By Jim Naureckas / Fair.org
No crime fascinates US media like terrorism–provided it’s the right sort of terrorism, that is.
The media-approved sort of terrorist is motivated by some fanatic strain of Islam. Terrorists motivated by other ideologies are often forgotten by corporate media (Extra!, 6/13)–sometimes to the point where pundits deny that non-Muslim terrorists exist (FAIR Blog, 12/16/14)–even though the vast majority of terrorist attacks in the United States are carried out by people with agendas unrelated to Islam (Extra!, 8/13)
Sensational acts of or schemes for political violence are ignored because they don’t fit Islamophobic stereotypes (FAIR Blog, 1/11/13, 1/25/14)–or, if the violence is too dramatic to overlook, journalists decline to affix the “terrorism” label to it (FAIR Media Advisory, 4/15/14; FAIR Blog, 6/13/14).
The latest example of the sort of crime story that would be huge news if the perpetrator were Muslim–rather than, in this instance, someone who hates Muslims–is the case of Robert Rankin Doggart, a former congressional candidate from Signal Mountain, Tennessee, who was caught on tape and on social media talking about wiping out a Muslim community in upstate New York.
According to a plea agreement reached in US District Court in the Eastern District of Tennessee, Doggart told an FBI informant that he was planning to attack the residents of a Muslim community known as Islamberg near Hancock, New York. (Doggart, an ordained Christian minister, apparently became fixated on the hamlet as a result of alarmist reporting on right-wing media.) In a call recorded by the informant, Doggart said:
Those guys [have] to be killed. Their buildings need to be burnt down. If we can get in there and do that not losing a man, even the better.
The buildings Doggart planned to destroy included a mosque, a school and a cafeteria.
In another conversation, Doggart elaborated:
When we meet in this state, the people we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings [and] if anyone attempts to, uh, harm us in any way, our standoff gunner will take them down from 350 yards away.
On Facebook, Doggart declared that “Target 3 [Islamberg] is vulnerable from many approaches and must be utterly destroyed.”
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