Saturday, December 29, 2007

Political unrest in Kenya & Pakistan, how the media coverage differs

In Kenya in the last couple of days, political tension has arisen from election results in which one ethnic party has seized control of the presidency over another ethnic group. Hundreds have died as protesters have taken to the streets including a number of Kenyans being killed when a church was burned.

In regards to the Kenyan conflict, most media coverage has focused on the political tension and the perceived rigging on the election moreso than ethnicity in the majority Non-Muslim nation. If Kenyan Muslims had been the leaders of the protests and the burning of the church, most media outlets would have simplified the matter that "Islamist radicals" are causing political tension.

Now in Pakistan with the recent months of protests to the murder of Benazir Bhutto, the media focus has been on the religion of Pakistanis, not that there are deep political tensions in Pakistan and that there are also ethnic tensions among the Punjabis and Muhajirs there. No, the majority of the focus has been on Islam even though Musharraf is a staunch secularist, the lawyers that protested him are more Western aligned and Bhutto was a secularist. But, the poltical unrest is somehow 100% related to Islam.

Go figure!

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