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ISIS executes another Coptic Christian: Once again, this appears to be ‘conservative’ news

Let’s spend a moment examining a basic (you would think) file produced by a Google News search for this name — “Nabil Habashi Salama.”

Who is this man in the news? Simply stated, he is the latest Coptic Orthodox Christian killed by ISIS.

Does his death matter? Alas, this appears to be a political question, one that shapes basic journalism decisions about what stories are worthy of mainstream coverage.

First things first: Here is the overture of a report about his death published at Christianity Today. The headline: “ISIS Executes Christian Businessman Kidnapped in Egypt’s Sinai.”

The Islamic State has claimed another Christian victim. And Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church has won another martyr.

“We are telling our kids that their grandfather is now a saint in the highest places of heaven,” stated Peter Salama of his 62-year-old father, Nabil Habashi Salama, executed by the ISIS affiliate in north Sinai.

“We are so joyful for him.”

The Salamas are known as one of the oldest Coptic families in Bir al-Abd on the Mediterranean coast of the Sinai Peninsula. Nabil was a jeweler, owning also mobile phone and clothing shops in the area. Peter said ISIS targeted his father for his share in building the city’s St. Mary Church.

In a newly released 13-minute propaganda video entitled The Makers of Slaughter (or Epic Battles), a militant quotes the Quran to demand the humiliation of Christians and their willing payment of jizya — a tax to ensure their protection.

Now, what is Christianity Today? Obviously, this is a major Christian-market news source, a publication with a long history of doing hard news (GetReligion patriarch Richard Ostling worked there, before moving to Time magazine and then the Associated Press) as well as inspirational features consistent with its evangelical history.

The implication, of course, is that this topic — the martyrdom of another Copt by ISIS — is a “Christian” or even “evangelical” news story.

What else shows up in the Google News search? In terms of English-language news, the death of Nabil Habashi Salama has also been covered by The Daily Mail, in a story with this headline: “ISIS issues warning to ‘Christians of Egypt’ as they execute a captured Coptic and two tribesmen with gunshots to the head.”

Read more at Get Religion

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