The double standard laid bare. If you’re a devout believer of whichever faith and eager to see less blasphemy in the media, as many Americans are, there’s no other conclusion to draw here than, “I need to be much, much angrier.”
The image of the prophet Mohammed, however, seems to occupy its own category, with its own rules. Last week, Baquet told me via email that as editor of the Times he had to consider “the Muslim family in Brooklyn who read us and is offended by any depiction of what he sees as his prophet.” [sic] When I replied, “I just wonder about the Jewish family in Brooklyn,” Baquet responded as follows:
“I would really do some reporting — I did — to make sure these parallels are similar for the two religions. You may find they are not. In fact they really are not.”
Baquet’s argument, if I’m reading him correctly, is that a cartoonish depiction of Mohammed is more offensive, categorically, than a cartoon that depicts, say, anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews trying to fabricate a Holocaust that, per the cartoonist, never took place.