Did Toronto Star deliberately downplay ISIS connection in Scarborough attack?

These days more than ever it seems your appreciation of reality will depend on which media you choose as your primary source of news and information.

Last Saturday, a self-proclaimed ISIS supporter allegedly screaming  ‘Allahu Akbar’ attacked people at a shopping mall in east end Toronto with a large knife she had concealed in her clothing and also with a golf club.

That is, unless you were reading the report of the incident on the Toronto Star web site. In which case, a random woman attacked people at the mall for no known reason whatsoever.

Here is how another local news outlet reported the incident, under the headline ‘Woman screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ charged in Toronto store attack: Sources’:

Toronto Sun: “Sources told the Toronto Sun that a woman, wearing an ISIS bandana, allegedly entered Cedarbrae Mall in Scarborough Saturday afternoon and then the Canadian Tire store, where she walked to the paint section.”

She allegedly ranted “Allahu Akbar” — God (Allah) is greater — before swinging a golf club at employees — at the same time of bloody terrorist attacks in London, sources said.”

Compare that with the report on the incident the Star provided under the caption ‘Toronto woman charged with assault at Scarborough mall’:

Toronto Star: “A Toronto woman is facing seven charges after two people were attacked Saturday in a Canadian Tire store at Cedarbrae Mall.”

The RCMP’s Toronto-based Integrated National Security Enforcement Team is working with Toronto police on the investigation, said Corp. Louise Savard.

Savard would not say why the INSET team is involved because the investigation is ongoing.

The specialized teams are aimed at tracking, deterring and disrupting terrorist groups or individuals who pose a threat to Canadian national security, the RCMP website says.”

Would not say why the anti-terrorist team is involved?

The incident was not reported in the media until Tuesday, when the alleged attacker appeared in court. Take a look at the stark differences in how the two Toronto news outlets reported the details of the woman’s bail hearing.

Toronto Sun: “Before Tuesday’s proceedings started, Justice of the Peace Alice Napier asked Rehab Dughmosh, 32, to identify herself in court ….. “ISIS — I pledge to the leader of the believers — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” blurted the woman through an interpreter.

Al-Baghdadi is the leader of the Sunni militant jihadist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) and the Levant.

Now compare that with how the Toronto Star reported the hearing:

Toronto Star: “When asked to identify herself for the record, she instead made reference in Arabic to “the leader of the believers,” according to the court’s translator.

The rest of her statements were one-word answers to questions asked by the judge.” 

 What is going on here? 

Keep in mind that this incident occurred on the same day as the London bridge attack and was reported Tuesday, the day international media was reporting that a man attacked police with a hammer while yelling ‘this is for Syria’ at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

And yet the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, appears to have gone out of its way to downplay the connection between this attack in Toronto and Islamic terrorism.

Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for the glaring differences between these two reports of the same disturbing incident. If so, it isn’t immediately obvious. Lacking such an explanation, it’s difficult not to see this as an example of a major mainstream media outlet deliberately constructing an inaccurate version of reality as opposed to objectively reporting the news.

You can read the original reports here:

Woman screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ charged in Toronto store attack: Sources; Toronto Sun

Toronto woman charged with assault at Scarborough mall; Toronto Star

 

 

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Michael Harris

Michael Harris is an oil painter, photographer, song writer and blogger from Toronto Canada. Michael's work is influenced by his interest in psychology, media, consciousness studies, politics and philosophy.

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