Thursday, July 5, 2012

More on Muslims Attack Christians in Dearborn

My previous post had a 23 minute video of Muslims (primarily young people) cursing and assaulting a group of protesting Christians.  In the quest for honest reporting Alan Noble over at Christ and Pop Culture has detailed some of the problems he has with this video.  His primary concern is over the editing that was done to the video.  Alan links to the longer video (over an hour long) and has specific links to particular time stamps that he argues show creative and unfair editing tactics.  He has some justified concerns.  He does, however, go overboard in his rhetoric when he writes:
Good journalism would demand that these sites check their source and consider possible biases, but, for whatever reason, these conservative news sites report on the event as if it the video was an accurate representation of what occurred. But it was not. Not at all.
When Alan claims that the 23 minute video is "not at all" an "accurate representation" this is not true.  He has used language of totality as if the original video was a blatant lie or complete misrepresentation. This is most definitely not the case.  The longer, fuller video provides nuance and does help correct distortions.  For example, the police did intervene to push back the attacking youth a few times.  There were adults attempting to stop the youth.  And yet, there were obvious examples of criminal activity on the part of a significant body of youth (and even some adults).

Alan Noble is also right to point out the incendiary nature of the Christian protestors.  This group came with inflammatory signs and even a pig's head on a pole.  What is not on the original video but is on the longer version is the stated reason why these Christians brought a pig's head on a pole.  Alan has an important point here:
The video edits out the part where Ruben Israel explains to a police officer that they have a pig head on a pole because Muslims are “petrified” of pigs and so it “keeps them at bay.” No really. He says that. Can you understand now why a group of Arab kids might feel threatened by these predominately white, Christians coming to their cultural festival to shout at them that they are going to hell and that their religion is a lie? Get a bunch of kids together, mock their beliefs, try to ward them away with a pig head on a stick, yell at them, and no matter what religion they are, don’t be surprised if they start throwing trash. That doesn’t in any way justify their action, but it does explain it.
Alan's last sentence about the difference between justifying actions and explaining is a valid one.  These Christians who went to the Dearborn Arab Festival to protest in this way are shameful.  They are part of the family of Christendom but they are like the proverbial crass uncle who belches and farts at the Thanksgiving table all the while saying, "Hey, in some countries that's a compliment!"  They are embarrassing goof-balls but even embarrassing goof-balls have first amendment rights.  They should be rebuked by the Church for their tactics.  They should not have been assaulted.