Radio host and columnist Dean Obeidallah explained that the media’s failure to cover incidents of violence against American Muslims alienates the American Muslim community.
On Saturday, August 5, a bomb exploded and shattered the windows of a Minnesota mosque, Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, as worshippers gathered for morning prayers. This latest attack is not an isolated incident; reported anti-Muslim incidents have increased to a record high since 2016 in Minnesota. A day after the attack, as The New York Times reported, Gov. Mark Dayton denounced the attack during a press conference while visiting the mosque, calling it a “‘terrible, dastardly, cowardly’ act of terrorism.” However, as Obeidallah points out, the lack of media coverage on this attack has brought light to blatant media bias when American Muslims are the victims of terror attacks. Obeidallah says in a country where its president has “demonized” Muslim-Americans, their last hope is the media. From the August 7 edition of CNN’s Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:
BROOKE BALDWIN (HOST): You say if this were to be happening to Christian churches, everyone would be saying terrorism.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH: They would be saying terrorism. It would be getting a great deal of media coverage, and it would deserve that. And it should get that coverage. What I'm saying for the Muslim-American community and I am Muslim. We would like to see this get the coverage. This is not an isolated incident, sadly.
We look to the media as our last hope, frankly.
BALDWIN: We are having this segment. We are having this conversation, which is important. And thank you for calling this, of course, to our attention, and having the conversation, and writing the column. Why do you think, though, I mean, at least you have the governor of the state calling it how he sees it. Why do you think people aren't having the conversations that you think they should be?
OBEIDALLAH: I think often the media doesn't cover these stories, or maybe you don't see the pattern that we do. I am in the community. My Facebook feed is filled with young Muslims across the country posting about this incident harassment or this hate crime.