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Supplementary material for
October 2013 issue of Extra!
from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting


Active Web Links in the Extra! Article Additional Background Material on Reporting Bias  
Background on Muslim Apocalypticism Examples of Christian Right Reporting on Muslim Apocalypticism

Additional material at the
Social Movement Study Network Website:

7 Experts Who Want to Reframe the Boston Bombing Media Coverage


Active WebLinks in the Article

Tamarlan Tsarnaev’s You Tube playlist featured a long video concerning a marginal Islamic religious prophecy: the Black Flags from Khorasan.

On Mother Jones online, Adam Serwer interviewed Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy

 Boston Globe is the quintessential example of the latter. In an article headlined “Islam Might Have Had Secondary Role,” (April 20) Globe reporters Lisa Wangsness and Brian Ballou spent most of the article quoting experts downplaying religion as a key motive.

The Globe ran an op-ed by Simon Saradzhyan, a research fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center

Professor Cynthia Burack of Ohio State University says terrorist attacks have political, sociological, demographic, and psychological coordinates,

Mustafa E. Gurbuz suggests the media should use more complex analyses of “human behavior and especially terrorism, which needs to be understood from a sociological eye.”

Wangsness and Ballou in the Globe did mention that Tamaran’s You Tube page contained “a slick production that invokes the apocalyptic symbolism of Al Qaeda,”

Detailed explanations of Islamic apocalyptic belief and its relationship to Al Qaeda, Hamas, and other political groups from which violence has emerged

In 2012 Professor Roger Griffin sketched out how apocalyptic aggression is behind much “religious terrorism,” and singled out “Chechen terrorists as modern Zealots.” These two points were chapters in Griffin’s book Terrorist's Creed: Fanatical Violence and the Human Need for Meaning.

Breivik is described as having a sociopathic mindset replete with elements of conspiracy theory, megalomania, narcissism, apocalypticism, and the urge to commit violence,”

Thus conspiracy theories are toxic to democracy when wedded to ideological mandates and apocalyptic timetables.

Harvard professor Jessica Stern interviewed scores of terrorists for her book Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. She found most commonly terrorists share a sense of humiliation blamed on some outside force.

Boston Globe article by Brian Ballou (May 31) reported several obvious white supremacist statements made by Luke without identifying them as standard claims made in the organized white supremacist movement; See also: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/30/neo-nazi-keith-luke-guilty-in-2009-brockton-murder-rampage/

In Killing for Life, scholar Carol Mason details the role of apocalyptic belief in anti-abortion violence

Apocalyptic belief also fuels Islamophobic aggression and bigotry in the United States. Sarah Posner in the Daily Beast (June 10) writes:

===Frequently, criticism of Jewish alliances with evangelicals on the basis of Christian Zionism focuses on the groups’ apocalyptic fervor, or their reactionary social agenda in the U.S. But the incendiary ramifications of Islamophobia are too often given lower priority, or even overlooked.

Corporate media seldom cover the conspiracism and Islamophobia in the Christian Right, or among Republican political operatives such as Newt Gingrich and others who spread conspiracy theories about Islam and Sharia Law

In the United States violence by right-wing fanatics far outnumbers attacks by Muslim zealots.

the U.S. Government’s attempt to find those who are planning violence by spying on the entire population looking for “radicalization” is useless , unconstitutional, and part of a widespread subversion panic spawning a repressive panopticon of surveillance.

