An article published yesterday in The Independent linked to a Guardian report by Anne Penketh and Matthew Weaver on Jan. 14th titled ‘Charlie Hebdo poster burned in protest as Muslim leaders condemn cover’.
Here’s a snapshot of the Guardian article, about a protest in the Philippines against the depiction of Muhammad on the cover of Charlie Hebdo a week after the deadly terror attacks in Paris:
So, the headline and accompanying photo tell us two things:
First, Muslims in the Philippines burned a Charlie Hebdo poster in protest of the decision, by surviving editors of the satirical magazine, to depict the prophet Muhammad on their cover a week following the jihadist massacre.
Second, the Philippine protesters are evidently alleging that the decision by Charlie Hebdo to ‘mock’ the prophet Muhammad represents a ‘Zionist Conspiracy’.
However, in over 600 words of text, Penketh and Weaver completely fail to mention that the bizarre Zionist conspiracy allegation played a role in the protest in the Philippine town of Marawi – despite the fact that the photo used to illustrate story makes this fact perfectly clear. (The Guardian photo caption does note that the Israeli Prime Minister is on the poster, but doesn’t mention the ‘Zionist Conspiracy’)
Of course, other journalists may have decided to contextualize the photo by explaining to readers that such antisemitic conspiracy theories – which attempt to explain the “real cause” of terror attacks around the world – are quite common throughout the Arab and Muslim world, and certainly within the anti-Israel “activist” community.
Moreover, to those who would argue that anti-Zionist and antisemitic conspiracy theories may be held by some within the Arab world, but are not widely accepted, recent polling indicates that this may not be true.
A poll conducted by Ma’an News Agency after the Paris terror attacks demonstrated that the vast majority of Palestinians believe Israel may have played a role in the attacks. According to the poll, 84.4% believed that “Israel may be behind” the attacks, while only 8.7% believe the attacks were the result of “growing Islamic fundamentalism in Europe.”
Another poll commissioned by Anti-Defamation League reported that 65% of respondents in 18 Middle Eastern countries agreed with the statement “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars”.
The article by Penketh and Weaver once again demonstrates that paying attention to what the Guardian doesn’t report is as important in understanding their pattern of bias as carefully fisking what they do report.