3.27.2007

Fundamentalism on the Covers


In the April 2 issue of Time, Americans get treated to a different cover story than the rest of the world. The global editions report on the situation in Pakistan just across the Afghanistan border: "young religious extremists have overrun scores of towns and villages in the border areas, with the intention of imposing their strict interpretation of Islam on a population unable to fight back." Such jihadists, writes Time, are providing cover for al-Qaeda leaders who are training new recruits, and Osama bin Laden is thought to have hidden in these tribal lands, dubbed Talibanistan.

U.S. readers, however, get a cover story called "The Case for Teaching the Bible." The story is teased using this blurb:
Should the Holy Book be taught in public schools? Yes. It's the bedrock of Western culture. And when taught right, it's even constitutional.
It's officially a trend: in September, Newsweek chose to shield American readers from distressing stories about the Taliban, which appeared on the cover of its international editions, instead offering a cover story on celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz.

2 comments:

inel said...

Thanks for drawing attention to these versions for U.S. consumption and rest of the world. I just read the cover story for America and was shocked, but not surprised, that it ended thus:

"But in the end, what is required in teaching about the Bible in our public schools is patriotism: …"

I would have hoped for a word like compassion in place of patriotism. Oh, dear. Christianity is about love and compassion, not patriotism. The Bible is often used inappropriately to support patriotic goals for America. Ugh!

It is one thing not showing the world to America, and quite another hiding American priorities such as patriotism from our multicultural world.

Poet Warrior said...

Fascinating. Instead of a cover article on religious extremists in Afghanistan, we Americans get force-fed approval for our own home-grown Fundamentalism.

Why did we not see this coming?