Not All Bombing Victims Are Created Equal

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On page A8 of The New York Times today (I agree with this guy that a broad-sheet newspaper is superior to the Web as an information-delivery system) I came across, waaaaay at the bottom of the page, a story headlined "Bomber Strikes Nigerian Church, As Attacks on Christians Mount." (Here's a link to the web version of the piece, from Reuters.) According to the article, the Islamist group Boko Haram set off a car bomb outside the church in the city of Yelwa, killing at least 12 people. The placement of the story, and its brevity (seven short paragraphs), once again suggests to me that the most under-covered story these days is the sustained assault by Islamist terrorists on Christians. (The Islamist assault on cartoonists seems to get slightly more attention, but only slightly.) I don't know precisely why this story, and stories like it, disappear so quickly, though I assume it has something to do with the seeming unwillingness of Christian churches in the West to stand up for their persecuted brethren in countries like Nigeria, and also discomfort among left-leaning elites with a narrative that paints Christianity as victim, rather than as persecutor.

(By the way, for a comprehensive look at how radical Islam is persecuting all sorts of putative infidels and heterodox Muslims, please read this indispensable New Republic piece from Paul Berman.)


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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