In case you missed it, last week there was quite a fuss over a claim made by a woman named Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim chaplain at Northwestern. She posted the following to her Facebook page:
Dang, that’s totally racist and Islamophobic! And the media loves stories about racism and Islamophobia, so Ahmad got plenty of face time to tell her heartbreaking story. #UnitedForTahera was trending on Twitter, because of course it was. Outraged people were outraged at the outrage. It was very, very serious stuff.
But was it true?
As Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard points out, someone claiming to be on the same flight tells a very different story in this post to air-travel forum FlyerTalk:
Now, this person is anonymous. Maybe that’s what really happened, maybe it isn’t. But the point, as Hemingway notes, is that nobody ever tried to verify Ahmad’s account. Nobody got the flight attendant’s side of the story. Nobody talked to any of the other passengers. Y’know, journalism.
The story was true because a designated victim (who’s also a CAIR activist, by the way) said it was true. No other evidence was required. It was too good to check, so nobody did.
The same thing happened after an Islamic terrorist attack in Sydney last year. Remember #illridewithyou? Someone posted a sob story about watching a Muslim on a commuter train removing her headscarf, and that became proof of rampant Islamophobia. The media ran with it. Whether it actually happened didn’t matter. It never does. These stories make people feel better about themselves, superior to the bigots who never seem to have names, and that’s the whole point.
Now that flight attendant is out of a job for something that nobody can prove she did. Now United Airlines — whose planes were hijacked by Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001 — is under the thumb of any Muslim who wants to turn any in-flight breach of etiquette into an international incident. All thanks to our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the media.
Have a Coke and a smile, and shut up.