Monday, July 06, 2009

Timeline of reporting of Marwa Sherbini murder in Die Welt

Here is the claim made yesterday about the coverage of the murder of Marwa Sherbini in Germany on the Bikya Masr blog:

All the talk of ethics and equality in the Western media has gone out the window with the recent killing of Marwa Al Sherbini in Dresden, Germany. The failure to report the killing has highlighted the gulf that exists in mainstream media across Europe and North America. It is a horrible state they find themselves in when Bikya Masr is the first English language source to report the killing. We did so on Friday, before even the wires found time to issue a few limited paragraphs on the situation.

It should not come as a surprise for those Arab observers, however, that a hate crime against an Arab, a veiled woman and an average citizen was not reported. The unfortunate bias that the West has against middle-class Arabs reared its ugly face and we should all condemn their lack of honesty in over this situation.

In recent years, foreign media appear only willing to report on the radical, extreme or crazy Arabs and the things they accomplish. Marwa was an average citizen who was fighting for her rights in Germany. The result was her murder by a crazed psycho that wanted nothing more than to kill Muslims. But, the West has remained silent, even through the weekend, that there was .

Perhaps Bikya Masr was the firet English-language source to report on this crime. But note that the claims on the blog are much stronger than that: the editor claims that "the West remained silent, even through the weekend." The editor claims that the killing "was not reported". The editor claims that there was a "failure to report the killing". The editor claims that this failure is evidence of a "gulf that exists in mainstream media across Europe and North America."

I submit that it was a good thing that Bikya Masr report the killing. I submit further that Bikya Masr is attempting to create a false appearance of indifference in the West to this killing. I submit that the vast majority of Germans (and the vast majority of other westerners who have learned about this event) are far more troubled by it than the Muslim world would be about an equivalent killing of a Christian or a Jew or a Bahai in a Muslim land.

When a crazed psycho (to use Bikya Masr's apt phrase) kills another person out of hate, it is almost never reported internationally. Hate crimes occur in Egypt as well as in the West (or does the editor of Bikya Masr claim that Egyptians or Arabs or Muslems are more virtuous in this respect than Westerners?), but I don't recall them being reported in U.S. papers. I don't find that terribly surprising. Why would Bikya Masr's editor find it surprising that this crime wasn't reported in the English-language press?

The killing of Marwa Sherbini was certainly reported in the German press, even on the day it occurred. I selected Die Welt, a relatively conservative German daily, to sample for its coverage.

Note that the last article indicates that some in the Muslim world are calling for retribution against Germany or Germans over this killing. I contend that this view is much closer to the mainstream in the Muslim world than the equivalent view toward the Muslim world would be anywhere in the West.