Saturday, March 05, 2005


The All-Spin Zone has a disturbing post this morning detailing the history of a murder in New Jersey and the ways in which ideology led to false conclusions. The gist of the story: A Coptic Christian family of four was found murdered. The father had made some anti-Islamic postings to Internet bulletin board, leading to speculation that the family had been murdered by Islamists in retribution.
In particular, some Christian outlets portrayed this as a murder of Christians by Moslems. More recently, a neighbor of the slain family has been charged with the murders, and robbery identified as the motive.
All-Spin Zone is right: The ideologues who immediately turned this into a Christian "victim" story are unlikely to retract their libel. But there are other lessons for all of us, I think.
This troubling story is a perfect example of the ways in which prejudice causes us (and I believe thyat we can all be guilty of it) to quickly jump to erroneous conclusions that then take much, much longer to step back from. It's an important lesson.
Yes, the wingnuts were crazy on this one, but we all must safeguard against the temptation to jump to easy conclusions.