Wednesday April 16, 2014
Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists: Weak in the Fight for Human RightsTim King Salem-News.com
Religious indifference as the suffering masses grow weary, it is a sad and bitter pill.
(SACRAMENTO, CA) - The exposure of atrocities falls exclusively on our shoulders? It seems so. The mainstream media only reports news that benefits their sponsors; organizations that claim to represent God horde their wealth, we're all pretty screwed. Even though most of our news ties to religion, the only steadfast believers we hear from are the ones whose flocks are being massacred, their homes burned to the ground.
There are a few diehards like Reverend Ken Annett in Canada who has pushed the Catholic Church for accountability over sex crimes, and the Hindu Statesman Rajan Zed who works for mankind every day, who are not living in danger, but most of the contact we receive comes from religious leaders in great need.
It is tragic that most of their contemporaries are asleep at the wheel and unwilling to face the reality of what their roles call them to do. The tendency is to support only their religion and congregation's imminent needs. Our own Human Rights Ambassador, William Nicholas Gomes, is a former Muslim, converted to Christianity, who rallies for Muslims, Christians, or anyone else regardless of race, religion or country. That is working at a high level, it is inspiring.
It reminds me of the story of the men trapped in a small room with a bowl of soup and a spoon that is too long, there isn't room to turn it around and eat the soup. The men all died of starvation because they didn't understand that all they had to do was feed each other.
Never underestimate the reality of that now famous line, "It takes a village". It is true, not coined by Hillary Clinton, as many believe.
The bottom line is that wherever minority religious populations exist, so too it seems, exists strife and danger, and much, much worse. There are human rights violations taking place in countries other than Iran seven days a week, but the media's continual harping on that subject takes our eye off the ball and the bigger picture.
As a result of this pattern, we at Salem-News, decided years ago to do everything we could to expose the buried stories that so directly impact people.
Palestine has been a subject for a number of years, since so much information is available, and because the United States funds Israel's military which is behind the occupation and years of associated violence.
Then I began writing about Sri Lanka's recent Genocide of Tamils and I pushed it, I could not see straight on some nights. I became so engrossed in exposing that country's war crimes that I even became acquainted with a ghost, if you will, I write with a twisted smile. The article, Did a Ghost Crawl Inside My Laptop? , may be one of the most important stories I have ever written because it is proof positive of war crimes.
Religion and Media
I'll never forget the last go round I had with religious organizations, trying to bolster their support for our human rights news. Truth is truth, religions are money making industries, they fail to support those who are making positive things happen.
Our regular readers know that one story here will be about Christians under the gun in Pakistan or India, the next could be about Muslims being slaughtered in Burma by Buddhists, or Hindus and Catholics in Sri Lanka being ethnically cleansed by Buddhists, of course we keep up on the plight of Muslims and Christians in Palestine who are routinely attacked by Zionists. We keep an eye on the Roma (Gypsy) community in Europe, frequently reporting the persecution they endure, and we shed light on antisemitic practices against Jews which still take place.
We cover it all and play no favorites, shouldn't religious groups be glad to help?
No, because it cuts into their profits and they are either too closed minded or simply don't care.
It's sad, the Christians who are actively engaged in the religion, belong to groups like Christian Peacemaker Teams, and they are truly invested in trying to save people. They too get too little coverage but they are sincere. The same holds true for progressive Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists. There are incredible people in every religion, but they are on the working side, not the money side.
I believe that if any of these religions were worth their salt, that they would open their minds and eyes to what is taking place and ask, who keeps the world up to speed on these terrible occurrences? They know who covers the latest pop stars, the latest sex scandal, but what about the Genocide in Burma? Who covers the struggle of Christians in Pakistan? Who reports the news from the Balochistan Resistance, in "Pakistan's Dirty War"? That's right, it is us, not the NY Times, not CNN, not the other networks, but Salem-News.com.
Absolutely no other U.S. groups are keeping readers up to date on these critical issues. I guess they aren't 'sexy' enough, and that will never change. When a woman in India is gang raped and thrown from a car, suddenly India is the center of world news, what about the rest of the time? A Sri Lankan maid is beheaded in Saudi Arabia; then you won't hear about Sri Lanka for months.
Religious strife and persecution is a tough beat and it wears you out. There is so much intolerance, so little kindness, so much ignorance, and it is by design.
People are dying every day, international law is being ignored, and I am losing faith in everything to do with organized religion.
Interestingly, the subject is a great expression of what my country, the United States, is supposed to be about.
While people face intolerance here every day, there are legitimate laws in place to protect Americans. Terrible things do sometimes happen, but most days pass without a murder based in religious oppression here. Having said that, I have covered as a reporter and photographer, the desecration of synagogues, mosques and churches, and also a Sikh temple. The hate never goes away, but we need balance and religions need to step up to the plate and take care of the messengers, that is us. And for the record, I am a person who believes in a particular religion, I am not an atheist, however I know many good people who are.
Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer
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With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.
Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu
In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.
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