Three Christians, including a pastor and a missionary were murdered by Muslims in Turkey in April. They were bound hand and foot, stabbed repeatedly, and had their throats cut.
The five killers, who are all Muslims, have admitted that they targeted their victims because of their religion, so you might think that the motive for the killings is not unconnected with the religion of the killers.
But according to the BBC you'd be wrong: they didn't carry out the killings because they were Muslims, but because they were 'nationalists'. Under the headline 'Turks in Christian murder trial' it reports:
Five men are to go on trial in eastern Turkey, accused of killing three Christians earlier this year.
The Christians, who included a pastor and a German missionary, were stabbed repeatedly and had their throats cut.
The suspects, aged 19 and 20, were detained at the scene of the crime, a Protestant publishing house in Malatya.
The M word finally appears in paragraph four, but not to tell us that the killers were Muslims, but rather that the victims weren't Muslims:
The murders prompted three Christian families to leave the town. Germany has accused Turkey of "unacceptable intolerance" towards non-Muslims.
The report continues:
The murder of the Christians in the eastern town of Malatya came months after the killing of the ethnic Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, and a year after the killing of a Catholic priest in northern Turkey.
In all cases, the alleged killers were nationalist-minded young men or even teenagers.
The BBC conveniently omits to mention that Dink was a Christian. And here's an excerpt from an article in Spiegel Online on the killing of the priest, Father Andrea Santoro, in Trabzon, refering to the killer:
According to his family, Oguz, a high-school student, had recently become "very religious." "He prayed five times a day," says his brother Alpaznar. His father, who runs a dental laboratory in Trabzon, claims that he first heard about the Muhammad cartoons from his son. "He was very upset, but I told him that it was none of his concern."
Nothing there about Oguz becoming "increasingly nationalistic". But back to the BBC:
Turkish nationalists often view missionaries as a threat, especially in remote places like Malatya, says the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul.
In Malatya, the defendants reportedly told police they were acting to foil a plot to undermine Islam and divide Turkey.
Again Islam gets a mention, but while a connection to the killers is implied, it's still not made explicit.
Back in April, Christianity Today was rather less obtuse in its reporting of the Malatya murders (what is it about those guys at Christianity Today and Christianity?):
In a gruesome assault against Turkey's tiny Christian community, five young Muslim Turks entered a Christian publishing office in the southeastern province of Malatya Wednesday and slit the throats of the three Protestant Christians present.
Two of the victims, Necati Aydin, 36, and Ugur Yuksel, 32, were Turkish converts from Islam. The third man, Tilmann Geske, 46, was a German citizen.
The Turkish press reported Thursday that four of the five young men arrested for the murders, all 19 to 20 years of age, admitted during initial interrogations that they were motivated by both "nationalist and religious feelings."
According to the newspaper Hurriyet, one of the suspects declared during police questioning, "We didn't do this for ourselves. We did it for our religion. May this be a lesson to the enemies of religion."
There's an awful lot of talk about religion going on there. And just to recap: the nationality of two of the victims was Turkish, which is the same nationality as the killers'; so it would require a series of semantic somersaults with a high degree of difficulty to reach the conclusion that nationalism was a motive for the killings.
Most reasonable people will, of course, be able to infer from the report that the killers were Muslim, but the BBC deliberately plays down the religious angle, and plays up the 'nationalism' line for all it's worth. And it's not hard to see why.
In the eyes of the BBC and other soft-leftists Islamism either isn't a danger at all; is a minor irritation that isn't worth confronting; or is perhaps a more serious problem, but one which can't be addressed due to considerations of multi-culturalism and political correctness.
Nationalism, on the other hand, is seen by the Left as an all-too-real and pressing threat; and fortunately for the world the solutions to the problem are simple: the transference of more power to transnational institutions like the EU and the UN, and the increased migration of peoples to the point where ideas of nationality become meaningless.
As well as insulting the intelligence of its readers, the BBC is also insulting the tens of millions of Turkish people who are able to make a clear distinction between the state and Islam. Despite growing pressure from Islamists, Turkey remains a secular state, with Turkish law guaranteeing the right to engage in religious evangelism as long as it's not politically motivated.
It's true that the Malatya killers, like others, expressed nationalitic as well as religious sentiments, but that's because for Islamists they're one and the same thing. Islam is the state - a notion embodied in the concept of the 'umma', or global Muslim community. Their allegiance is to Islam first, and nationality - Turkish or otherwise - second, and they make little distincition between the two.
But for the BBC it's quite the opposite, and it's a line of thinking that endangers people of every nationality, and every non-Islamic religion, the world over.
Update 3: A commenter has posted the text of a letter that was sent to churches and religious organisations worldwide by the church whose members were murdered. A shorter, and less gory version is here.
Update: Thanks to Rusty at Jawa Report for linking!
Update 2: I've received the following comment, which suddenly makes this feel very personal:
I am personal friends with the leader of this Christian mission in Turkey. His life was spared only because he was in another city that morning. I know the detailed account of what happened and can assure you that these men were targeted and killed SOLELY for their Christianity. The killers met the victims when they attended a Bible study and came to the publishing company that morning under the pretense of wanting to talk about converting to Christianity.
For the BBC to try a historical rewrite with the facts so fresh demonstrates more than hubris; they are deliberately lying to further their own agenda and, can rightfully be seen as being in bed with Islamofascist terrorists.