By Ira Stoll
Writing about a Showtime documentary titled “American Jihad,” a television reviewer for the New York Times reports that the film “examines several of the relatively few instances of jihad-inspired terrorism in the United States.”
The phrase stopped me in my tracks.
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The 1994 murder of Ari Halberstam on the Brooklyn Bridge. The 2001 World Trade Center bombing. The 2009 Fort Hood shooting. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The 2015 San Bernardino attack. The 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.
How many people have to die before the Times stops describing these attacks as “relatively few”? There might be even more such attacks except that the government, over the objections of the Times, has taken certain steps to try to prevent them.
“Relatively few” is Times code for “not a problem that you should worry much about.” It’s not language you’ll often see in Timescoverage of, say, school shootings, or Trump-era anti-Semitism and xenophobic violence.
The jihad-inspired attacks aren’t few relative to, say, Torah-inspired terrorism in the United States, which, thankfully, is pretty much nonexistent. In fact, relative to that, radical Islamist terrorism is relatively plentiful. The Times reviewer doesn’t explain what the jihad-inspired attacks are few relative to, he just says that they are “relatively few.” Forgive me if I find that less than totally reassuring.
There may be some editors wise enough to eliminate this sort of nonsense from the columns of the Times, but, alas, relatively few of them were apparently on duty when this television review was edited.
© 2017 The Algemeiner Journal