Islamophobia in the Boston Herald

What ever happened to the noble ideals of journalism?  Newspapers have a critical role to play in our democracy, to provoke critical thinking and provide the information we need to preserve our freedoms. But the opinion page of the April 8th edition of the Boston Herald projects more hate than light.

The ironically mis-named editorial "A Real Climate Change" calls for Massachusetts to join the race to the bottom by cutting taxes for corporations, despite the dire state budget crisis that is threatening good jobs and public services.  Maybe this should not surprise us from a for-profit enterprise like the Boston Herald.  But who pays the piper for the Herald’s anti-muslim tune?  The opinion page cartoon criticizes Obama for removing politically charged language, such as "Islamic extremist" from official security strategy documents.  Unfortunately readers of the Herald would never know that this action was in response to criticism following a raid on the Christian-inspired terror-plotting Hutaree militia.  The disparity in language, and attention given, to non-Muslim domestic terrorists is perpetuated by the Herald.

In addition to the cartoon, an opinion piece by Cal Thomas brazenly criticizes Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for being a disobedient "puppet" (his own word).  He justifies this criticism with the tally of US deaths and injuries.  The fact that many times more Afghans have died, been injured or displaced in a war they did not choose does not earn them any democratic right to independence in Thomas’s evaluation.

Finally, Thomas repeats the discredited Bush-era lie that the Taliban were implicated in 9/11.  Even in the opinion pages, we should expect accurate factual information.  On the other hand, perhaps understanding the difference between Al Qaeda and the Taliban is too much to expect from a paper that cheerleads for hysteria over "Islamic extremists."

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