Bias Du Jour: The Media Dubs Sydney Terrorist a ‘Self-Styled Cleric’ to Distance Him From Islam

As the dust is still settling around the hostage taking incident in Sydney, Australia, several things are already known. We know that the hostage taker is a Muslim terrorist. But in an effort to absolve Islam, the media is employing some rather interesting rhetoric. In order to distance this terrorist from Islam, the media is calling him a “self-styled cleric.”

On Sunday (Monday Sydney time) a gunman stormed a cafe in Sydney, one of the nation’s biggest cities in the state of New South Wales. At one point during the standoff that developed with police, the terrorist forced some of the people in the cafe to hold a black ISIS flag against the window, thereby fully describing his cause as terrorism.

The man has been identified as a Muslim named Haron Monis, a man who came to Australia from Iran for political asylum. He has a record of terrorist-like activities having been arrested in the past for harassing families of fallen Australian soldiers. Monis is a suspect in several murders in cases separate from the hostage-taking incident and he has a record of sexual assault and petty theft.

Monis, of course, invaded the coffee shop and took his hostages using a shotgun in a country where guns are heavily outlawed. Looks like their gun ban did them a lot of good, doesn’t it?

As of the writing of this piece, police stormed the building and ended the incident on Tuesday morning, Sydney time. Some seven people were then removed from the cafe on stretchers and the fate of the terrorist had yet to be released.

Australian officials are refusing to call this “terrorism.” But it obviously is whether Monis was connected to any larger organizations overseas or not. Monis did this in the name of Islam and in sympathy with ISIS. This is an act of terror.

But the media has already added its voice to assure everyone that this terrorist isn’t really a Muslim. To avoid associating this monster with Islam, the media has decided to call this criminal a “self-styled sheikh,” or a “self-styled cleric.”

To name just a quick few, you can see this appellation used at the Vox.com blg of the crisis, you can see it in reports by Reuters, at the BBC, and Newsweek. But they aren’t the only ones. The usage is in nearly every report out there.

This is an attempt by the media to make this creep an outlier, someone who does not really represent Islam. As tens of thousands of Muslims are roaming Syria and Iraq right this very minute beheading thousands of people a week all in the name of Islam, as the disease of Islamic terror courses through Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the entire continent of Africa, we get a media that refuses to call it what it is: wholly representative of Islam.

Lastly, why have you never seen this “self-styled” handle used before? After all, the media never called so-called Christian cretin Fred Phelps a “self-styled Christian,” did it? No, he was called a “Baptist minister,” despite that none of his actions or beliefs were very Christian. The media made Phelps a Christian in good standing despite his somewhat terroristic tactics, tactics that no Christian organization use or approve of either in the USA or abroad.

But this Monis monster is no being called a “self-styled” Muslim? It is clear that the media has decided to distance this guy from Islam for the singular purpose of absolving Islam for his actions.

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