Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A rare glimpse of observant Muslims who threaten no one

The opening of a 222-unit apartment building at 94 State St. in Hackensack has been delayed until September, city officials say. In June 2013, when ground was broken on what is expected to be an important step in the city's ambitious downtown rehabilitation plan, the developer said the building would be finished by last January.


On the front page of The Record today, observant Muslim American men and women are shown eating a pre-dawn breakfast at a 24-hour diner in Hackensack.

Staff Writer Hannan Adely reports:

"They catch up on their jobs, travels and relationships before they are due to begin the sunrise prayer and daily fast that marks each day during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan" (A-1).

This rare glimpse of observant Muslims, who organize the breakfasts on social media, may remind readers of The Record's coverage of the black and Hispanic communities.

For example, the Woodland Park daily runs a series of upbeat stories during Black History Month, but the rest of the year, blacks are portrayed as criminal suspects and victims of police brutality.

Englewood's segregated schools, housing and job discrimination, and redlining are routinely ignored by The Record's local editors, Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza.  

The rest of the year, we can count on The Record and other media to portray Muslims as religious fanatics who decapitate their captors or blow people to smithereens in produce markets.

More global news

Sadly, Editor Martin Gottlieb devoted the rest of the front page today to national and international news (A-1).

Even though readers heard 24-hours of jawboning on radio and TV about the nuclear agreement with Iran, Gottlieb leads the paper with the story.

The sidebar on partisan-political reaction sheds little light on the merits of the pact, and serves once again to demonize President Obama.

Gottieb even quotes Governor Christie, who has made such a mess of New Jersey, as weighing in on the issue, presumably from his second home in New Hampshire.

Burying local news

Gottlieb found room for a Page 1 brief on Christie's presidential campaign PAC, but not the expected approval of fare hikes and service cutbacks on NJ Transit buses and trains forced by the GOP bully's state-aid cuts (L-1).

Similarly, Tuesday's obituary of former Passaic Mayor Margie Semler should have been on the front page or Gottlieb should have run at least an A-1 brief on the death of the courageous leader.  

Day after day, the former New York Times editor and reporter disappoints local readers.

On A-2 today, the editors acknowledge they misspelled the name of the police chief in tiny Northvale.

Baseball history

Instead of municipal news, today's Local front is dominated by the second story on baseball history in three days (L-1).

Look at that glorious photo of overweight, out-of-shape geezers remembering their on-the-field exploits in 1965.

That's kosher?

On the Better Living front, Food Editor Esther Davidowitz knocks herself out praising Douglas Soclof, a Teaneck man who started "the first Glatt kosher meal-delivery company" (BL-1).

A photo shows Soclof has both a pot belly and absolutely no fashion sense, so what does he know about good food?

I don't see anything in this upbeat story on whether any of the veal, beef or chicken in the ready to cook kosher meals he delivers is free of harmful antibiotics and other additives.

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