Friday, January 16, 2015

Looking Back on 66 Years of "The Times" Showing an Image of the Prophet

By David W. Dunlap
Man walkes by with copy of the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo
NEW YORK---The question of whether it is ever appropriate to publish depictions of the Prophet Muhammad could not be more current or vexing, as the Public Editor’s Journal made plain on Wednesday. But it is not a new question for The Times. Two historical incidents illustrate the newspaper’s changing sensitivity to the issue. “Mohammed Quits Pedestal Here on Moslem Plea After 50 Years” was the headline on a front-page article published April 9, 1955, after the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan approved the removal of an eight-foot-tall marble statue of the prophet from the courthouse rooftop. It was a different story in 1974 when The Times published a reproduction of a 14th-century miniature painting, from the Jami’ al-Tawarikh manuscript, depicting Muhammad receiving a revelation from the Archangel Gabriel. [link]