An absolutely shocking story this morning about plans to bomb two synagogues and shoot down planes in New York. "Chilling Terror Plot Thwarted," the New York Post headline screams. This is a story with obvious religious implications but the question for GR is: When does the faith of the suspects become relevant? The Post wastes no time:
Four homegrown Muslim terrorists on a mission from hell were arrested last night as they planted what they thought were high-powered plastic explosives at two Bronx synagogues, authorities said.
The New York Times waits until the 11th paragraph to even mention their faith and, like the Post, attributes this to authorities.
The four men arrested are all Muslim, a law enforcement official said. Mr. Cromitie, whose parents had lived in Afghanistan before his birth, had told the informant that he was upset about the war in Afghanistan and that that he wanted to do "something to America." Mr. Cromitie stated "the best target" -- the World Trade Center -- "was hit already," according to the complaint.
Ha'aretz, the Israeli daily, puts faith right in the headline: "Four U.S. Muslims arrested in plot to bomb New York synagogue," while the Al Jazeera English, the sister channel to the Arab-language Al Jazeera, is more restrained. Deep in the body of its report it quotes a source in U.S. Attorney's office and adds:
He added that the office of Peter King, a US congressman, said the four men are Muslim, although Al Jazeera was not able to verify that.
The blogosphere was busy with fears, on Jewish sites, of a broader terror plot (officials denied this) and, on Muslim and civil liberties sites, with complaints of entrapment, noting that the FBI had infiltrated the group and even provided them with the "bombs" that the were about to detonate, but the MSM stuck to the basic facts.
The MSM quoted many politicians and community leaders but here is a statement from an Arab organization that I did not see picked up anywhere in the MSM (with the exception of Newsday's blogs). The statement, which comes from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, mentions neither Muslim nor Jew. It deserves widespread dissemination.
This alleged act of hate is absolutely unacceptable. ADC has been consistent in condemning hate-motivated crimes and any attacks aimed at civilians, especially houses of worship, no matter who the victims or the perpetrators may be. ADC urges the FBI to make every effort to track down all perpetrators responsible for this alleged crime and bring them to justice immediately. We welcome the FBIs proactive efforts in this investigation and remind media outlets and the public that hate-motivated violence is not associated with nor representative of any specific race, religion, or ethnicity.