Compare the following headlines
Iraqi Police Say U.S.-Led Raid Kills at Least 17 at Shiite Mosque
Many killed in Baghdad mosque clash: A clash at a mosque in eastern Baghdad between gunmen and US and Iraqi army forces may have left as many as 22 people dead.
Guess which one is from a Western newspaper and which is from an Arab newspaper?
The first headline is from the Los Angeles Times and describes an incident where the Americans "stormed" a mosque:
At least 17 Iraqis were killed Sunday night when U.S. and Iraqi special forces stormed a mosque and clashed with Shiite Muslim militiamen, police officials said, further inflaming the country as its leaders struggled to form a new government and stem sectarian violence.
An Iraqi police official said the dead were Shiite worshipers at the Mustafa mosque in northeast Baghdad. State-owned Al Iraqiya television showed more than a dozen male corpses, at least one of them elderly, laid out in what appeared to be a prayer room as a grieving man in white robes stepped among them on a blood-smeared concrete floor.
The incident is politically explosive because the mosque is a stronghold of followers of the radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr, whose Iranian-backed movement has a powerful bloc in parliament and a large sectarian militia. Sunday's clash was the most serious between that militia and U.S. forces since Sadr led two anti-American uprisings in 2004.
Interestingly enough, Aljazeera reported on the same incident very differently. Instead of a raid it was a "clash" in which Americans never entered the mosque.
Iraqi police said 22 people had died in the fighting on Sunday after armed men opened fire on US soldiers in the area.
Hasan Hamud, a police lieutenant, said eight people had been wounded and some of the casualties were at an office belonging to the Dawa party near the mosque.
The incident started when US forces came under fire from an unknown source in the direction of the mosque and the party office, Hamud said.
The American military said 16 "insurgents" were killed in the Ur neighbourhood by Iraqi special forces with US troops on the scene as backup.
"No mosques were entered or damaged during this operation," the military said in a statement, at least five hours after the incident.
"As elements of the 1st Iraqi Special Operations Forces Brigade entered their objective, they came under fire. In the ensuing exchange of fire... [Iraqi troops] killed 16 insurgents. As they secured their objective, they detained 15 more individuals," the statement said.
For comparison, the New York Times, noting the facts are in dispute, uses both "raid" and "clash". An accompanying photo of dead Iraqis is captioned "what appears to be a mosque" while the opening paragraph does not even use the word mosque:
Frayed relations between Iraq's Shiite leadership and the American authorities came under increased strain on Monday as Shiite leaders expressed fury over an American-led attack on a Shiite compound and suspended negotiations over a new government.
How many times have you heard Aljazeera is biased? Aljazeera isn't necessarily the Fox News of the Arab audience...