The Web site Religion Dispatches is pithy and interesting. Today I saw a post there which is particularly important. It concerns the assassination of Dr George Tiller, as well as the killing of one soldier and wounding of another at a military recruiting station in Little Rock AR. I’ll discuss the Religion Dispatches posting with only limited comment of my own:
… As the Times headline [i.e. “Seeking Clues on Suspect in Shooting of Doctor”] suggests, there must have been something in [Tiller’s assassin Scott] Roeder’s background that everyone missed, which would explain why he crossed the line from protest to murder.
Similar questions regarding the motives for murder apparently do not linger around the June 1 killing of an army recruiter, Private William A. Long, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The June 2 headline in the Times purports to give the “Report of Motive in Recruiter Attack,” and introduces the alleged killer, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, as “an American convert to Islam.”
Dan Mathewson of Religion Dispatches goes over, at length, the ways in which the media have emphasized religion (in his case, Islam) as a motive for Mujahid Muhammad, but have avoided discussing the role religion (in his case, Christianity) in Roeder’s motivation.
The case has been made, and the mass media have bought into exactly the principle in the post’s headine; they assume that “Muslims murder, but Christians don’t.” That they ignore religiosity in Roeder’s case, does everyone a disservice.Tags: abdulhakim mujahid muhammad, assassination, dr george tiller, little rock AR, new york times, religion dispatches, religious right, scott roeder
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