a YouTube convert. The man who beat his sister's boyfriend because he wasn't a Muslim and beat his ex-girlfriend because she wouldn't wear a Hijab wasn't some brainwashed drone who had his mind stolen by YouTube videos. He was a Muslim.

The Tamerlan of 2007 might not have watched as many Jihadist videos, but it would be a mistake to assume that he would have disagreed with their content. That Tamerlan might not have been looking at bombing targets, but neither would he have been upset and angry if some other Muslim had done what he would go on to do. Like Dzhokhar's two Muslim friends, his first reaction would have been to cover it up.

When it comes to serial killers and mass shooters, the media is conditioned to look for a break that follows some life crisis. But with Muslim terrorists there is no discontinuity, only continuity. A few setbacks might have made terrorism more appealing to Tamerlan, but that would not have happened if it had not already been on his menu of life choices. Or that of his brother.

That angle is the most terrifying one that the media can think of. It's the one that they can't touch. It's the one that they won't let anyone else touch either. If they have to mention the "I" word, they will sandwich it between "extremist" and "radicalization". But it's not Tamerlan who was the radical extremist. Among Muslims, his views were mainstream. The Wahhabis are in ascendance in most parts of the world, including the United States. Islamist parties roundly won the Arab Spring.

What was the difference between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and any of the Syrian Jihadists held up by the media as the epitome of courage and bravery? What is the difference between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the Hamas and Fatah terrorists that the media peevishly contends Israel must make peace with? What is the difference between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and any of the tens of thousands of Muslim terrorists fighting in conflicts around the world?

While the European media, for all its faults, occasionally grapples with the incompatibility of liberal values and Muslim values; on this side of the ocean the topic is all but untouchable. There is no national censorship body that does this. Instead stories are held down by the weight of a consensus that insists the media exists to promote liberal values. All else follows from there.

The stories that promote liberal values are reported. The stories about a future Muslim terrorist beating his girlfriend because she wouldn't wear a Hijab are not because those stories create a sneaking suspicion that Muslim multiculturalism is incompatible with liberal values. And the incompatible Muslims, like Mohammed’s face, have been pixelated out of existence in reports on the terrorist attacks by disgruntled boxers, doctors and perfume salesmen who just happen to be Muslim.

These are the Muslims that the media doesn’t see. And it is doing everything possible to make sure that we don’t see them either.


  1. Anonymous5/5/13

    Beautiful. Thank you, Daniel Greenfield.

    I would love to read your perspective on the emergence of anti-semitism and Nazism in Hungary.

  2. emergence implies it wasn't there before

    1. Anonymous5/5/13

      You are correct, of course. It's always there whether you notice it or not.


  3. It is or is becoming illegal to see it. Your blog, if it originated in Bavaria would be a criminal offense as it is no longer legal to say anything that's not supportive of Islam. Sharia is here folks, it's here. You thought there would be some grand pronouncement, but no.


    As the ministry website explains, the Federal Republic of Germany is a "militant democracy [wehrhafteDemokratie]." The Verfassungsschutz hereby functions as an "early warning system" against threats to a free society. Verfassungsschutz offices at the federal and provincial levels "observe anti-constitutional efforts" (including with secret surveillance) across the political spectrum and report to authorities and the public.

    ..moreover they are specifically targeting individuals by name. In the US this is still quasi un Constitutional under the prohibition of Bills of Attainder. For now.

  4. Anonymous5/5/13

    Bull's eye!

  5. Sometimes I talk to very sophisticated and successful people who generally understand things and tell them that the state of the press in the US, along with the state of education and entertainment that actually has identifiable content but more so, is the biggest proximal cause of our descent to the hell we are in, and they don't argue but don't show much interest either, because how novel is it to complain about the press? I don't understand how someone can be aware that there was once such a thing as JournoList and not be pained by a realization of how compromised the supposed free world we live in is.

    I also don't completely understand several things. In Socialist countries even the supposed Communists, unless they were really Old School would generally know how things were. Some of them were pretty proud of the state of affairs in spite of their understanding because of nationalism or a sense of belonging to something big and strong, and others would be privately critical but precious few were really dedicated to the cause once the novelty wore off and even more so when they no longer got shot for not beating their chest all the time. And yet you take a good All-American boy or girl, you educated them K-12, college, the Journalism school and they turn into a parteigenosse that Hitler or Stalin would instinctively trust to provide personal security because of how incorruptible they are in the service of THEIR cause, which in this case liberalism.

    Why does it take so little for some little Timmy or Lisa to turn into a Cerberus ready to guard the liberal hell from all information that would compromise its integrity? So you teach them about unfair America has been here and there, but they also do learn about the founding fathers and the 4th of July, and how not to steal, and yet when confronted with some inconvenient truth about Muslims or why people stay poor or illegal immigration they will lie, hide things, and attack without the slightest concern for their own and their "press organ's" integrity?

    You could say it's the editors, or it's the owners, or various threats from powerful people, but they have bought into it, all of them, and it's not just money and power. They enjoy it, they feel entitled to behave this way and empowered by their behavior. How do they learn to lie and enjoy it so much? I just don't get it.

