Who Was Yassin?

From the NYU Cen­ter for Reli­gion and Media, a “fas­ci­nat­ing break­down of press cov­er­age of the killing of Pales­tini­an lead­er Sheik Ahmed Yassin”:http://www.therevealer.org/archives/daily_000270.php
bq.. We have to turn to the for­eign press to learn any­thing sub­stan­tial about the reli­gious views of the “spir­i­tu­al lead­er” whose world­ly ter­ror has been a con­stant fac­tor in U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy.… [W]hy has our press ignored the “spir­i­tu­al” dimen­sions of this “spir­i­tu­al lead­er”? Two pos­si­bil­i­ties. One is that the jour­nal­ists assigned to cov­er the Mid­dle East are polit­i­cal reporters. They approach reli­gion as sim­ply a veneer for polit­i­cal motives, and rarely both­er to learn its intri­ca­cies.
The oth­er, deep­er prob­lem, is with the nar­ra­tives avail­able for reli­gion sto­ries even when a reporter tries to pay atten­tion. Most reli­gion writ­ing is divid­ed between innocu­ous spir­i­tu­al­i­ty and dan­ger­ous fanati­cism, with sub­cat­e­gories for “cor­rup­tion,” “tra­di­tion­al­ism,” and wacky.…
So what does our press do? Noth­ing. A major ene­my of peace in the Mid­dle East has just been killed, and yet we learn almost noth­ing about what made him fight or why he is mourned. Oppo­nents and sup­port­ers of the Pales­tini­ans remain in the dark, unin­formed by a press inca­pable of break­ing the nar­ra­tive to inves­ti­gate — and per­haps help erad­i­cate — the roots of ter­ror­ism. It’s eas­ier to stick to the “he-said/she-said”-with-guns ver­sion of events that reduces it all to retal­i­a­tion, to hope­less spi­rals of vio­lence and ancient eth­nic hatreds, to enmi­ty with­out rea­son.
p. Found via “All over the map”:http://kenneth.typepad.com/

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