In GetReligion's initial post on news coverage of the terror attack in Lower Manhattan, tmatt noted that "journalists appear to be asking the big religion questions early and often."
This is, he pointed out, a welcome change from how news organizations used to approach such stories.
In looking at some of the second-day reports on the suspect — Sayfullo Saipov — that positive trend continues.
The key second-day New York Times story on Saipov is strong.
Some of the crucial facts up high:
As with any attack like this, there is no single reason Mr. Saipov reportedly decided to kill innocents, mostly tourists enjoying a blustery fall day, 56 degrees with blue skies. He had come to the United States as a moderate Muslim with dreams of making it. He married another Uzbek immigrant and fathered three children. But life did not work out the way Mr. Saipov had wanted. He could not find a job in the hotel business, in which he had worked back home. He developed a violent temper. He lost jobs. An imam in Florida worried that Mr. Saipov increasingly misinterpreted Islam.
“I used to tell him: ‘Hey, you are too much emotional. Read books more. Learn your religion first,’” said Abdul, the imam, who did not want his last name used because he feared reprisals. “He did not learn religion properly. That’s the main disease in the Muslim community.”
In Tashkent, Mr. Saipov grew up in a well-off family who practiced traditional Islam and never embraced extremism, the Uzbek government said on Wednesday. His neighbors there said Mr. Saipov never raised suspicions and “always carried himself in a measured and friendly way,” according to the government statement. He never crossed paths with the police.
Keep reading, and the Times offers more insightful background — this from his time in Ohio:
He wasn’t exactly an extremist. Mr. Saipov liked fancy clothes, a vanity frowned on in conservative Islamic circles. He cursed as if he couldn’t help it. He routinely showed up late for Friday Prayer at the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent. He displayed only rudimentary knowledge of the Quran.
Over the three years he lived in the area, he started to change, said Mirrakhmat Muminov, a truck driver and local community activist. He became argumentative, aggressive even, and started to grow out his beard. Mr. Muminov described him as someone “with monsters inside.”
“I always thought deep in my soul that he would be jailed for beating someone or insulting someone,” Mr. Muminov recalled. “He had a vulgar character.”
A separate Times story contains this amazing detail:
The complaint said Mr. Saipov wanted to display ISIS flags on the truck and decided against it to avoid drawing attention. But lying in his hospital bed, he continued his quest, the complaint said: He asked law enforcement officials to put up the ISIS flag and “stated that he felt good about what he had done.”
Another story that caught my attention: a Reuters piece on the New Jersey city that has become a haven for Muslim immigrants:
PATERSON, N.J. (Reuters) — With its enormous Muslim population and reputation as a welcoming home for immigrants of some 50 nationalities, the New Jersey city of Paterson was the perfect place for the suspect in the New York City truck attack to go largely unnoticed.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, lived there with his wife and three young children for more than a year before authorities say he drove a rented truck through throngs of people on a lower Manhattan bike path on Tuesday, killing eight people in what officials called an act of terrorism.
With one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States, estimated by community leaders at between 25,000 and 30,000 people, the city of nearly 150,000 boasts more than a half dozen mosques and many Middle Eastern and other ethnic restaurants.
Within blocks of Saipov’s apartment, Lebanese, Turkish and Mediterranean restaurants line the streets with signs in Arabic and English, serving immigrants from numerous European, African and Asian countries as well as a sizeable Hispanic population.
What other noteworthy coverage — good or bad — are you seeing? By all means, please share links in the comments section.