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Black Church News in Virginia

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: Hypocrisy in the Media and in Society

By Imam Vernon M. Fareed

By now the whole world should know about the mass murders committed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. We have learned that a young white male (age 21) walked into this Church under the guise of wanting to participate in a Bible Study class, and after being there for almost an hour pulled out his gun and murdered nine congregants. The coverage and treatment of Dylann Storm Roof (the gunman) is clear proof that strong bias exists in many segments of the media and the society in general. Let’s begin with the fact that Dylann was not gunned down by law enforcement officials when finally located in North Carolina.

The likelihood is that he would have been gunned down had he been African-American, or had his name been Muhammad Akbar Abdullah or something similar. It is also very likely that law enforcement officials would not have taken him to Burger King prior to carrying him to jail if he was identified as a Muslim or been an African-American. Another sign of hypocrisy is all of the intellectual gymnastics taking place among many, trying to conclude whether Dylann Roof should be classified as a ”terrorist.” We are witnessing political pundits, attorneys, law enforcement officials and others split hairs as to whether this murderer of an innocent Church group is a terrorist. Once again, had this been Muhammad Akbar Abdullah committing the same identical act in the name of the religion of Al-Islam, he would have immediately been classified as a terrorist. In fact there have been instances where the perpetrator of such crime was designated as a “terrorist” the very moment that it was discovered. In these instances there was no intellectual or legal debate held prior to reaching a conclusion. We should all be appalled at the double standards and hypocrisy that exists among major media outlets and among many in society.

The law enforcement authorities and legal experts say that certain factors have to be in place for an act to be considered one of terrorism. The legal definition of terrorism is, “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property in order to coerce or intimidate a government or the civilian population in furtherance of political or social objectives.” If people will just be honest they have to conclude that the criminal act committed by Dylann Storm Roof rises to the level of “terrorism.” This is not an issue that some should be splitting hairs about! Dylann in his own words declared in a comment directed to African-Americans, “you are raping our women and taking over our country.” He further stated that he wanted to start a “race war” which obviously involves encouraging whites to rise up in violent opposition to Blacks and others. He acknowledges killing the nine innocent people at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, and he claims the so-called “manifesto” published on his face-book page whether he wrote it or not. There are a litany of things associated with this young man and his actions that rises to the level of his being labelled a “terrorist.” Let’s stop the double standards and the hypocrisy and be fair in our assessment of matters like this. If the media and society commit to fairness they will clearly acknowledge that there are a lot of acts committed by individuals and groups that should be classified as “terrorism.”

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