Monthly Archives: May 2012

’60 Minutes’ segment on Gulen Movement highly speculative


By Ahmed Rehab

By most objective standards, Fethullah Gulen is a hero of the modern age. While religious polarization has emerged as one of the most nagging problems our time, stumping educators and causing politicians to loose sleep, the Turkish Muslim scholar has inspired millions around the world to rise above petty ideological differences that only work to divide people and instead to embrace all human beings as God’s creation regardless of their faith, national identity, or ideological affiliation.

Framing terrorism: When word choice speaks volumes

Ohio bomb plot suspects

By Ann Santori
The way in which a story is told through the use of specific terminology is crucial to the impression it leaves upon its audience.  For this reason, the Chicago Tribune’s recent coverage of five Cleveland men arrested for attempting to blow up a highway bridge in the Brecksville, Ohio area is problematic.

Possibly the most troubling aspect is that The Chicago Tribune allows these men to self-describe themselves as “anarchists”. The problem here is not that the men claim to be “anarchists”, but that The Chicago Tribune gives the opportunity to the five men to label themselves as they wish. By definition, the five men’s plot to blow up the Brecksville, Ohio bridge is an act of terrorism; and thus, the five men should be labeled as terrorists.

Gingrich: Does money influence his views on Muslims and Palestine?

Newt Gingrich

By Uzma Mushtaq

Newt Gingrich, the leading republican nominee for president, recently received $10 million towards his campaign from wealthy, hard-line Israel supporters. In the wake of these generous contributions, Gingrich’s commentary regarding Palestine has caused a legitimate concern amongst many who are aware of the realities regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Sheldon and Miriam Adelson are amongst the wealthiest couples in the world. Sheldon owns casinos and hotels worldwide and his wife is an Israeli-born physician. The couple contributed $5 million dollars each within 3 weeks to a political action committee supporting Gingrich’s campaign, which is amongst the largest known political donations in U.S. history, according to campaign finance experts.

What’s in a name: Challenging the word “Islamist”


By Isamar Mendoza

The word “Islamist” is used constantly when reporting news about Muslims all over the world; usually in contexts that demonize Islam and Muslims. Reporters misleadingly use the term out of accurate context and use it to describe anyone from political parties to faith-based civil rights organizations to average American citizens. Rather than becoming more informed of what’s happening in the Muslim world, readers are left even more confused and one of the most misunderstood and inaccurately portrayed regions in the world becomes even more vilified, and even more mysterious.

Khandahar Massacre: Excuses and hypocrisy in media portrayal


By Agnieszka Karoluk

On March 11, 2012, 17 civilian lives were lost in three homes in three different locations in Panjwai district – the villages of Alkozai and Najeeban and another settlement known locally as “Ibrahim Khan Houses.” When reports first came out that this mass murder was a result of a rogue U.S. soldier, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales- everyone wanted to find out why he had done this. However, due to mass media’s apologetic portrayal of Bales, people began to wonder: what lead him to do this?

Bashar Al-Assad: The Denial of a Dictator

Bashar Al Assad

By Dima Ansari

Bashar Al-Assad sounds like someone who is running out of excuses. In a December 2011 interview with Barbara Walters, Assad’s calm exterior reflected not his discomfort about the probing questions he was being asked, but that he is a very capable liar—or that he lives in his own fantasy world.

Foreign media outlets are currently barred from entering Syria.  However, because Assad did grant an interview with Walters in December, we are able to delve a little deeper into his mind in order to better understand the reasons behind the Syrian government’s continued violence against civilians.