Since 9/11, the Western world’s academic, media, and political elites have done their best to portray Islam in a favorable light, treating it very differently from all other religions. Criticism of every doctrine, religious or secular, is permitted, often encouraged. But not of Islam. Only positive depictions are allowed.
We’ll start with an example of pro-Islamic bias that is so ubiquitous that no one seems to notice it. Why do Western media — largely composed of irreligious people, one might add — always deferentially refer to Mohammed as “the Prophet Mohammed” in news articles and opinion pieces?
When Jesus is mentioned, the media never refer to him as “Christ, the Lord” or as “the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Just “Jesus.” In fact, “A.D.” (“Anno Domini,” “In the Year of our Lord”) has been completely dropped by the very academics and media who always write “the Prophet Mohammed.”
When the media discuss Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church), they don’t refer to him as “the Prophet Joseph Smith.” Why not? Is there a single difference between his title and role in Mormonism and Mohammed’s in Islam?
And Jews refer to Moses as “Moshe Rabeinu,” Moses our Teacher. Why don’t the media?
This was not the case in the past. When I studied Islam and Arabic in college, professors referred to the founder of Islam as “Mohammed.” And virtually none of the great biographies of Mohammed — even among those recommended on Muslim websites — have the words “the Prophet Mohammed” in their title.
There is only one possible reason, and that is political correctness — Western elites bending over backwards on behalf of Muslims and Islam in ways they never would for another religion.
Another ubiquitous example: Before 9/11, the phrase “Allahu akbar” was translated as “Allah is great” (or “the greatest”). For a decade at least, it has been translated as “God is great.”
This was deliberate. In 2004, the influential Associated Press Stylebook announced: “A new entry has been added to the AP Stylebook: Allah. The Muslim name for God. The word God should be used.”
Now, there are perfectly valid reasons to translate “Allah” as “God.” And there are valid reasons not to. Indeed, Malaysia, a country widely depicted as a moderate-Muslim country, last year banned Christians from using the word “Allah” in Arabic translations of the Bible because, while all Muslims regard Allah as the God of the universe, many Muslims regard the name “Allah” as specifically Muslim.
Whatever theological side one takes, the fact remains that after 9/11 Allah became “God” in the Western world — in order to essentially show how similar Islam is to Judaism and Christianity.
Always referring to Mohammed as “the Prophet Mohammed” and translating “Allah” as “God” are subtle examples of the Western media and intellectual bias in favor of Islam since 2001. Most examples of the bias are not subtle, but blatant and morally indefensible.
Take one from the Paris murders.
Why did the Muslim terrorists go to a Jewish grocery? This is not a riddle. We all know. But some in the media pretended they didn’t. During the attack, a reporter for Sky News, one of the largest English-language news services in the world, said on Fox News: “Whether it was targeted specifically for its religious connotations it is difficult to know.”
Is there one reader of this column who thought it “difficult to know” whether the Muslim terrorists targeted a Jewish grocery? Why would someone presumably intelligent say something so obviously stupid? In order to protect Islam.
Just as so many in the media and government did after Major Nidal Hasan’s murder of 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. They found it difficult to ascertain if religion was a factor in his murders, despite his yelling “Allahu akbar” while shooting, despite his listing himself as a “Soldier of Allah” on his Facebook page, and despite many other affirmations of Islamism.
A New York Times writer blamed it on Major Hasan’s “snapping” (in an article titled “When Soldiers Snap”). Chris Matthews said “it’s unclear if religion was a factor in this shooting.” NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten explained that Hasan, though never in combat, may have suffered from “pre-traumatic stress disorder.” And the U.S. Department of Defense classified the Fort Hood shootings as acts of “workplace violence,” not terror, let alone Islamic terror.
Perhaps the most egregious example of a society’s elites treating Islam differently from all other religions took place in the U.K. Between 1997 and 2013, at least 1,400 girls, as young as eleven years old, in the small English city of Rotherham (population 275,000), were repeatedly gang-raped and treated as sex slaves. The U.K. government acknowledged that these atrocities were allowed to go on due to the fact the perpetrators were British Pakistanis and the girls were white. No one was allowed to say that at the time. The author of a 2002 report identifying Pakistanis as the perpetrators and organizers of the Rotherham gang rapes and sex slavery was sent to diversity training.
Finally, why won’t the New York Times print even one Charlie Hebdo cartoon? Twelve people were slaughtered over those cartoons; are the caricatures not newsworthy? Of course they are. But they satirize Islam, and that is not allowed.
Here’s the ultimate irony. These PC professors and news media who treat Islam so much better than any other religion are literally Islamophobic. They really fear Islam.
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.