PressTV reports on Philadelphia cop shot by jihadi but omits a pertinent detail
It looks like Thursday was a busy day for ISIL. In the Libyan town of Zliten they detonated a suicide truck bomb outside of a police training center killing 47 people and wounding over 100. In Cairo Egypt a gunman strafed a bus carrying Israeli tourists with machine gun fire, fortunately no one was killed. Then on Thursday night, a possibly mentally ill man who had pledged allegiance to ISIL, unleashed a barrage of gun fire at close range at Philadelphian police officer Jeff Hartnett who was in his patrol car at the time. Hartnett was severely wounded by three bullets that struck his arm, however, he somehow managed to return fire on the attacker who was forced to flee and was then later captured by police. Hartnett is currently in serious but stable condition in hospital.
What is of particular interest to me about the latter incident is how it is being reported by the Iranian media outlet PressTV. In their online article about this shooting, the details of the attack are given and it is mentioned that the attacker “had pledged loyalty to the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group,” but one seemingly pertinent detail is omitted. According to other news websites the attacker, Edward Archer, also told police that he was acting in the name of Islam. Oddly enough the PressTV article fails to mention this piece of information.
Now maybe the PressTV author was unaware of this detail, however the article was published at around the same time as other articles that did contain the detail in question, so such an explanation seems unlikely, especially given that the author was aware of many other details of the shooting. So why was Archer’s confession that he was acting in the name of Islam omitted?
The answer is simple. The people at PressTV are Muslims and they do not want their readers to associate an act of violence with a motivation stemming from the religion of Islam itself. It is one thing for them to point out that Archer pledged allegiance to ISIL for two reasons. Firstly ISIL is the enemy of Iran, so of course they want to associate that group with violence acts and secondly the Iranians have been constantly stating that ISIL and its abhorrent actions does not represent the ‘true‘ Islam. In other words ISIL is un-Islamic.
But when it comes to a direct association with Islam and an unproked act of violence, this is much more difficult for PressTV to rationalize to their audience. How can they say that Archer was un-Islamic when he himself claims to be acting in the name of Islam? May be he was not acting in accordance with Islam, but for PressTV to prove would require a fair bit of effort, if this contention is even true. As such so a reader does not possibly even entertain the thought that true Islam itself may be associated with violence, PressTV conveniently fails to mention Archer’s full confession.
It should also be noted that PressTV rarely calls ISIL by that name, but instead uses the arabic term Daesh, because to the average english speaker the latter does not evoke in their mind the term Islamic. Although the term Daesh is itself an acronym containing the arabic word for Islamic, but most english speakers are, understandably, ignorant of arabic, so when they hear the word Daesh they may not immediately think of the related word Islamic. For this reason PressTV prefers to use the term Daesh over ISIL or ISIS or IS.
So in conclusion it is impermissible for us to equate Islam with violence, so PressTV sees it appropriate to withhold important details of the Philadelphia shooting to us. This misinformations shows us the subtle ways in which media outlets can attempt to manipulate us. As such, all I can recommend is that you read articles, regardless of their sources, diligently and make us of multiple sources, so as to be able to recognize any subtle inconsistencies or omissions