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Muslim Assassins Receive More Media Coverage in The US Than Their Non-Muslim Counterparts

Muslims carry out only 12.4 percent of the attacks in the US but comprise of 41.4 percent of media coverage

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Terror attacks receive massive media coverage
Media coverage. Pixabay.
  • Terror attacks by Muslims receive more attention by media
  • Attacks committed by white men are not given much importance
  • People are increasingly becoming fearful of Muslims

New Delhi, July 5, 2017: As per an academic study, the terror attacks committed by Muslims receive greater than approximately five times media coverage as compared to those performed by non-Muslims in America. According to the researchers from Georgia State University, there existed a 449 percent growth in media presentation when the assassin was a Muslim as per the analysis of terrorist attacks in the US between 2011 and 2015.

A survey found that even though Muslims carry out only 12.4 percent of attacks during the period of study, they get 41.4 percent of the news coverage which suggests that the media disproportionately scares people of the Muslim terrorists which builds up an avoidable hatred for Muslims. One way to overcome and prevent this is by covering news more evenly and proportionately as their fears are highly misplaced.

Scientists considered US newspaper coverage of all terrorist attacks in America and computed the articles committed to each attack. It was found that the Boston Marathon bombing which took place in 2013 committed by two Muslim attackers and killed three people, comprised of almost 20 percent of all the news coverage relating to terror attacks in the US during a period of five years. In a sharp contrast to this, a massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012 that killed six people and was undertaken by a white man received only 3.8 percent of coverage.

Also read: Unless Pakistan Curbs “high-profile terrorist attack” towards India, ties will Worsen: US

A mass shooting carried out by Dylan Roof who is a white man, at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, which left nine people dead got it hands on just 7.4 per cent of media coverage. Moreover, an attack by Frazier Glenn Miller in 2014 on a Kansas synagogue killed three but received a share in just 3.3 percent of reports.

The claim made by President Donald Trump in February that the attacks committed by Muslims receive less coverage is unsupported but he was right in saying that the media fails to provide enough coverage to some terrorist attacks.

Prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter: @Hkaur1025

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Study: 9/11 Survivors May Face the Risk of Developing Increased Heart, Lung Diseases Years Later

The monumental terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11 have managed to leave behind scars that are much more than just skin-deep

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9/11
The 9/11 attacks. wikimedia
  • A recent study shows that the survivors may be at an increased long-term risk of asthma, other similar respiratory diseases, and heart attack
  • The findings indicate that intense exposure on a single day – the first day of the disaster – contributes substantially to the risk of developing chronic conditions
  • The authors used data from the WTC Health Registry cohort to examine the long term health effects of acute exposure to the dust cloud or physical injury caused by the terrorist attack

Washington, July 18, 2017: The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, have made the accident a historical event, having left behind scars that are much more than just skin-deep. A recent study shows that the survivors may be at an increased long-term risk of asthma, other similar respiratory diseases, and heart attack.

The association between physical injury or acute exposure to the dust cloud on the morning of September 11, 2001, and chronic diseases up to ten to eleven years later (2010-2012) were examined and analyzed by researchers at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

According to the corresponding author Robert Brackbill, the findings indicate that intense exposure on a single day – the first day of the disaster – contributes substantially to the risk of developing chronic conditions. He also mentioned, “Continued monitoring of people who were present in the vicinity of the World Trade Centre on 11th September by medical providers is warranted for the foreseeable future.”

The researchers observed that the number of types of injuries, such as fractures, head injuries, or sprains, a person sustained on 11th September 2001 was associated with an increased risk of angina or heart attack in a dose-dependent manner. This means that the risk of having angina or a heart attack went up with every additional injury type.

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According to ANI, exposure to dust, PTSD and being a rescue worker, as well as current smoking were associated with a higher risk of non-neoplastic lung disease (lung conditions not involving tumors) other than just asthma. Dust exposure, on its own, was associated with an increased risk of asthma. But none of these risk factors were associated with a higher risk of diabetes.

Out of the total number of 8,701 people who were a part of this study, 41% had been intensely exposed to the dust cloud, 10% had a single injury, 2% had two types of injury and 1% had three or more.

In the survey, the researchers also noticed 92 incident cases of heart disease, 327 new cases of diabetes, 308 cases of asthma, and 297 cases of non-neoplastic lung disease among 7,503 area workers, 249 rescue workers, 131 residents and 818 bystanders – the most heavily exposed groups.

The authors used data from the WTC Health Registry cohort to examine the long term health effects of acute exposure to the dust cloud, or physical injury caused by the terrorist attack. The WTC Health Registry is responsible for monitoring the physical and mental health of 71,431 persons exposed to the 9/11 attacks.

In the study, a lack of specific information on the severity, location, and treatment of injuries, as well as on the circumstances in which they were sustained meant that the number of types of injuries was used as a proxy measure of injury severity. However, the authors mentioned that it has been shown by previous researchers that more than one type of injury can be associated with increased risk of death and longer stays in the hospital.

