Surprised? “87 Percent of Network Islamic Terror Stories Skip Threats of Ramadan Violence,” Newsbusters, July 22, 2015:
Acts of terror marked the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Terrorists cut a bloody path from Tennessee to Tunisia — one that commanded much of the broadcast network’s attention. Only newscasts often ignored the religious timing of the threats by Muslim terrorists.
The Islamic terrorist group ISIS, which declared a Middle East “caliphate” a year ago on June 29, 2014, strongly encouraged violence during the Muslim holy month. Reuters and The Telegraph (UK) reported on June 23, that an ISIS spokesman called for Muslims to make Ramadan “a month of calamity for the infidels.” The “infidels” include non-Muslims and westerners, but also Shiite Muslims and those ISIS called “apostate Muslims.” Al-Shabaab, another Islamic extremist group, threatened Kenya’s non-Muslims even before Ramadan began, All Africa reported.
The increased “threat” of terror and violence from groups like ISIS, arrests, as well as actual bombings and massacres dominated network stories during the Islamic month of Ramadan, which stretched from June 17 to July 17. However, 87 percent (61 of 70) of the network evening news stories in that time failed to mention the specific threats of Islamic extremist violence pegged to the holiday. A majority even failed to say anything that would indicate the religion of Islamic terrorists, even though their calls to “jihad” are entrenched in their religious perspective.
On June 26, Islamic extremists bombed a Shiite mosque in Kuwait, killed more than 30 people at a Tunisian beach resort. That same day, another Muslim man beheaded his boss in France and tried to blow up an American-owned factory. ISIS later took responsibility for the Tunisian massacre and the Kuwait bombing.
The ISIS call for other Muslims to join them in violence during Ramadan was not reported on a CBS or NBC evening news show until after the Kuwaiti, French and Tunisian attacks had happened. Although it reported on terror threats, ABC didn’t mention the Ramadan-specific threat once on World News.
ABC was also the network least likely to identify the religious connection/motivation for terrorism by ISIS or any other terror groups. Any identifying word indicating the religion of terrorists or potential Islamic terrorists appeared in fewer than 17 percent (4 of 24) of ABC’s World News stories during the month. That included stories focused on threats, attacks or policies related to terrorist acts by Islamic extremists (or possible extremists like the Chattanooga shooter)….