Fundamentalism on the covers


In the April 2 issue of Time, Americans get treated to a different cover story than the rest of the world. The global editions report on the situation in Pakistan just across the Afghanistan border: “young religious extremists have overrun scores of towns and villages in the border areas, with the intention of imposing their strict interpretation of Islam on a population unable to fight back.” Such jihadists, writes Time, are providing cover for al-Qaeda leaders who are training new recruits, and Osama bin Laden is thought to have hidden in these tribal lands, dubbed Talibanistan.

U.S. readers, however, get a cover story called “The Case for Teaching the Bible.” The story is teased using this blurb:

Should the Holy Book be taught in public schools? Yes. It’s the bedrock of Western culture. And when taught right, it’s even constitutional.

It’s officially a trend: in September, Newsweek chose to shield American readers from distressing stories about the Taliban, which appeared on the cover of its international editions, instead offering a cover story on celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz.