It appears that the following story is "conservative" news or, even worse, "Christian" news. I cannot figure out why this is the case. Readers, perhaps you can enlighten me.
It seems, to me, that this is a story that combines elements of women's rights and freedom of religion, both of which are strong themes in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Old-fashioned liberals used to have strong feelings about these kinds of human-rights issues.
Here is a short report from a Christian news source. Notice, however, that the report originated with mainstream-media sources in the region:
Reports are coming in of increasing persecution of Christian believers in the Saudi Arabia. A Saudi man recently cut the tongue of his daughter and burned her to death for converting to Christianity, according to a report by the United Arab Emirates-based Gulf News. The victim frequently wrote on various Web site blogs about her conversion from Islam. It is believed that she converted to Christianity after learning about the faith on the Internet and through Christian media.
The girl's father is an employee of Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice -- the arm of the government that enforces the nation's prohibition of Christianity and conversion to Christianity. Sources close to the victim said that the father was being investigated for "honour killing" rather than murder, Gulf News reported. Shariah-ruled Saudi Arabia, where all Christian worship is forbidden, is ranked No. 2 on Open Doors' 2007 World Watch List of nations where Christians are persecuted for their faith.
Under the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islamic law, apostasy is punishable by death if the accused does not recant.
And so forth and so on. I realize, of course, that mainstream journalists will discount this kind of story, since it comes from sources that are viewed as secondary.
Unfortunately, the only place I can find a mainstream reference to the killing of this convert is in a column in the New York Daily News -- written by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. In other words, it is another advocacy piece. Thus the headline, "War on Christians in the Middle East must be stopped."
The rabbi begins his piece:
An Islamic court in Shiraz, Iran, has just convicted two men of being infidels. Their crime? Converting to Christianity. The possible sentence? Death. Not too far away in Saudi Arabia, an outraged father recently hacked his own daughter to death for the same "abomination."
In the daily drumbeat of Mideast news, there is one story of historic proportion that goes nearly unreported: the persecution and systematic destruction in the Islamic world of some of the world's oldest Christian communities.
Again, here is my question: Why is this a "conservative" news story? Why is this hellish subject not worth mainstream attention?