October 27, 2005: There's an interesting pattern developing in Moslem media, especially the satellite news networks like al Jazeera; they are featuring more stories about Islamic terrorist attacks killing innocent Moslem civilians. Moslem journalists have an interesting, largely symbiotic, relationship with Islamic terrorists. They need each other. The terrorists need the favorable exposure in order to encourage people to join (especially for suicide missions), give money and provide support for actual operations (a place to hide, information). Islamic terrorists tend to be popular with Moslem audiences, especially when they are killing non-Moslems. Thus Moslem journalists do well when they feature stories of Islamic terrorists.
Arabs in particular, and Moslems in general, have adopted an attitude of victimhood, and tend to blame most of their problems on others, especially Westerners (although occasionally they will use other, usually nearby, but different from them, Moslems). Thus the enormous popularity, among Moslems, of the 911 attacks, and other terrorist operations that kill lots of infidels (non-Moslems). But the hero turns to zero when the victims are Moslems, especially if they are of the same ethnicity or nationality as the journalists. As a result, Iraqi journalists quickly turned against al Qaeda when more and more victims of Islamic terrorism were Iraqis. The same thing happened in Egypt during the 1990s, when the Moslem Brotherhood attacks began killing Egyptians, rather than infidel foreigners. There was an identical pattern in Algeria. However, there are exceptions. The Moslem media was less eager to condemn the killing of Sudanese Moslems by other Sudanese Moslems because the killers were Arab, while the victims were black African Sudanese Moslems. Arabs don't like to admit it (although it often pops up in news stories), but they have long had a deep disdain for black Africans.
Thus is was a big deal for al Jazeera to give coverage of al Qaeda terrorists killing Iraqis. That coverage has been growing. At first it was accompanied by forceful arguments about how it was unavoidable, and it was somehow all the fault of the foreign soldiers in Iraq. Over the past year, the attacks on Moslem civilians kept getting worse and worse, including the slaughter of dozens of children. Perhaps al Jazeera editors started paying more attention to the Iraqi media (which really has it in for al Qaeda.) Whatever the case, the Moslem media is less and less willing to be an apologist for al Qaeda, at least when it comes to killing Moslem civilians. Al Qaeda still gets favorable coverage when they kill infidels, but the murder of Moslems can no longer be ignored.
This has not changed the tendency of Moslems to blame outsiders for their internal problems, but it has caused many to consider more carefully what harm Islamic terrorists can do. Attitudes are changing, as witness discussions between al Qaeda leaders about the damage done by attacks that kill Moslem civilians. Even these guys have noticed how they are slipping in the ratings. If they don't get their numbers up, their audience will wander away, and Islamic terrorism will become much less of an international problem.