When was the last time you saw on TV or in the newspapers a picture of a dead Muslim baby who had been killed by a Muslim? The media simply doesn’t show dead Muslim babies killed by Muslims. Is that because there are so few? No! The number of Muslim babies, women and other civilians killed by fellow Muslims is many times greater than the number of Muslims killed by Israel. But every Muslim whose death can be blamed — either rightly or wrongly — on Israel is displayed by Hamas to the willing media to broadcast these images around the world.
The only exception of which I am aware was when Hamas falsely blamed Israel for the bombing of a parking lot adjacent to a Gaza hospital. The media showed dead Palestinian babies and blamed their deaths on Israel. When it became clear that a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket was to blame, much of the media lost interest — except some Arab media that continued to blame Israel.
We really have no idea how many Muslims have been killed by Israel in Gaza. The Hamas-controlled health bureaucracy issues questionable numbers that don’t even purport to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Hypothetically, a majority of the 22,000 allegedly killed Palestinians may have been terrorists.
Hamas does list “children” separately, but does not list their ages. We know however that Hamas considers any person under the age of 19 to be a “child,” even though it actively recruits “children” above the age of 12 or 13 to become terrorists. So at least some of the “children” who have been killed were active combatants, not civilians.
The same is true of women. Hamas always identifies the dead by gender, as if to suggest that a 25-year-old woman firing a rocket or becoming a suicide bomber must be counted as a civilian.
Now compare the distorted and incomplete Hamas figures to what is known about Muslims who have been killed by Muslims in recent conflicts.
In Yemen alone some 350,000 deaths have occurred during the civil war started by Iranian proxies. Many of them have been civilians, including almost certainly thousands of babies. But you’ve never seen any pictures of bleeding Yemeni babies killed by other Yemenites, even though the war has been covered by many media outlets.
The same is true in Darfur where figures range upward of 10,000 dead and many more injured.
In addition, as many as 600,000 people have been killed in Syria, including many Palestinian babies and women. Again, no pictures.
If one goes back several decades to what has come to be known as Black September, the Jordanian army killed thousands of Palestinians including many civilians. But their 1970 deaths went largely un-photographed.
Today’s media has been feasting on pictures of bleeding and dead Palestinian babies, killed and wounded in Gaza. They report Hamas-generated figures without indicating what the comparable figures were when Muslims have been killed and wounded by Muslims in neighboring areas. Statistical comparisons are not as evocative as graphic pictures. But pictures without explanation hide the truth. If it bleeds it leads, but if it leads it often distorts reality.
Does a dead Muslim baby matter less if she was killed by a Muslim than by a Jew? Of course not, except to those who would use the deaths of innocent babies as propaganda tools against Israel.
Without making any comparisons, the media also applies a double standard when it comes to the deaths of African-Americans in the United States. When George Floyd — a single Black man with a long history of criminality — was brutally killed by a white policeman, that murder became one of the most important stories of the 21st century. It resulted in a racial “reckoning”, that included major changes in American universities, corporations, and the media itself.
Floyd’s life and death mattered, as it should have. But what about the thousands of Black children who are killed every year by Black gang members. Why do their lives seem to matter less to the media — and even to some Black leaders — than the lives of Floyd and the relatively small number of African-Americans who are killed every year by white police?
It has become a micro-aggression on some quarters to say that “all lives matter,” but no one should be faulted for saying that all Black lives matter, regardless of whether they are taken by the actions of white police or Black gang members.
The same is true of Muslim lives: a Muslim life is no more valuable if taken by an Israeli rocket than by a Muslim rocket. But the media doesn’t see it that way.