Reader reaction to Reuters news
Was religion relevant?
Motive probed for US army shooting rampage
KILLEEN, Texas, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Investigators searched for the motive on Friday behind a mass shooting at a sprawling U.S. Army base in Texas, in which an Army psychiatrist trained to treat war wounded is suspected of killing 13 people.
The suspected gunman, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim born in the United States of immigrant parents, was shot four times by police, a base spokesman said. He was unconscious but in stable condition.
I was wondering why, in the article about the suspect in the Fort Hood shooting, he was identified as, “Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim born in the United States” and the article about the Orlando gunman did NOT identify his religion?
I think this type of reporting perpetuates negative, stereotypes that label people inappropriately, there are plenty of murderers of all religions that are not immediately identified with a specific religion in the headline news. In fact, their religion is usually NOT used as an identifier.
It is our policy not to use race, religion, etc. in a story unless it is relevant to the events. In this case, our story said the gunman had yelled “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is Greatest” — just before the shooting, which in my mind justifies mentioning his religion.
Further, the story also quoted the man’s cousin as saying he had complained, as a Muslim, of harassment by fellow soldiers, another detail which makes religion a relevant detail: GBU Editor
Major Nidal Malik Hasan. REUTERS/Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences/Handout