A Tale of Two Beheadings and How Islam Affects Their Coverage

Two headlines both alike in gruesomeness and brutality were published today. The first story is of a man in Arizona who sawed off his own wife’s head, along with their dog’s. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 29 years in prison. The second story is of a mother in upstate New York who murdered her child and then beheaded him while her mother, husband, and other child were still inside the home. Two similar crimes, yet they were covered differently.


When one reads the headline for the first story, it’s pretty apparent that the man from Arizona is insane. He cut off his own left arm and gouged his own eye out. Those are not the actions of people in complete control of their faculties.

When one dives deeper into the second story, one finds out the mother of the beheaded child had recently been let out of an in-patient mental care facility. It was likely very easy for her to game the system to get released as she worked in a mental health facility as a nurse-practitioner.

While no one doubts the insanity of the man in these two cases, not least of all because he confessed to the horrific crime, the woman’s motives are called into question because she has a Muslim-sounding name. Just because the more mainstream media reflexively downplays Muslim extremism on a consistent basis does not justify inflating the threat of radical Islam or slapping the label “terrorism” on any crime committed by a Muslim in an effort to get clicks.

Although no rational person can deny the mainstream media bias in covering Islamic extremism, the same applies for right-leaning publications. Conservatives reflectively, in their own right, see any Muslim who has committed a violent crime as a jihadist. This is certainly true in some cases, but mothers don’t wage jihad on their own babies. An honor killing? No, the kid was 7. No Islamic law could be applied to him.


If the right is going to gripe and bellow about standards, they should really have their own. This is an opportunity to discuss mental health and how this woman slipped through the cracks, allowing this heartbreaking tragedy to occur — it’s not an opportunity to thunder away on the scourge of creeping sharia.

And you might be reading this and think “ol’ Redstate has gone soft on extremism,” but you would be wrong. Extremism, Islamic or otherwise, should be met with the very same brutality extremists seek to inflict on the innocent people in order to push their preferred political goal. But when it’s not extremism, why spread an extremism message for the extremist? Be consistent. Be better.


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