St. Reuters

If Lashkar-e-Taiba is a charity then surely, Reuters deserves canonization

Reuters correspondent Zeeshan Haider files a report from Islamabad that tells us that

Scores of activists from an Islamist charity linked to a banned Pakistani militant organisation died in the devastating earthquake that struck Pakistan’s border with India at the weekend.

The militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, was outlawed by Pakistan in January 2002, a month after its fighters were accused of taking part in an attack on India’s parliament in New Delhi — an act that brought South Asia’s nuclear rivals to the brink of war.

A spokesman for Jamat-ud-Dawa, a group drawn from the ranks of Lashkar, said the charity’s mosques, hospitals, schools and Islamic seminaries were obliterated in Saturday’s earthquake that killed more than 20,000 people.

“Many of our members have been killed. They are in scores while several others are still trapped under the rubble,” the spokesman said on Sunday.

The spokesman, who did not want to be identified, said the Taiba hospital run by Jamat-ud-Dawa in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir, and several of its mosques and offices were destroyed.[Reuters]

After their deaths, Reuters has elevated the jihadi terrorists of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Lashkar-e-Taiba from being mere ‘militants’ to the more exalted status of ‘charity workers’. Even if the likes of the Lashkar and their co-travellers style themselves as ‘charities’, where did Reuters’ famous ‘journalistic neutrality’ disappear to while publishing the article?

No one deserves a death as terrible and indiscriminate as the one brought about by the earthquake. But organisations like the Lashkar-e-Taiba deserve their benign labels even less.

7 thoughts on “St. Reuters”

  1. lashkar has never had any compunctions for targetting non sunni’s for summary execution and assorted atrocities.

    that said, if i was a kashmiri pandit living in the wretched refugee camps of jammu. and if i were a believer, i would see this as divine intervention.

  2. To play the devil’s advocate, the correspondent did say that it was a charity associated with a *banned militant organization*. The Markaz-ud-Dawa does have both charities and terror organizations under its belt.

  3. Suren,

    Why would the Markaz-ud-Dawa want to rename itself to Jamaat-ud-Dawa if it were only a charity? Moreover, even taking the devil’s advocate argument into consideration, how can you call an organisation a ‘charity’ if it has under its belt an organization devoted to killing people.

  4. I’m surprised that people expect neutrality form Reuters. It hasn’t been and wont be neutral. All that posturing is just an eyewash.

  5. see below how ms.sengupta of the new york times describes terrorism/strife in kashmir, in todays edition. not that one would expect an objective portrayal from the ny times. but this really pushes the limit..”religious violence between muslims and hindus”

    “The Indian portion of Kashmir has been wracked recently by religious violence between Muslims and Hindus. Hindu-dominated India and Muslim-dominated Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir.”

  6. It would be interesting to see how much of the terrorist camps were destroyed considering that it was Muzaffarabad that was the epicenter.

  7. The NYTimes’ take on Indo-Pakistani conflict really irks me; it’s always “Muslim dominated” Pakistan versus “Hindu dominated” India (or, sometimes, “Islamic” Pakistan versus “Secular but mostly Hindu” India). As to the first of these formulations: it sets up a false equivalence between the two states, when the ideologies of the two states themselves make it apparent that one is self-consciously an “Islamic Republic” and the other is a secular state. And as to the second formulation: this qualification is reserved for “third-worlders” apparently, since the NYTimes wouldn’t describe the USA as a “secular BUT mostly Christian” polity (indeed even Israel– which doesn’t even claim to be a secular state– has been characterized as a “secular democracy” in the pages of the NYTimes.

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