The study has been published in the Injury Epidemiology journal.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter @dubumerang

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

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Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)

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China Extends Ban on“extreme” Islamic names for Ethnic Uyghur babies Under 16

The ones 16 and above have not been ordered to change yet, due to the difficulty of changing their ID cards and driver’s licenses

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A Uyghur woman is shown with her children in Kashgar, Xinjiang, in a file photo, RFE/RL
  • China has introduced ban on “extreme” Islamic names for ethnic Uyghur babies under 16
  • Names of Islamic scholars could be regarded as “promoting terror and evil cults
  • While China blames some Uyghurs for “terrorist” attacks, experts outside China say that repressive domestic policies are responsible for an upsurge in violence

China, June 3, 2017: Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have extended a recently introduced ban on “extreme” Islamic names for ethnic Uyghur babies to include anyone up to the age of 16, according to official sources and residents, and the order may soon include Uyghurs of all ages.

According to a recent posting on WeChat by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s Public Security Bureau, Order No. 4425 requires all Uyghur parents to change the names of children under 16 years of age, if they are among those listed in a region-wide ban uncovered by RFA’s Uyghur Service.

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In April, official sources told RFA that “overly religious names”—such as Islam, Quran, Mecca, Jihad, Imam, Saddam, Hajj, and Medina—were banned under the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s “Naming Rules For Ethnic Minorities,” and that any babies registered with such names would be barred from the “hukou” household registration system that gives access to health care and education.

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A police officer in Hotan (in Chinese, Hetian) prefecture recently confirmed to RFA that his station in Hotan city’s Elchi district was ordered last month to complete name changes of Uyghurs aged 16 and younger by June 1, but said that due to technical issues the deadline may be extended to July 1.

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The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said “15 names cannot be used, including Arafat,” and that parents should bring both their own and their children’s household registration papers to the police station to make the change.

“We are changing only the names of minors under 16,” he said.

“The ones 16 and above have not been ordered to change yet, due to the difficulty of changing their ID cards and driver’s licenses, so we do not have any directive on changing their names.”

According to the officer, students who have completed primary school must also change the names on their graduation certificates, meaning they must visit both their local police station and education department.

He acknowledged that the name change process is difficult, as many parents have been the target of a crackdown on what Beijing calls religious extremism in Xinjiang, with authorities conducting regular “strike hard” campaigns including police raids on Uyghur households, restrictions on Islamic practices, and curbs on the culture and language of the Uyghur people.

“Basically, the village cadres are assisting the minors to change their names, because some of their parents are either in jail or detention,” he said.

The officer said that many Uyghur parents had given their children “extremist” names when Beijing’s policies in the region were “lenient,” but “at the moment, since they cannot use those names, they are simply changing them.”

“The locals have no objections,” he added.

An official from Hotan prefecture’s Qaraqash (Moyu) county government also told RFA his office had recently received an order to change banned names for Uyghur children.

“There are around seven names and the order specified that the name change should be done for free,” said the official, who also asked to remain unnamed.

“For example, they have to change names like Arafat. My colleague’s son’s name was Arafat and he was made to change it. He is a Xinjiang Medical University student.”

The official did not specify the age of the young man.

A teacher in Hotan city also confirmed the name ban, but said that none of the Uyghur students at her school had “radical” names.

“There are some students named after their grandparents—such as Ayshem, Tohti and Mahmut—and most have more popular names—such as Ilnur and Dilnur—so we didn’t hear much about the name ban here,” she said.

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Judging names

Sources in Hotan had previously detailed to RFA a list of banned names in 2015, but an employee who answered the phone at a police station in the regional capital Urumqi suggested in April that the ban had since been rolled out region-wide.

The employee said at the time that names “with a strong religious flavor, such as Jihad” or those with “connotations of holy war or of splittism [Xinjiang independence]” were no longer allowed.

Other rules on what constituted an “extremist” name seemed arbitrary, at best.

Names of Islamic scholars could be regarded as “promoting terror and evil cults,” Yultuzay—a reference to the star and moon symbol of the Islamic faith—is “pagan,” and Mecca “would be a bit over-the-top,” the employee said, adding that he didn’t think Saddam would be acceptable either.

“Just stick to the party line, and you’ll be fine,” he told RFA.

“[People with banned names] won’t be able to get a household registration, so they will find out from the hukou office when the time comes.”

A second source told RFA at the time that the safest names for Uyghurs are those that are considered more “mainstream” by the Chinese Communist Party, such as Memet.

Invasion of privacy

Dolkun Isa, general secretary of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress exile group, strongly condemned the Chinese government for forcibly changing the names of Uyghur children under the age of 16.

“This demonstrates how far and wide the Chinese government violates the fundamental human rights of the Uyghur people and invades the very privacy of their lives,” he told RFA.

“Clearly, Uyghur parents are being stripped of the right to name their own children.”

Isa noted that in every culture, baby names are carefully selected—often with the input of the extended family—and said Uyghur families should not be denied that right.

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“China should be ashamed of forcing Uyghur parents to change the names of their children under any circumstances,” he said.

While China blames some Uyghurs for “terrorist” attacks, experts outside China say Beijing has exaggerated the threat from the Uyghurs and that repressive domestic policies are responsible for an upsurge in violence there that has left hundreds dead since 2009. (RFE/RL)