Release Date: August 9, 1995
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: -- Press Contact: Enver Masud

The 'Who' In American Media

While there has been some debate regarding the "premature" placing of blame upon Muslims in the Oklahoma City bombing, the more important issue has not been addressed says Enver Masud, founder of The Wisdom Fund. Mr. Masud asks: "Why were Muslims blamed at all?"

Journalists are trained to report the "who, what, when, where, how, and why" of events. However, most U.S. media, seldom identify the religion of the lead figure or organization in any story except when it is Muslim. The "who" is very seldom Christians and Christianity. It is invariably Muslims and Islam. This assigning of guilt by association demonizes all Muslims, and precludes opportunities for more meaningful dialog.

The reporting on the recent bombing in Oklahoma City is a good example. When terrorism "experts," based upon little or no evidence, blamed Middle Eastern terrorists, Muslims were immediately accused. But when McVeigh was caught, and alleged to be the bomber, there was no mention of Christians. In the case of Muslims, guilt by association cast blame on a billion or so Muslims worldwide. In the case of Christians, blame was narrowed, and rightly so, to McVeigh and his accomplices.

Fifteen weeks after the bombing, McVeigh and his accomplices are expected to be indicted. Muslims, says Masud, "were unjustly indicted, tried, and sentenced within forty-eight hours. Media critics, and American leaders, have remained remarkably silent."

[Last month, an east Texas man pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon of mass destruction. Inside the home and storage facilities of William Krar, investigators found a sodium-cyanide bomb capable of killing thousands, more than a hundred explosives, half a million rounds of ammunition, dozens of illegal weapons, and a mound of white-supremacist and antigovernment literature.--Kris Axtman, "The terror threat at home, often overlooked," Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 2003]

[The case, in which Moroccan immigrants Karim Koubriti and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi were convicted last June of being part of a terror cell, was hailed as an early success in the Bush administration's war on terror. But the case came in danger of unravelling last month after revelations that government lawyers failed to turn over certain information to the defence.--Andrew Gumbel, "Prosecutor in Detroit terrorism trial being investigated for misconduct: report," Canoe, January 17, 2004]

[Last week, the FBI announced that it was looking into reports that it had failed to produce documents at the earlier trials of McVeigh and Nichols demonstrating a link to the ARA and undermining much of the case against Nichols. It also acknowledged internal documents showing that crucial evidence was destroyed - including blasting caps found in the ARA's possession which came from a quarry that McVeigh and Nichols robbed.

The ARA robbed 22 banks, most of them in the Midwest, over a two-year period in the early 1990s, and the alternative theory of the Oklahoma City bombing holds that the money they stole financed what was meant to be the opening blast in an all-out war against the federal government.--Andrew Gumbel, " Death-penalty trial for Oklahoma bomb accomplice could backfire on FBI," The Guardian, March 1, 2004]

Editorial, "Motor City Mess," Washington Post, March 1, 2004

Paul Harris, "They seemed normal but plotted to kill thousands," The Observer, March 21, 2004