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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Woe for Nineveh

David Warren poses a thought-experiment:

The area and population of the territory the “Caliphate” now controls in Syria and Iraq being currently roughly equal to that controlled by the government of Israel, let us imagine what the “coverage” would be, had the Israelis told all Muslims to run for their lives; had they announced that everything Muslims owned now belonged to the Israeli government; and that any Muslim still found within Israel’s de facto borders after twenty-four hours would be put to the sword. Questions:
  • Do you think this story might make the front page?
  • Do you think the media would seek more information?
  • Do you think the matter might remain news for more than one day?

Now, what sort of coverage did the story actually get when it was muslims acting so to the Christians in Nineheh? "It would seem that for the first time in more than eighteen centuries, there are no Christians in Mosul..."  The Assyrian Church is being harried out of its homeland by the Arab invaders.


  1. Mr. Flynn,
    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you because I don't know the particularlities.
    However, I think I can say with great certainty that liberal media outlets (MSNBC and CNN) in America (at least) have carried these news stories about the persecution of Christians.

    I haven't checked myself.... but, why wouldn't they?

    1. I’ll give you one reason why they wouldn’t: It doesn’t fit the narrative. To the liberal media, Christians are always and everywhere oppressors, killjoys, a shadowy conspiracy of theocrats in waiting. To report that they are being persecuted, even in Iraq, does not contribute to the narrative. To report that they are being persecuted by genuine theocrats demolishes the narrative by showing what a real theocracy is like.

    2. Hi Tom,

      but is all of that true? Or better, has CNN and MSNBC not covered these stories?
      I'm not going to act like there isn't some hypocrisy with some on the left who act like small wins for Christianity (Hobby Lobby) are signs of a coming theocracy while ignoring things like Christians being beheaded in Somalia.

      But is it true that there has been only minimal (or none at all) coverage of what is happening to Christians in Mosul?

  2. I don't literally think that the Western Left wants to destroy the West.'s just that that is a very simple distillation of a more complex model which generates almost exactly the same (correct) predictions.

  3. Mr Johnny5 mischaracterized the question. The question was "Now, what sort of coverage did the story actually get..."

    And the sort of coverage the question actually got was a "tut-tut, oh look, they've destroyed Jonah's Tomb with sledgehammers and committed war crimes." You can read that here in the New York Times.

    In contrast, the NYT had this to say about Gaza:
    The Attar family, from northern Gaza, was crammed into a United Nations school classroom on Sunday, 27 relatives in all, their clothing hung on hooks for children’s book bags. They had moved first to a relative’s house, where 34 people shared two rooms, then tried to rent an apartment, but could find none free, and they longed for a truce so they could go home. Even here in downtown Gaza, there had been several deadly strikes during the day, including one that killed four children.

    Deadly strikes, no place to lay one's head, clothing for book bags (for children waiting to return to classrooms where they can watch videos about Jew-killing), longing for a truce (that Hamas will immediately violate by rocket barrages on Israeli cities).

    Yes. There has been a difference.

  4. Hi Trigger,

    I was not saying there wasn't a difference. I even admitted that I didn't know for certain but that I would imagine that CNN and MSNBC and other liberal media outlets would have covered the stories (in a comparable manner to how they covered stories of Israeli mistreatment towards Muslims).

    I am all for being shown to be wrong on this matter. Yes, your post does reflect a lop-sided treatment of the different topics.

    I guess I just don't get why they would not 'tell it like it is' with this happening to Christians.

  5. There was a bit more coverage in Kosovo Albanians, wasn't there?

    Here is my take, in French, I have updated it with two links found today by others:

    The words about nostalgia for pre-rocketry methods of warfare were of course a hint to the Gaza conflict as well.

  6. Do you think this story might make the front page?

    For decades, Israel has slowly been taking Palestinian lands, razing Palestinian homes, erecting barriers across Palestinian private property, etc. However, they are smart enough to do this gradually, and do not publicly announce what they are doing. So far, it has not been front page news.

    Do you think the media would seek more information?

    So far, the media has shown no interest in such a story. I'm sure if Israel decided to announce its policy, there would be interest.

    Do you think the matter might remain news for more than one day?

    I doubt it would be news for a full day.

    1. Everything that you refer to has been news, and front-page news, and has been heavily pushed by the media for decades. The media have also been reporting extensively on complaints about this by Arab nations in the usual public forums, such as the U.N., and on ‘divestment’ campaigns launched by various Nosey Parker organizations in response to Arab pressure.

      In what Cloud-Cuckooland have these things not been news?

    2. One Brow, I don't know if you're trying to troll my view on the matter.
      But, I'll have you know I'm a pretty open-minded liberal. And I've shown to be on this message board.
      So I'll just let you know there's no need for sarcasm. Because, yes, obviously what you're mentioning has been in the news repeatedly.

      I show respect to anyone that I've disagreed with on here. If you want a discussion you don't need to lampoon my views to make a point.

    3. Tom Simon,

      Everything that you refer to has been news, and front-page news, and has been heavily pushed by the media for decades.

      I have never seen it make the news except when there are overt Israeli-Palestinian hostilities, and never seen it in any form that would reasonably be described as front-page news (never a lead story, etc.). My opinion is US-centric; it certainly may be different elsewhere.

      In what Cloud-Cuckooland have these things not been news?

      Now we have the back-track from "front page news" to just "news".

    4. Johnny5,

      I answered three questions presented by TheOFloinn. Your positions had no effect at all on my answers.

      ,,, has been in the news ...

      Again, the question was about "front page news", and all my answers were with regard to that context.

  7. I am a Christian, and a journalist, and my job ( is to cover the story of Christians around the world who live under pressure because of their faith. So I'm professionally sensitive to the charge that the media ignore the persecution of Christians.

    Stipulated: World Watch Monitor is not the New York Times or Der Spiegel or the BBC, the megaplatforms toward which this critique is directed. The fact that persecution news is often relegated to sentinels such as us is part of the point of the critique. Bringing the story of persecution to the wider world is our mission, precisely because we think it is not told widely enough.

    Still, as someone who watches this media space regularly, I can report anecdotally that the pace of persecution coverage has been picking up. The Egyptian meltdown in July 2013 that left scores of Coptic churches in ruins; the blasphemy trial of Rimsha Masih in Pakistan; the plight of Syrian Christians caught between the Assad government and the rebels; the demolition of Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou, China; the horrors of Boko Haram in Nigeria; the Sudan death sentence imposed upon Meriam Ibrahim -- all of these have received coverage in mainstream media. It was not always front-page or sustained coverage. Too often it is "outrage of the week" coverage, e.g., a woman forced to give birth in shackles. Yet it also is true that you don't have to work very hard to find dozens of big-media links to coverage of the IS purge of Mosul.

    As to Warren's thought experiment:

    The answers to all three questions, I believe, would be yes. Why? Because Israel is a sovereign state, a member of the community of nations, a signatory to treaties. The "Islamic State" is none of these things, and has been categorically rebuked by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The IS purge of Christians from Mosul is all too real, of course, and its consequences are tragic and newsworthy enough in their own right to deserve aggresive news reporting. But it is not unreasonable to calibrate news judgment in the face of the acts of a rogue army vs. the acts of an established state. Justice demands news coverage in both cases, but the latter case adds the news element of accountability -- a duly elected government answering to its people and to the world.


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