Byline: Ray Hanania
It started out as screaming headlines that swept the country recently, but it ended up on the back pages of most newspapers by the time the facts were revealed. Two terrorists plotted to blow up a New York subway to cause economic chaos during the Republican National Convention.
It's far from what we all feared, nothing close to the terrorism of Sept. 11, 2001. But it sure helps when, in an age of anti-Arab hysteria and anti-Arab violence, there is at least some evidence to justify the fears that "those people" are actually doing something.
Actually, "those people" in this case are Shahawar Siraj, 22, and his "terrorist" co-conspirator, James Elshafay, 19. They were caught taking pictures and planning. They had no explosives. When caught, they declared their anger against "Zionism" and "Israel."
All of the stories about these two Muslim men seem to end on another important note. They were driven, it was widely reported, to these "almost" and "maybe" acts of terrorism by rantings and anti-American hysterics of Islamic fanaticism. Some attributed the men's conduct (terrorism) to "listening to sermons preaching jihad."
The threat is growing. But if America wants to understand the real reasons behind this growing anger, it must recognize the growing anti-Arab bigotry and one-sided news media coverage that exists in this country.
Arabs, Muslim or those who "look Middle Eastern" have more than enough reason to feel animosity. They don't have to listen to video cassette rantings. All they have to do is read the newspapers, watch TV or listen to the radio.
Many of America's media are beyond biased. When it comes to Arabs and Muslims, it borders …