Adding to the confusion
A study by the University of Maryland has found that “U.S. newspapers helped to stoke global terrorism fears and to demonize an entire population: Pakistani Muslim men and boys.” [Linkthanks Swami Iyer]
Reports from thirteen ‘major agenda-setting’ newspapers led people to believe that:
1. Terrorism Is Monolithicâ€”All Terrorism Is Conflated.
2. Madrassas Are Breeding Grounds for Terrorists.
3. Victory in the â€œWar on Terrorâ€â€”at least in Pakistanâ€”Is Not Assured.
4. In 2001/2002: Pakistani Women Are the â€œGoodâ€ Muslims.
5. In 2006/2007: Maybe American Foreign Policy Is to Blame.
This, the study concludes, may still be confusing the public over the need for the ‘war on terror’ and the global terrorist risk. But Prof Susan Moeller displays a great deal of confusion herself. For instance when she writes that “reporters are not adequately distinguishing between state terrorismâ€”such as that formerly practiced by the Talibanâ€”and terrorism by distinctive terrorist groupsâ€”such as al Qaeda, which operates globally or Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, which is focused on Kashmir…”. Here’s a taxonomical guide that should ease some of the confusion.