In the post 9/11 era while Muslims have found themselves at the receiving end of terrorism and war, many western media bigwigs have shied away from highlighting the fallout of the war on terrorism on Muslim countries. This reluctance has primarily been because of the belief held by many western media personnel that Muslims have allowed “this” misfortune to befall them because of their own support to extremist ideologies. Even liberal voices like Bill Maher have resorted to bigotry in recent years, stereotyping all Muslims as extremist terrorists.
However, amid this mind boggling hostility, there are still a handful of objective voices in the western media who have not shied away from supporting the Muslim cause.
Whether it’s the age-old question of the rights of the Palestinian people, or west’s mismanagement that led to the current Syrian crisis; whether it’s the illegal detention of Muslim men and women at Guantanamo Bay or the drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, these analysts have always stood firm in their opposition of the misguided policies of war and destruction led by their own governments in Muslim countries.
So, who are they and how have they become champions of the Muslim cause even in the face of stringent criticism from their own colleagues?
Noam Chomsky, a linguist, philosopher and political critic has been the leadeing voices in global media who spent decades defending the rights of the bereaved Muslim population. Considered one of the staunches critics of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, Chomsky is himself a Jew.
Chomsky’s life and work is a testament of the fact that it a person’s religious affiliation does not and should not impact his/her ability to be objective and fair when speaking up against human rights violations.
An Englishman by birth, Robert Fisk has been an international correspondent reporting on Middle Eastern affairs for various publications since 1976. He is currently associated with the English daily, The Independent, a position that he has held since 1989.
Fisk is fluent in Arabic and among the few western reporters who has interviewed Osama bin Laden.
Fisk has been one of the leading global voices speaking out against the atrocities being perpetrated on the Palestinian people and has been vocal in highlighting how western policies have periodically resulted in the slaughter of Muslims during unjust wars in the Middle East.
Much younger than the other two stalwarts in this list, John Oliver has quickly established a reputation for being brutally critical of the bigotry prevalent in the western power corridors.
While not a journalist in the traditional sense of the word, Oliver uses satire and humour as key tools to highlight the wrongs perpetrated by his own government.
He is among the few figures in mainstream western media who have spoken out against America’s use of drone technology to bomb other countries, including Pakistan.
Snippets from his weekly late night show, Last week Tonight can be accessed with a simple search on Youtube.