A FAIR survey of the phrase “renounce violence” in the New York Times over the past 10 years shows that 95 percent of the time the demand is made of Muslim organizations, people or political parties, the most prominent being the Taliban and Hamas. There are zero instances of anyone in the Times—whether reporters quoting officials or columnists—from March 28, 2009, to March 28, 2019, insisting or suggesting that the United States, Israel or any white-majority country “renounce violence.”
Almost half—48 percent—of the instances of “renounce violence” in the New York Times during the time period asserted that Palestinians “refused” to “renounce violence.” This was typically signaled with an umbrella label of “Hamas,” with varying degrees of specificity. Roughly a third of those said to not “renounce” violence were either Afghan or Iraqi insurgency groups fighting American military occupation. Thus, roughly 80 percent of the time, the term was evoked to describe people under military control of Israel or the US.
Of the 58 examples found of the phrase in the Times from 2009 to present day, only three instances expressed a demand that non-Muslims “renounce violence”: The Czech government (12/22/09) threatening to ban the Communist Party; Turkish criticism (7/29/10) of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a secular Communist party, though Kurds are mostly Muslim; and a report (2/5/17) on Obama’s commutation of Oscar López Rivera that noted the longtime Puerto Rican independence advocate “refused to renounce violence.”
The complete list can be viewed here. The New York Times was selected as the focus of the study due to its position as the US’s most influential newspaper.