There is no god but God, and Muhammed is his messenger blogging. We turn the mike over to Shadi Hamid:
democracyarsenal.org: John Burns, Say it Isn't So: Look, I'm sure that "veteran Middle East correspondent for the New York Times" John Burns is a great guy. He did, after all, win a 1993 Pulitzer for "his courageous and thorough coverage of the destruction of Sarajevo and the barbarous killings in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina." Burns has been based in Baghdad for the last couple years. So this juicy tidbit about Burns not knowing the most basic thing about Islam is unbelievable and dispiriting for all those who would like to think that we will ever understand the Muslim world. From the Angry Arab:
An American correspondent in the Middle East sent me this:
Today the Iraqi government held a one time screening of the most recent execution video of Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, with no cameras allowed. Bandar was very scared and crying. He was saying the shahada. Journalists asked if Bandar said the shahada. New York Times bureau chief and veteran middle east correspondent John Burns asked Basem Ridha, Nouri al Maliki's spokesman, what the shahada was. Basem said that it was the Islamic creed. 'whats that?' asked John Burns. Journalists explained that it was 'There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.'
If this is true, then it really is pathetic. John Burns, say it isn't so?