Who is shouting "God is great"?

allah akbar 2For those of you who are interested, I have a very GetReligion-ish column up today at Poynter.org that deals with some of the themes we have wrestled with on this blog in recent weeks. It's called "Shouts in the Fires" and here is how it opens:

Some of the people involved in the fiery riots in France have been shouting "Allahu akbar!"

If you read The Observer in England, you will learn that, "Spirits had been calmed thanks to the intervention of a handful of young men from the mosque, known as les grands-frères, who stood between the rioters and the police, shouting 'Allahu akbar!' -- 'God is great.'"

If you read David Warren, in the Ottawa Citizen, you will learn about gangs of street thugs, openly Islamist, whose "war cry, while hurling missiles and setting fires, is 'Allahou Akbar!' -- 'God is great!'"

If you use a search engine to scan American newspapers, you will not read about this at all.

It sounds like a crucial detail, to me. I would like someone out there in the mainstream press to answer this question for me, as a journalist who cares about religion news: Who is shouting "Allahu akbar"? Is anyone shouting "Allahu akbar"?

You can comment here or comment at Poynter.

We have moved into a quieter stage of this story, but I do not think that it is going away. Plus, from the journalism point of view, we face the same questions in Jordan, the West Bank, Holland and other places, too.

This is not about trying to assign blame. It's about providing crucial information. I want to know why some MSM journalists are covering this side of the story and others are not.

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