While the whole world was focused on the terrible massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, similar events in Europe went mostly unnoticed.
In Utrecht in the Netherlands, a 37-year-old Turkish-born man gunned down eight people, and three died. He was later captured by Dutch police.
In Italy, a 47-year-old bus driver of Senegalese origin abducted 51 schoolchildren and their chaperones and set the bus on fire, attempting to burn them alive. He was apprehended by Italian police.
In West Germany, the anti-terror police prevented a major Islamic terrorist attack by arresting 11 people in a raid during their terrorist preparations. A spokeswoman for the Frankfurter prosecutor announced that the suspects had “jointly arranged to commit an Islamist-terrorist-motivated attack using a vehicle and firearms and kill as many infidels as possible.”
These are not the only terrorist attacks that have been thwarted in Germany in recent months. In Dusseldorf, a Tunisian-German couple was arrested for working on a bomb with the bio-agent ricin. In August 2018, a Chechen man was arrested in Berlin while preparing for an explosive attack with a French citizen. In December 2018, police in Mainz arrested a Syrian suspected of involvement in a terrorist attack in the Netherlands.
What do these cases have in common? The perpetrators were all from Islamic countries, and the media were mostly silent about them.
Maybe the media coverage was negligible because the death tolls were lower? Not so. In Nigeria, 32 Christians were recently massacred by Islamists during a religious ceremony, bringing the total death toll of Christians in Nigeria up to 120 in a single month. In January 2019, Islamists murdered 20 Christians in a church attack in the Philippines. The media were largely quiet.
The contrast to the media coverage of the Christchurch mass murder is stark. The attack by a lone madman inspired a debate about the alleged global rise of white nationalism. A more prudent discussion would be about media bias.
Perhaps the media care more about Muslim victims? Not so. Most victims of Islamic terrorism in the world are Muslims, and their deaths and suffering go largely unreported, too. The media seem to care only when the perpetrator is someone they can identify with the political right.
The double standard is as shocking as it is blatant: When an Islamist performs a terrorist attack, the left and their media acolytes are quick to warn about generalizing. Islam is a religion of peace, they say, and the motives of the attackers remain a mystery to them, even when they scream “Allahu Akbar” during the murder sprees. We are told that they have perverted the “great religion of Islam” and that Muslims, in fact, are the real victims because they will have to suffer suspicion and harassment from all those white nationalists.
This may or may not be true, but similar care was not taken in the case of the Christchurch murderer. The media didn’t warn about generalizations. They didn’t say that we should refrain from blaming conservatives, or people who are skeptical of Third World immigration, or gun owners. They did the opposite.
That blatant double standard is the crux of the debate.