Islamberg is a rural village in Hancock, New York founded in the late 1980s by American Muslims. Robert Doggart, a Tennessee man and failed Congressional candidate, wanted to burn the town to the ground and kill its residents.
Doggart, 63, was recorded on a wiretapped line discussing plans to travel to the small New York village with members of a private militia. They plotted to burn down a mosque, school, and cafeteria, and shoot anyone from the mostly Muslim community who tried to stop them.
“Our small group will soon be faced with the fight of our lives,” Doggart wrote on Facebook. “We will offer those lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God. We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace.”
In one recorded call, he spoke about the weapons cache he would use to carry out the attack: “We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with 3 extra magazines and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds.”
On April 10, he was arrested by the the FBI and two weeks later he pled guilty to communicating threats.
It would seem that this type of mass murder plot would attract the attention of mainstream media. After all, Doggart spoke of slaughtering fellow Americans and burning their town to the ground. He was eerily specific about the weaponry he’d use to do just that.
But the mainstream news media was silent. Only a handful of blogs, local newspapers, and niche websites discussed the gruesome plan.
More than a month has passed since his arrest. News of his plan to kill Muslims only became clear in recent weeks upon the release of court documents.
Today, a Google search of Doggart’s name yield only 57 news articles.
A search of the New York Times, which has the largest circulation of any metropolitan newspaper in the United States, revealed nothing. The name “Robert Doggart” generated 5 hits, 4 of which were obituaries from the 1930s and 1940s.
The Washington Post was not much better.
Nor was CNN.
Nor was Fox News.
If a Muslim man living in the United States plotted such violence, it is doubtful the U.S. media would be so silent. Instead, the plot would have been covered as “breaking news” on cable television and in prominent newspapers. And unlike Doggart, who was released after posting bail, his hypothetical Muslim counterpart would have most likely been held while authorities debated the possibility of filing federal terrorism charges.
These double standards are worthy of Americans’ serious reflection.