No, Judea, you have left off one critical item tightly intertwined with what modern Islam is (and maybe was for all time ..we can take that up with Matthias Kuntzel and Andrew Bostom)The shocking element in Danny's murder was that he was killed, not for what he wrote or planned to write, but for what he represented -- America, modernity, openness, pluralism, curiosity, dialogue, fairness, objectivity, freedom of inquiry, truth and respect for all people. In short, each and every one of us was targeted in Karachi in January of 2002.
Too many regard that deep as the justice of God though, Judea. Too many think his murder, justice.It was through Danny's face that people came to grasp the depth of cruelty and inhumanity into which this planet of ours has been allowed to sink in the past two decades. His murder proved that 9/11 was not an isolated event, and helped resurrect the age-old ideas of right and wrong, good and evil. Moral relativism died with Daniel Pearl in January 2002.
God knows the truth of that last
And unarmed journalists in regions of conflict became many times more vulnerable. They are no longer perceived as neutral, information-gathering agents, but rather as representing political or ideological entities. The press and media has indeed become more polarized and agenda-driven. Journalists today are pressured to serve the ideologies of those who pay their salaries or those who supply them with sources of information. CNN's admission, in 2003, that it concealed information about the Iraqi regime in order to keep its office in Baghdad is a perfect example of this pressure. In the recent Gaza chaos, Western news agencies have willingly reported Hamas propaganda stunts as truth.
But then he gets to it, and blandly lays out for all, the real stupidity and excuses of this time we live in.
This was first brought to my attention by the Pakistani Consul General who came to offer condolences at our home in California. When we spoke about the anti-Semitic element in Danny's murder she said: "What can you expect of these people who never saw a Jew in their lives and who have been exposed, day and night, to televised images of Israeli soldiers targeting and killing Palestinian children."
At the time, it was not clear whether she was trying to exonerate Pakistan from responsibility for Danny's murder, or to pass on the responsibility to European and Arab media for their persistent de-humanization of Jews, Americans and Israelis. The answer was unveiled in 2004, when a friend told me that photos of Muhammad Al Dura were used as background in the video tape of Danny's murder.
The Pakistani Consul was right. The media cannot be totally exonerated from responsibility for Daniel's murder, as well as for the "tsunami of hate" that has swept the world and continues to rise.Ironically, the increase of independent news channels in the Arab world, a process which is generally considered a positive step forward, has contributed significantly to this spread of hatred and violence.
Eager to satisfy their customers' appetite for self-righteousness, these channels have not thought through the harmful, in fact lethal, long-term effects of choreographing victim-victimizer narratives as news coverage.
Surely they have an obligation to expose villainy and excess. This is what journalism is all about. But in a world infected with fanatics who run around with lit matches, journalists cannot simply pour gasoline into the street and pretend they bear no responsibility for the inevitable explosion.
Danny Pearl, the compendium of evil. American, reporter, seeker of reality, JEW.