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June 28, 2011

Washington Post Still Doesn't Connect Terrorist Dots

The Washington Post continued to soft-pedal the connection between terrorism and Hamas (the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement) in a June 19 report headlined “Zawahiri faces hurdles as Bin Laden Successor�. The Post spotlighted al-Qaeda’s new leader, Ayman Al Zawahiri, by interviewing Huthaifa Azzam, who lived in Osama Bin Laden’s home in the 1980s. The newspaper described Zawahiri as a terrorist within the first paragraph: “Ayman al-Zawahiri was then well on his way to terrorist superstardom.�

In a June 17 dispatch, “Bin Laden successor had early bent toward Islamist activism� The Post again used the word terrorist in the first paragraph, applying it to bin Laden and Zawahiri and al-Qaeda by extension. The newspaper reported that it was “ ... [Zawahiri] who helped Osama bin Laden in his terrorist assault on the West.�

The theological connection between the Islamic extremism of al-Qaeda and Hamas is made clear in The Post’s June 19 report, but in regard to Hamas, the terrorist description disappears: “[Huthaifa] Azzam recalled that Zawahiri would feign respect for Azzam’s father, Abdullah, a cleric who helped found the Palestinian militant movement known as Hamas� and influenced bin Laden.

By definition, terrorists threaten or use force against non-combatants to influence larger audiences and achieve political, economic, religious or other ends. In the cases of al-Qaeda threatening or using force against Americans and Hamas attacking Israelis, Post usage implies a double standard. It sanitizes Hamas despite its actions and even though it and al-Qaeda both long have been designated terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. — by Sophie Linshitz, CAMERA Washington research intern.

Posted by ER at June 28, 2011 03:09 PM

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