Newspaper Stories from the Other Foot

Imagine if the media did not uphold Western racism and bias. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot in the treatment of minorities and current events. You might get stories such as the following:

The Aotearoa Times, 20 March 2018

A former company director of European-Paheka descent admits he ripped off West Cheviot Finance (WCF) to the tune of $23 million – spending more than $1m on “various female companions”. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has revealed John Peter Carpenter’s spending habits after the former Gemfine Finance director pleaded guilty to six charges of dishonestly using documents, and two charges of false accounting.

The six charges against the well-known figure in the European community involved $23 million in fraud against SCF and related to 894 false transactions. WCF went into receivership in August, 2010 and triggered a $1.6 billion Government payout under the Crown’s retail deposit guarantee scheme.

In the Cheviot District Court today, Judge Mary Latimer said due to the “magnitude” of Carpenter’s offending the 54-year-old would be held in custody until his sentencing on May 3. “The loss to WCF as a consequence of the defendant’s offending is at least $23 million, which is a loss that will ultimately be borne by the New Zealand taxpayer,” said Judge Latimer.

She went on to say that, “His actions raise real questions about whether Europeans are ready to be put into positions of financial trust involving taxpayer’s money. It pains me to say it, but this case poses some serious and difficult questions for the European-Paheka community. The New Zealand public will not tolerate the profligate and dishonest waste of taxpayers’ money.”

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The Kabul Telegraph, 21 March 2018

At least five Afghan military personnel could face a disciplinary review in connection with the recent burnings of American flags at a military base in Austin, Texas. An official familiar with the ongoing probe says a joint Afghan-U.S. team is convinced the burnings were not intentional.

But, two Kabul lawmakers are convinced extremists are intentionally using the incident to whip up anti-Afghan sentiment and increase violence against Afghan soldiers stationed in Texas to support to the fledgling democratic government.

“Just last month, we buried a corporal from Kandahar and it was an American soldier who turned on him, a trusted associate,” said Parliamentarian Shar Maliki. “This is getting outrageous. One thing, we should never apologize. This is just an excuse to inflict harm upon Afghans,” Maliki said. “Americans need to join the twenty-first century and realize that it’s just a piece of cloth. They may revere their flag, but killing in revenge for burning a flag is primitive behavior and cannot be tolerated.”

“This is being done by our enemies, by the so-called Sons of Texas, by the people who are using this flag-burning as an excuse to inflame the local population,” said MP Kaled Gulam Rasul. “It’s not being done by run-of-the-mill people, it’s being done by people who are looking for an excuse to say something bad and stir people up against the Afghans, who are only there to help,” Rasul said.

However, in a video-taped response from the Sons of Texas group posted on Youtube, their spokesman said, “After invading our land, killing our women and children every day in drone attacks, torturing people in their bases and urinating on the corpses of loyal Americans killed doing their patriotic duty, this was the final straw. We call on the American people to rise up and throw out the aggressors.” The spokesman went on to say that because the Afghan army had been in Texas for ten years, they ought to know by now how much the flag meant to Americans. “Nobody who desecrates our sacred flag can expect to escape the most severe retribution”, the spokesman said.

The official probe into the incident is expected to deliver its report by December.

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The Palestine Daily, 22 March 2018

Livid American officials last night pointed the finger at Israel over a plot to kill Palestine’s ambassador on US soil.

As Britain lined up alongside the States to back any reprisals, President Michelle Lopez ordered a probe into Tel Aviv’s part in the plan. It came after an alleged plan to bomb a favourite Washington restaurant of ambassador Mohammad Ahmed was uncovered. Two Israeli nationals have now been charged with offences including conspiracy to murder a foreign official.

A spokesman for the White House said: “President Lopez underscored that the United States believes this plot to be a flagrant violation of US and international law. She reiterated our commitment to meet our responsibilities to ensure the security of diplomats serving in our country, or any other. She pointed out that Israel had a well-documented record of this sort of behavior. It must not be tolerated.”

Tel Aviv has dismissed the allegations but Britain said it would stand beside America in any action. A Downing Street spokesman said: “We congratulate the US authorities on the successful operation to disrupt a conspiracy to attack diplomats in the United States. The United Kingdom is in close touch with the US authorities on this case. We will support measures to hold Iran accountable for its actions.”

In a statement, Prime Minister Dipak Patel’s office said: “Indications that this plot was directed by elements of the Israeli regime are shocking. We will support measures to hold Israel accountable for its actions.”

US officials also said that the Iranian embassy in Washington was to have been attacked. One of the defendants appeared briefly at a New York City court yesterday. He did not enter a plea and was held without bail. He could face a life prison sentence if convicted on all charges, the Department of Justice said.

Israel’s official News Agency called the charges a “propaganda campaign” by the US government against Tel Aviv. The allegations were “a comedy show fabricated by America”, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters.

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About richardjacksonterrorismblog

I am currently the Deputy Director of the National Peace and Conflict Studies Centre at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Prior to this, I was Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK. I study and teach on issues of terrorism, political violence, conflict resolution and war. I have published several books on these topics, including: Terrorism: A Critical Introduction (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011; co-authored with Lee Jarvis, Jeroen Gunning and Marie Breen Smyth); Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Cases (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010; edited by Richard Jackson, Eamon Murphy and Scott Poynting); Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009; edited by Richard Jackson, Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning); Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods and Approaches (Ann Arbor MI: Michigan University Press, 2009; co-authored with Jacob Bercovitch); and Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics and Counterterrorism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005). I am also the editor-in-chief of the academic journal, Critical Studies on Terrorism.
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3 Responses to Newspaper Stories from the Other Foot

  1. Any chance of a follow up post on how the racist Western media got it wrong in Toulouse and instead of the gunman being a fascist, he was a Jihadist?

    • Paul, I can’t help but think you missed the point of the post. A racist media is one where if a Muslim, Maori or person with a non-Western identity or religion commits a crime, their actions are immediately connected to their identity. It is implied that the reason for their bad behaviour was due in some way to their identity, religious or ethnic. At the same time, when a Western person commits a similar crime, their identity is never suggested as a reason for their bad behaviour. Instead, it is usually dismissed as aberrant action due to mental illness or some kind of trauma. For example, the actions of Timothy McVeigh, Anders Breivik and the German right-wingers who killed several people last year are not discussed as an indication of something toxic within Western culture and Christianity. Whereas the racist media will definitely lay the responsibility for this lone wolf terrorist on Islamic culture and immigrants, and not on his mental state.

  2. Erin LaPorte says:

    We can see the differences between Muslim and non-Muslim violent criminals in the narratives presented in the mass media for similar violent crimes. There was a mass shooting of nursing students in a college in the US this past week by a gunman who was a Korean American. One Goh was said to be hunting a college administrator after shooting dead seven students. The narrative in the media is that Goh was angry that he was denied a refund for dropping his classes. There are discussions in the media over his personal life, his failures, even his anger over being made fun of for his lack of command of the English language.

    What we don’t see is how Goh’s religious faith and political views could have “radicalized” him to go on his personal murderous mission. We don’t see an army of “experts” proclaiming that there is something wrong with Korean culture that can prompt “radicalization” toward “terrorist” acts. There are no accusations that Koreans coming to America might harbor a similar potential for “radicalization.” We don’t see calls from political leaders to limit the number of Koreans coming to America. There is no group blame being brought against the Korean American community for the single actions of One Goh.

    When the media learns that the suspect of a violent act is a Muslim, there is another narrative that follows the “terrorism” and “jihad” line that we don’t see from similar crimes by non-Muslims.

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