British Labour MP Jo Cox was ruthlessly killed by a suspect identified as Thomas Mir on June 16.
The motive of the murder is not yet confirmed but there is more than ample evidence that suggests (read: screams) the 52-year-old alleged attacker’s actions were driven by political ideology.
Since, one of the many definitions of terrorism is the use of violence against innocent civilians to achieve a political, religious or an ideological aim, Mair, therefore, is a suspected terrorist.
However, the mainstream media isn’t exactly referring to him as a terrorist.
Sounds like a familiar pattern, doesn’t it?
Well, that's because it is. This discriminatory approach in the media, when it comes to white or, particularly, non-Muslim suspects, is far too common. But that doesn’t make it any less infuriating.
At least two witnesses claim Mair yelled “Britain First,” which is the name of a notorious far-right wing political party. Moreover, the Southern Poverty Law Center, an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization, says it has records that prove Mair was a supporter of the neo-Nazi National Alliance.
This information is enough to establish anyone as an extremist. Yet, media organizations can be seen playing around with personality traits to describe Mair in their headlines, instead of referring to him as a radical or extremist.
Granted, Mair had a history of mental illness, but his attack, beyond a doubt, was influenced by his political disagreement with Cox over her pro-immigration stance.
Cox’s murder was committed nearly four days after a mass shooting at a nightclub in Florida.
Although CIA has still not been able to find any links between the terrorist organization Islamic State and the gunman Omar Mateen — who also suffered from mental illness — news organizations have been calling him a terrorist ever since the massacre occurred.
So, how is Mair any different from Mateen? Why is Mair a “loner?” Why is he not a terrorist?
Of course, the searing hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed by people of reason. American-Iranian commentator Reza Aslan called out the media’s transparent double standards in a tweet:
He suffered from mental illness is now terror shorthand for "he wasn't Muslim" ... even if he was a fucking Nazi! https://t.co/Dry7TReVBP— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 17, 2016
AFP Journalist Naomi O'Leary highlighted a similar case from 2010 when a woman of Bangladeshi origin stabbed Labor MP Stephen Timms twice in revenge for his vote for the Iraq war.
Here are some more reactions:
Both rags that did most to fuel an atmosphere of hate want you to know he was a 'loner' and no one else is to blame. pic.twitter.com/UawOIduKdT— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) June 17, 2016
The singularly sensitive way that the media treats violent white men is beyond cliché at this point. pic.twitter.com/fixp8lO5eo— Reed F. Richardson (@reedfrich) June 17, 2016
According to Oxford Dictionary Thomas Mair is a TERRORIST. But they still won't call him that will they ?? pic.twitter.com/3OLpZ8gfSa— Safwan Ahmedmia (@SuperSaf) June 18, 2016
Thomas Mair is as much a TERRORIST as men who murdered Lee Rigby; we need to call Jo Cox's murder a political act. pic.twitter.com/9CNnuJAj5c— John Clarke (@JohnClarke1960) June 20, 2016
Looks like our press have been using their handy colour code cards when reporting on terrorist Thomas Mair: pic.twitter.com/GNQiHNbkAt— Tom Pride (@ThomasPride) June 18, 2016
Mair is set for another court appearance next week, but this time around, he will face a judge under terrorism protocols.
It's about time the media called Thomas Mair what he is — a terrorist.