Sympathy and blasphemy

I want to call your attention to a blog post at a different site.  It is well worth the three minutes it will take to read.  It is a story about people who expressed concern for a young man who lives very far away from them.

Actually, it is about the media coverage of the concern.  Our intrepid media critic was touched by the stories, but then started asking questions.  Questions of basic journalism.  Check it out:

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2020/10/1/story-of-concern-for-nigerian-boy-jailed-for-blasphemy-offers-hope-despite-lackluster-reporting

The media critic is Ira Rifkin, a journalist on the religion beat.  He has written a few books, including one about Dostoevsky.  You can find many of his short articles at the Religion News Service website.  He had his own brush with cancer just a couple of years ago.

I thought the questions he posed were good ones.

And, the setting is one that has interested me.  I have posted several times about the strife in the west African Sahel, where centuries-old strife between herders and farmers has grown very violent in the past fifteen years, due to Arabian oil money being used to provide firebrand jihadi preachers and small arms weapons to the Muslim herders.

The story is about the plight of a 13-year old boy sentenced by a Sharia court to a ten-year sentence for blasphemy.

When you read Rifkin’s comments about the media coverage, you may want to sample some of the articles.  That will give a good perspective on his questions for the journalists.

Sometimes it helps to put a face on a story.

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