Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank near Boston, agrees that while the outcome was not in doubt, there was more to why the press stayed away in droves. "Once somebody claims a religious motivation for an act of terrorism," he said, "most people, including reporters and editors, become unglued." If Waagner had been a self-identified Muslim terrorist instead of a Christian terrorist, Berlet observed, "he'd have been lynched by now." Indeed, while news reports invariably note that he is a self-described terrorist, and dutifully quote him as saying so, they also studiously avoid use of the word "Christian."
"The notion of Christian terrorists is a place people don't want to go," Glazier agreed. "And the notion of there being more than one Christian terrorist is a place where people also don't want to go."
Reporters and editors often "fear to offend," added Berlet. "But if it's fair to say if we can see the religious motivations in the Taliban, we ought to be able to see them in Waagner or Eric Rudolph." He notes that although Waagner and his associates in the Army of God "represent a tiny fraction of the wider Christian right, people don't know how to make sense of it." And reporters, he says, "walk away from it."
A judge has ruled that a Pakistani man convicted of attacking his 17-year-old fiancee with acid be blinded with acid himself, police said Friday. The judge ordered that a doctor perform the punishment publicly at a sports stadium.
'This is an Islamic way of doing justice," the judge wrote in his verdict.
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