MUSLIM GROUP TARGETS ‘DALLAS MORNING NEWS’

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Activists Allege Anti-Islamic Bias



Nearly every Monday since the end of February, groups of Muslims have
staged rallies in front of The Dallas Morning News to protest
what they say is anti-Islamic bias in the paper’s reporting.



Muslims Against Discrimination have also organized a subscription
boycott and created a Web site, www.dallasnotnews.com, that includes a
‘Black List’ of five Morning News reporters who the group says
have ‘a history of carrying anti-Muslim bias in their news reporting.’
The group is especially upset about reporter Steve McGonigle, who is
labeled ‘Public Enemy #1’ on the Web site.



Separately, the Morning News, its parent company Belo, and four
of its reporters are being sued by a Richardson, Texas, Muslim-run
charity. The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development contends it
has been defamed by articles it says accuse the foundation of supporting
terrorist activities. The foundation is reportedly the target of a
federal investigation, and on May 12 was accused of being a front
organization for the Palestinian Hamas group in a $200 million lawsuit
filed by the parents of an Israeli-American student killed in a 1996
terrorist bombing.



‘They hate Holy Land Foundation and they hate Muslims – it is so
obvious,’ John Janney, who maintains the Muslims Against Defamation Web
site, said in a telephone interview. ‘They are very quick to add the
words ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’ whenever there are any acts of
violence…committed anywhere in the world,’ added founding member
Mohamed Elmougy.


Morning News Executive Editor Gilbert Bailon said the paper has
examined its reporting carefully and simply cannot find any bias.
‘Contrary to what they say, we cover the Muslim community far beyond the
(Middle East violence) aspect,’ he said. ‘The real conflict or beef is
between (government authorities) and these local (Muslim) organizations
– not with us.’



The dallasnotnews site is running a copy of a cease-and-desist letter
from lawyers for Belo and the Morning News. The letter asks the
organization to cease all uses of the Morning News flag and
copyrighted articles from the newspaper.

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