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Ethics of Journalism
By Ramah Kudaimi

Response to Chicago Sun-Times' "War Pep Talks Can't Appease Us Indefinitely"

The October 7th editorial assessed President Bush’s latest speech about Iraq and the War on Terror without criticizing his continuing disregard to the potential lethal effects of his words (“War pep talks can’t appease us indefinitely,” Oct. 7).

Bush said, “The militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia.” Instead of condemning Bush for lumping all Muslims together as fanatics who want to wage eternal war against the world, the Sun-Times editorial board ignores this blatantly offensive statement. They demand “a more vigorous condemnation of Islamofascism from the mosques and ruling classes in the Muslim world,” the same Muslims who are supposedly itching to begin World War III. Muslims all over the world have time after time denounced terrorism in an effort to separate Islam and violence. However, when Bush continues to talk about Muslims as if he is talking about a small, homogenous group, all efforts by Muslims to convince people that Islam is anti-terrorism go in vain. Moreover, when editorial boards such as that of the Sun-Times fail to practice the ethics of journalism that require avoiding stereotyping by race, religion, ethnicity and geography, they are doing a disservice to not only Muslims, but all their readers who depend on them to keep a watchful and critical eye on governments.

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