German freelance journalist, Emran Feroz argues that the media coverage of the Boston bombing and other terrorist attacks in the West are intentionally disproportionate compared to the frequent atrocities that take place in the Muslim world, usually as a direct result of Western foreign policy.
When the Boston bombings took place, it was splashed all over TV channels and newspapers. The Madrid and 7/7 attacks in London also received the same level of media attention. Whilst these events were horrific and against Islam, the reality is that many westerners don’t really care about what’s taking place in the Muslim world, as a result of unintentional ignorance or choosing to see the events in places like Iraq and Afghanistan as the direct fault of the citizens who are fighting their armies.
I am sure that hardly any Americans or Europeans were aware that on the day of the Boston bombings, 45 people were killed and more than 300 injured in a bomb blast in Iraq. They were probably unaware that also on the same day eight people died in Kabul, Afghanistan, and a week earlier 11 children and one woman had been indiscriminately murdered in the Afghan province of Kunar by a NATO-airstrike. But I feel the general public in Europe and the US would care if the mainstream media took the responsibility of balanced coverage and not the brutalization of selective sympathy.
While three people died in Boston, dozens and even hundreds dying (usually innocent civilians) is part and parcel of everyday life in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In July 2013 alone, 600 people had been killed by car bombs, suicide attacks or mass murders in Iraq. During the same month in Karachi, around 300 people were killed in similar methods, but there were no major headlines or consistent reminders in the media.
The role of the media is one of the main reasons why people in the Western world are desensitised to the deaths of innocent life elsewhere, along with the distance between the locations as well. The fact that they follow a different culture, religion and way of life to those dying elsewhere is also a factor. And of course, how can we forget the likes of David Cameron and Barack Obama who hardly mention an utterance in regards to events in Iraq, Afghanistan and drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen.
But if we take the issue of “distance” as a factor for westerner’s desensitisation to events in the Muslim world, many would argue that America is “far away” from Europe, yet Europeans shared the same emotions when the Boston bombings happened, and vice-versa for Madrid, 7/7 and Woolwich. This is because ideology, religion and culture transcends distance and the western media machine is the protagonist which magnifies these bonds between the US and Europe. Cameron made statements of support to Obama after the Boston bombings and likewise Obama did the same after Woolwich, both declaring their devoted battle against domestic lone wolf terrorists.
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A similar pattern seems to appear when shootings at American schools or a public places occur. For example, the Sandy-Hook-Massacre in December 2012 where 20 children (28 altogether including his killer’s mum) were killed by a madman, yes, a “madman” not a terrorist because the media and politicians selectively choose who they define as a “terrorist” and what qualifies to be an act of “terrorism”. President Obama’s reaction was unforgettable when he shed a tear whilst millions of Muslims watched thinking, “what about the hundreds of children that are killed by US drones in Pakistan and Yemen?” Does that qualify Obama as a terrorist? But I doubt I’d live to see the day any Western politicians shedding a tear for the children who die as a result of their country’s foreign policy.
Victims of terrorism
While Western politicians rightly condemn heinous crimes like the Boston bombings or the Woolwich murder, they openly support other crimes like the occupation of Palestine by their Zionist ally, pay lip service to human rights violations in Syria and the occupation of Afghanistan by funding brutal warlords and unscrupulous heroin bosses.
It seems that the hypocrisy of Western media and leaders does not have an end. Whilst we must not forget the victims of 9/11, 7/7, Boston and Woolwhich, nor should the victims of Baghdad, Kabul or anywhere else be forgotten who are being killed in higher numbers and far more consistently as a result of direct or indirect interference in the Muslim world. But quite the opposite is taking place. Victims of terrorism are being divided in two groups by the media and Western leaders, and this is a testimony of how fast humanity can be lost in the pursuit of global interests and fooling the masses.