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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Western media doesn't mention Rio terrorist was a Muslim (updated)

From AP, a story that you can find all over in English:
A gunman opened fire at a public elementary school in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday and killed at least 11 students before killing himself.

Earlier, police said at least 13 people died in the shooting, but Rio state Health Secretary Sergio Cortes said 10 girls and one boy were killed, along with the gunman. The ages of the children were not immediately known.

Officials said the 23-year-old gunman was a former student at the Tasso da Silveira school, located in a working-class neighborhood in western Rio. A motive was not immediately known, but authorities said the man left a rambling and mostly incoherent letter at the scene indicating he wanted to kill himself.
I had to go to Al Arabiya to find out that he was a convert to Islam, that the letter said that Islam was the true religion and that the letter glorified terrorism and suicide bombings.

Brazilian media is frightened of a growing Islamist movement associated with Al Qaeda that is operation in South America, according to Al Arabiya.

Whether Islam had anything to do with his actions remains to be seen. It seems, though, that the English-language media has already decided that his fascination with Islamist terror is not an important detail to mention in the thousands of stories already published on the incident.

UPDATE: Serjew comments:
I´ve just seen a part of the letter left by the murderer, and it´s not clear from it that he was muslim. Though that part mentions his desire of a burial with some islamic traits, it later says he expects to be resurrected by the coming of Jesus.

So, till now, it just seems he was a religious fundamentalist nut, maybe evangelical, maybe not.
Al Arabiya is pretty clear that he was a convert, but he might not have quite gotten the concept....

UPDATE 2: Renguinho adds:

I'm Brazilian and I've been following this story the whole day (though not quite closely). It seems the bits of info that the shooter was HIV-positive and Muslim were rumours (the first was said by a politician, a "vice-mayor"). I've read the whole letter and it doesn't mention anything Islamic. (The obsession with cleaning and purity etc. cannot be attributed to Islamism on his part, since he mentions Jesus later on).

However, ..his sister told the media that he was "obsessed with Muslim things" (that was what the media was reporting, that she said that). If he was "obsessed" or something like that with some religion, no common person would say, out of the blue, that it was with Muslim religion if that person didn't hear/see for certain that it was Muslim - they'd say "church", "evangelical" etc. (in Brazil). I mean, that is very specific and the general common Brazilian person don't even know what "Muslim" or Islam is. And she said, together with that mention of Islam, that he'd grown a long beard the last time she saw him.

Beats me.