  6. Anonymous6/5/13

    Well done, Daniel. A free press, a curious media, is so fundamental to a free society.


    The Israeli comedy troupe Latma does a real nice job on this subject.

  7. Anonymous6/5/13

    The left likes Islam because they are Jealous.

    When someone prints mocking pictures of Islam's messenger, riots and murders happen.

    When someone mocks the insanity of leftist thought, the left would like to riot and murder, but they really don't have the balls.

    The left of today isn't the left of years past. They idolize the bombers of '60s and '70s, but are too comfortable and lazy to go out and put their lives on the line.

    It's just jealousy masquerading as respect.

  8. Just a common 'tater6/5/13

    My opinion on the sad condition of the American press and its refusal to print the truth about Islam is pretty straightforward. OPEC money buys a lot of silence, both from the press and the politicians. The refusal to call these terrorist attacks what they are (direct, military assaults by irregular forces against us) means our politicos don't have to go smoke out the states that support the terrorists. Lastly, Igor, the lack of real interest in what is right and true is probably a play out of a number of factors: one-sided news that they grew up on, one-sided liberal-progressive education, inflated sense of self, and lastly, near-Pavlovian conditioned responses to rewards for reporting the "truth" and punishment for doing otherwise (a la 1984). Disgustingly true discussion of our media, Sultan.

  9. Anonymous6/5/13

    See no Jihad has consequences not just for America, but far more serious consequences for other people fighting against Jihad. It was the US that bombed Serbia and created a Muslim state in Europe. Both France and the UK were initially against it. It was again the US that created a narco-Muslim state in Europe – Kosovo.

    It is the US that is supporting Islamists around the world- arming them, supporting them with no-fly zones against reasonable ME countries, so when the Islamists(Muslims) win, they murder Christians, burn churches, and finally drive them out. Ditto in Iraq – people warned that Christians were being massacred in Iraq, but America turned a blind eye. Now there are few Christian left in Iraq. Only Syria was generous enough to offer refuge to hundreds of thousands of them. Thus Syria is now a target.

    If the US continues on this anti-Christian path, there will be no Christians in the original lands they were from.

    I take no satisfaction in seeing USA as a slave of Saudi Arabia, and an enemy of the West. In fact, I feel sad. I have many friends in the USA – good Christians and genuinely nice people, whose hospitality I enjoy when I am in America, and reciprocate when they are here.


  10. Great article! 'There's none so blind as those who will not see' which defines the entirety of the mainstream media!

    I posted a link to this article at The Political Commentator.


    Michael Haltman
    The Political Commentator
    New York, New York
    Twitter: @ThePoliticalCom

  11. Anonymous6/5/13

    Mifouf here.

    Speaking of hidden Islamic agendas we aren't allowed to know or speak about, has there been any clarification of the status of the "person of interest", Ali Abdul al-Harbi? The one who was picked up at the Boston bombing site, hospitalized, and then disappeared from view. He was downgraded to an innocent bystander soon after the picture was published of a grinning Ali with the smiling Saudi Ambassador from Ali's hospital room. Since then he seems to have been hurried out of the country and there has been the usual silence and "I'll look into that" from questions put to the administration. Does Sultan or any of the readers here know what has happened?

  12. From the Quran: "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them." No mention of pressure cookers, ball bearings and severed legs, but we're talking about the 7th Century.

  13. Anonymous6/5/13

    During the 1930s, the BBC and the Times of London did everything they could to support Chamberlain's policy of appeasement and not say anything bad about the Nazis.

  14. The BBC and the Times did what the government told them to do. There was no need for any orders. Just a quiet lunch at White's or one of the other gentlemen's clubs did the job.

  15. I think it was the trauma of not being able ro recompete and win in the boxing ring, along with the trauma of Older Brother receiving the requisite blows to the head in pursuit of his American Dream.

    Oh, the angst, the disappointment!

    After all, would explain and fit nicely with the rash of mass-attacks and mass-murders by all of those OTHER ex-boxers and MMA competitors over the years. It just naturally follows...


  16. Great article. Just shows how the Fifth Element is quickly destroying America. The bad part is that most of the people in America just don't care or understand, and won't care until their blood spills and then they will cry to be saved.

  17. Anonymous6/5/13

    For the record,The Sun is treated as a joke of a newspaper with pretty much zero integrity. They will publish anything that will sell newspapers. The recent Leveson Enquiry into the media here in the UK was sparked by articles written by The Sun.
    Having said all that, I agree in the main with the points you make.

  18. Anonymous6/5/13

    The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.


  19. Spot on!

    Newspeak has arrived.

    Keeping the populace ignorant of the truth is the tool of tyranny, of course.

  20. LFMayor7/5/13

    Re: Dennis,
    The 5th column will get what they ask for, not necessarily what they want. When it does finally break (and it will), there will be a little "jihad" of our very own. They know not what they do, else they would not seek to wake the sleeper.


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