Reader’s View: Media uses double standard on violence


Originally published in Duluth News Tribune

We interrupt this transmission for breaking news. America has been struck by another terrorist attack, this time in Chapel Hill, N.C. A Muslim gunman shot dead three innocent students near the University of North Carolina campus. FBI and local law enforcement authorities are looking into this terrorist activity. The FBI is conducting a door-to-door search for suspected terrorists.

Such a news report would have drawn a lot of attention. It would have had all the power to target Islam and would have kept the media busy for a week, criticizing Islam. Television ratings would have skyrocketed.

Unfortunately, three Muslim students lost their lives in North Carolina to anti-theist Craig Hicks, and the headlines and reaction were much different than had he been Muslim. My heart and soul goes out to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy. But because the gunman was not a Muslim, the story barely got any of the attention from the media it deserved.

There is a clear double standard in our news media industry. Had the gunman been Muslim, Muslims would have been labeled terrorists and Islam would have been labelled a religion that promotes violence.

Where was the media?

Why wasn’t the gunman’s religion or lack thereof more strongly questioned?

Why weren’t news anchors  blaming their hate of religion for the shooting?

Hollywood celebrities on the red carpet at the Golden Globe awards sported Je Suis Charlie badges and signs. The Oscars are just around the corner. I would like to see those same celebrities advocating for human rights and free speech to wear badges that say “Muslim Lives Matter” to help break this double standard.

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Waqas Khalid
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By Waqas Khalid