Other Articles by Chip Berlet

Islamophobia, Antisemitism and the Demonized 'Other' Parallels among bigotries reflect the conspiratorial mindset FAIR/Extra! 2012/08/01 http://www. researchforprogress.us/jump/fair2012.html

The “War on Terror,” Civil Liberties, and Flawed Scholarship

Tamerlan Tsarnaev's YouTube account shows jihadist radicalisation in pictures Suspected Boston bomber posted videos of Dagestani jihadists and a religious Chechen singer that give clues to his influences

by Luke Harding and Vikram Dodd< http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/22/tamerlan-tsarnaev-youtube-jihadist-radicalisation

The Ideology Behind the Boston Marathon Bombing

By Timothy R. Furnish

History News Network Timothy R. Furnish holds a PhD in Islamic, World and African History (Ohio State), is a U.S. Army veteran and recovering college professor, and currently makes a living as an author, lecturer and consultant to the U.S. military. His website is www.mahdiwatch.org

Background on Muslim Apocalypticism:

David Cook

Jean Rosenfeld

Catherine Wessinger

Charles Cameron

Guest Post: Iran or Afghanistan? The Black Flags of Khorasan…

===A couple of days ago I saw a video, posted on You Tube September 12, 2009, titled “The Army Of Imam Mahdi”. It carries the subtitle: “Soon the Army of Imam Mahdi will start its march from Afghanistan towards The Holy Land( Palestine ) and liberate it from the claws of Israel”. I have embedded it for your viewing convenience at the bottom of this post.

It was Joel Richardson’s blog at that first alerted me to this video (hat-tip, Joel). He writes:

===This is the first time that I have seen solid proof that al-Qaeda and the Taliban is thoroughly guided by Islam’s demonic eschatology. For those who claim that Mahdism is only held by Shi’a, take note that it is a Sunni group that has created this thoroughly Mahdist video and not Shi’a. Al_Qaeda and the Taliban literally views themselves collectively as the Mahdi’s army carrying the Black Flags that will march to Jerusalem to “liberate” it from the Jews. This is a full blown Al-Qaeda / Mahdi Army recruitment video.

About Joel http://www.joelstrumpet.com/?page_id=2916

See link to Cameron posted to Free Republic on 4/19/2013  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3009939/posts commentor cites to MJ


Examples of Christian Right Reporting on Muslim Apocalypticism

Essay that suggests Mahdi is probably the Anti-Christ:

Islam's Much Awaited World Leader — Al-Mahdi
(and who he corresponds to in the Bible)
First Written: August 2006. Last Minor Edit: September 2007.


The comments are worth reading as well. Note the original post is no longer online.

Typical overwrought hyperventilation and preening from the Christian conspiracy news website,
World Net Daily (WND):


Terrorists recruited for attack, abandoned to avoid link to Tehran REZA KAHLILI Published: 04/19/2013 at 2:32 PM

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/boston-bombers-followers-of-irans-ayatollah/ http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/boston-bombers-followers-of-irans-ayatollah/

The two brothers who set off the bombs at the Boston Marathon Monday were assets of a bigger network out of South Asia and were set up to be burned so there would be no link back to their handlers – and Iran.

As reported exclusively April 16, a source within the Iranian intelligence services told WND that the Islamic regime had links to Monday’s bombings and that Hezbollah terrorists and Quds Forces were involved in the shadows.

A YouTube video posted apparently by one of the bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, though not yet confirmed, shows a belief in the coming of the Shiites’ 12th Imam, Mahdi, and the rise of an Islamic army with black flags out of Khorasan, a province in Iran. The mullahs ruling Iran have promoted that same ideology, revealed in their secret documentary “The Coming Is Upon Us.” 

The documentary says Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is the one who, according to a centuries-old hadith, will raise the flag of Islam in creating the circumstance for the coming of the last Islamic messiah, Mahdi. Khamenei was born in Khorasan. It is believed that the Mahdi will only reappear when Armageddon is upon the world, and  Iran is seeking nuclear weapons to bring it on.

Terrorism Series:
The Boston Marathon Bombings

Democracy is a process,
not a specific set of institutions

Democracy is a process that assumes
the majority of people, over time,
given enough accurate information,
and the ability to participate
in a free and open public debate,
reach constructive decisions
that benefit the whole of society, and
preserve liberty,
protect our freedoms,
extend equality, and
defend democracy.

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