Media Muslim makeovers!

Ann Coulter

11/1/2002 12:00:00 AM - Ann Coulter
After all the speculation about the sniper terrorizing Maryland and Virginia, at last we have some cold hard facts. He is a Muslim. He converted to Islam 17 years ago. He changed his name to John Muhammad. He belonged to Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. He cheered the terrorist attack of Sept. 11. He registered his getaway vehicle with the DMV on the anniversary of Sept. 11 -- writing down the time of registration as 8:52 a.m.

Naturally, therefore, the mainstream media have decided the crucial, salient fact about sniper John Muhammad is that he is a Gulf War veteran. Thus, The New York times described the snipers as: "John Allen Muhammad, 41, a Gulf War veteran, and John Lee Malvo, 17, a Jamaican."

They are now hot on the trail of whether Osama bin Laden ever served with the U.S. military in the Gulf War.

To review recent events, last year, 19 Muslims slaughtered thousands of Americans on U.S. soil. Since then, one Muslim tried to blow up a U.S. commercial jet with a shoe bomb and another Muslim shot up Los Angeles airport. The Religion of Peace has also been active abroad, decapitating an American journalist and blowing up a French tanker. In the last few weeks alone, Muslims bombed a nightclub in Bali and were narrowly prevented from slaughtering hundreds of theater-goers in Moscow.

Inasmuch as the nation is at war with Islamic terrorists, you might think it would be of passing interest that the sniper is a Muslim. But you need a New York Times decoder ring to figure out that GULF WAR VETERAN John Muhammad is a Muslim. The main clue is the Times' repeated insistence that Islam had absolutely nothing to do with the shootings.

Wrestling with the freakish development that a practitioner of the Religion of Peace is a killer, the Times has even rushed to print with the completely unsubstantiated speculation that John Muhammad had recently rejected Islam. Experts explained that a "rapid and bizarre change in religious beliefs" is common among "serial killers." One doctor said a change in religious beliefs before committing violent crimes is "a fairly well-known phenomenon in clinical psychiatry," adding that he "was not diagnosing Mr. Muhammad's condition."

His condition? He's a Muslim. That's his condition and his diagnosis. It may be time to update the DSM-IV by adding "Jihad Impulse-Control Disorder" to its index of official diagnoses.

In addition to copious articles intimating that John Muhammad was practically not even a Muslim, the media have universally concluded that there is "no evidence" connecting him to al-Qaida. Of course, it will be difficult to find any evidence, having instantly pronounced the case closed.

In one hard-hitting investigative piece on Muhammad, for example, the Times produced amazing details from his life, including conversations with relatives, neighbors, friends and ex-girlfriends. The article droned on about how he met one ex-girlfriend -- her job, her hobbies, her hopes and dreams. But when she said, "We stopped talking after he asked me about religion," the Times dropped the subject and moved on to the next topic.

After weeks of blithe theorizing that the sniper was an "angry white male" -- based on invidious and offensive stereotypes -- aren't we entitled to a little theorizing about Muhammad's terrorist ties? There is surely more evidence that he was a member of al-Qaida than that he abandoned Islam before carrying out the sniper attacks.

Emerging as al-Qaida's leading spokesman in America, the Times has also blacked out the information that the terrorists who seized a Moscow theater last week were practitioners of the Religion of Peace.

I note again: America is at war with Islamic fanatics. But in a prolix front-page article about the "hostage siege" in Russia, the Times referred to the Islamic fanatics who stormed the theater exclusively as the "captors," the "separatists" and the "guerrillas." One searches in vain for a clear statement that the Moscow hostage crisis was yet another enterprise of the Religion of Peace.

The only hint that the "captors" were even Muslims was the Times' dismissive description of Russian President Vladimir Putin's reaction to the terrorists' demands. Instead of acquiescing, Putin "cho(se) to cast the rebels as international Islamic terrorists." The Times knows a cheap political ploy when it sees one.

In one of the oddest attempts to soften depictions of Islam -- the one religion the media respects -- the Times has apparently banned the word "burka" from its pages. (Burkas have gotten such a bad name recently!) Instead, one reads only about the "burka-style gowns" of the Islamic terrorists in Moscow or the "burka-like robes" of women in Bahrain. (How about: The swastika-like adornment on the skinhead's forearm.)

Not to be outdone by the Times, CNN has valiantly insisted on calling John Muhammad by his Christian name. The night the snipers' names were first released, CNN's Jeanne Meserve repeatedly called Muhammad two names he does not answer to: "Here are the names. John Allen Williams, aka Muhammad Williams, and also a John Lee Malvo." Williams isn't his name. It's not even "Muhammad Williams." It is John Allen Muhammad.

After assuring viewers "we will deal with this carefully," Aaron Brown summed up Meserve's report, saying, "We will say again that these two men, John Allen Williams and John Malvo -- and I'm not clear on the spelling on Malvo ..." While telling whoppers about Muhammad's name, he's fretting about spelling issues.

The next night Brown slipped and mistakenly called Muhammad by his actual name. He was quickly corrected by Kelli Arena:

BROWN: "And then it was sometime later that they got the second name, Muhammad or Williams, I guess."

ARENA: "Right, Williams."

Perhaps CNN should go whole hog and start describing Muhammad as a member of the "religious right" whose name is "Jerry Falwell."