Is Mohamed Mohamud … a Muslim?

(Note, 5:28 p.m.: I’m not sure that the reader’s search results were entirely correct. See my comment below.)

A reader writes:

Out of curiosity, I sought to find out how many news articles had mentioned the fact that the would-be Portland bomber, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, is a Muslim. Using Google News:

Query: “Mohamed Osman Mohamud”

Number of results: 1,830

Query: “Mohamed Osman Mohamud” Muslim

Number of results: 7

Of the seven, three are conservative publications (American Thinker, The American Spectator, and The Right Perspective), and three are in foreign languages (German, French, and Romanian). A couple include commentary from the “Muslim community,” a curious addition, given that Mohamed Mohamud is never said to be Muslim. Another only came up because the word “Muslim” was in a comment to a piece on the attempted bombing.

Swapping “Islam” or “Islamic” for “Muslim” yields the same results.

In short, 99.6 percent of media outlets totally omitted the fact that our friend Mohamed Mohamud is a Muslim.

LA replies:

Thank you very much for this.

What does it mean? It means that it’s not just the openly treasonous Obama administration which systematically and as a matter of policy conceals the Islamic character and motivation of the Islamic terrorists who are targeting our country; it’s the mainstream media itself. They are as bad as Obama and Napolitano.

But let’s also remember that the Bush administration never used the words “Muslim” or “Islamic” in connection with Muslim terrorism. And let’s also remember that most of the conservative media have followed suit. Conservative writers typically speak, not of “Islamic terrorists,” but of “Islamist terrorists.” And because they speak of “Islamist terrorists,” they think that they deserve credit for their courageous honesty in the face of political correctness!

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

Using slightly different search parameters from the reader, I got significantly different results. I did a Google search for

mohamed mohamud portland muslim

and got about 27,800 results.

Then I did a search for

mohamed mohamud portland

and got about 85,900 results.

This suggests that about 75 percent of the media reports, rather than 99.6 percent, neglected to mention that Mohamed Mohamud is a Muslim.

That’s still pretty bad. But it’s not the near total blackout that the reader found.

However, in defense of the reader, let’s also remember that in probably most of the articles that do mention that Mohamud is a Muslim, that information comes very late in the article and is mentioned almost in passing. See for example the New York Times article I quote at length in the next entry.

LA continues:

Actually it’s worse than what I just said—meaning the media is worse than what I just said. Here is the last section of the Times article, which is where all the references to “Muslim” and “Islamic” occur. I have bolded each appearance of the words and discuss how it is used.

Mr. Guffey, 20, said that Mr. Mohamud had a solid group of friends who were also Muslim, and that he was interested in sports and hip-hop culture. Mr. Guffey said Mr. Mohamud and his friends never acted in a way he considered extreme, adding he never heard Mr. Mohamud talk about religion or politics. [LA notes: See how the Times doesn’t actually say that Mohamud is Muslim; it just says that he had friends who are “also” Muslim. This is absolutely typical of the way the liberal media deliberately taunts its readers with its refusal to identify Muslim terrorists as Muslims, a phenomenon I have discussed several times before.]

Stephanie Napier, who lived across from Mr. Mohamud’s family for several years, said his mother was extremely proud of her son and described him to her as a high-achiever who did well in school.

She said the family appeared to follow Muslim customs and celebrate Muslim holidays, but she emphasized that she knew little about Islam and that she did not talk to the family about religion. Ms. Napier said she believed her family was one of few non-Somali families with which Mr. Mohamud’s family had regular contact. Mr. Mohamud’s sister, Mona, often walked the Napiers’ young son to school in the morning. [LA replies: So the family is described as Muslim, but not Mohamed himself.]

“It was a bad choice the kid made,” Ms. Napier said, referring to Mr. Mohamud, “but I want people to know that his family are good people.”

Two acquaintances of Mr. Mohamud’s family said that Mr. Mohamud’s father worked for Intel, which has offices in Hillsboro, a Portland suburb. They said they thought he worked as an engineer.

Kola Ray, who lives in the same apartment complex as the Mohamud family, said she remembered seeing Mr. Mohamud very late at night, hanging out with other teenagers near the mailboxes beside the complex’s parking lot. She said the image stayed with her because an older man was often with them and seemed to be speaking to them as a group. She said she did know who the man was.

Although Mr. Mohamud’s arrest marks another episode in which a Somali-American has been accused of radical attempts at violence, there was no evidence that Mr. Mohamud had any current link to Somalia or was a sympathizer of the Shabab, a militant Islamic group in Somalia. And despite Mr. Mohamud’s contacts with militants abroad, officials said he appeared to have acted alone in his pursuit of the bombing here. [LA replies: here an “Islamic” group is mentioned, only to point out that Mohamud had nothing to do with it.]

His case resembles several others in which American residents, inspired by militant Web sites, have tried to carry out attacks in the name of the militant Islamic movement only to be captured in a sting operation.

In a similar case in September 2009, a 19-year-old Jordanian was arrested after placing a fake bomb at a 60-story Dallas skyscraper. The same month, a 29-year-old Muslim convert was charged with placing a bomb at the federal building in Springfield, Ill. And in October, a 34-year-old naturalized American citizen born in Pakistan was arrested and charged with plotting to bomb the Washington subway after meeting with undercover agents and discussing his plans and surveillance activities. [LA replies: the Muslim mentioned here is not Mohammed but someone else.]

On Saturday, Muslim and Arab American leaders in Oregon and southwest Washington condemned the attack in a joint statement, calling it “inexcusable and without any justification in Islam or authentic Muslim tradition.” [LA replies: Here “Muslim” is mentioned in connection with the idea that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.]

At a news conference later, representatives of several Portland mosques asserted their confidence in law enforcement officials’ actions so far. Afterward, three of the gathered community members bowed in prayer near the entrance to the Portland City Hall.

[end of Times article]

Since the Times sets the pattern for the American media generally, we can fairly assume that a very large proportion of the articles about Mohamud in which the words “Muslim” or “Islamic” appear do not directly characterize Mohamud as a Muslim, though they may indirectly suggest that he is one.

The reader writes:

I used a Google News search, not regular Google. The link is Also, the results are apt to be different now, as the search was conducted last night. I just did the same searches, and there are actually quite a bit more mentions of Muslim: 3,902 vs 758, using the search queries from the original email. The pieces produced since are probably of a different character than the initial articles, probably covering the reactions of various parties, and not just the arrest of Mohamud.

I don’t mean to draw a huge conclusion from the results, but the point stands: in the articles immediately published after the event, the press seems to have failed explicitly to mention that Mohamed is a Muslim. I regret that I did not take screenshots last night of my findings.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 28, 2010 04:23 PM | Send

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