[Anglican Mainstream] 26 Feb 2009--Massive ignorance about religion by western journalists is giving terrorists freedom to operate.
So says Washington Post contributor Paul Marshall who has co-edited a new book called Blind Spot: When Journalists don’t get Religion published by Oxford University Press and launched by Lapido Media in London today. (Listen to MP3 podcast »)
He said: ‘Many journalists tend to interpret radicalism through a grid of Western concerns such as poverty, ethnicity and what’s happening in the Middle East.
‘To the degree that our views of the nature and goals of Islamist terrorism are shaped by the media, we are consistently being misinformed about the nature of our enemies and the nature of the conflicts we are in. A massive indifference to religion by secular journalists resulted in 9/11 and 7/7.’
Marshall, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Centre for Religious Freedom in New York, spoke this morning at the Frontline Club in London in a discussion moderated by New Statesman contributor and historian Tom Holland.
Marshall said that the media were refusing to address the content of different religions.
‘They are not seen as modes of understanding, or forms of knowledge. What’s really driving believers they think is money, sex or power.’