Most North American Newspapers Not Republishing Cartoons of Muhammad

February 3, 2006

Source: Jackson News-Tribune

On February 3, 2006 the Jackson News-Tribune reported, "North American newspapers have given extensive coverage to the anger that cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad unleashed across the world but have taken a hands-off approach to reprinting the caricatures themselves. 'I don't see it as a necessity to run them,' said John Diaz, editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. "'There's a lot of ways that we can gratuitously offend our readers. We want to avoid that'... Toronto Star editor-in-chief Giles Gherson said it's unlikely the paper would run an editorial cartoon that was 'gratuitously offensive,' to a segment of the population. Once that cartoon becomes global news, however, the question arises as to whether it needs to be reprinted so readers can understand what's going on, he said in an article carried in the newspaper. 'We're going to describe in text the cartoons,' he said on Thursday. 'We're going to see if we can explain to our readers what the issues are, what happened, what is portrayed in the cartoons, without actually showing the cartoons if they are inherently deeply offensive to a segment of our society. That would be our preferred approach'... Salam al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, also said there is a double standard among political leaders, opinion makers and the media. There would have been a 'tremendous, correct response' if the cartoons had been anti-Semitic, he said. U.S. Muslims, he said, are unlikely to take to the streets in outrage. 'We admonish against that because we don't find it helpful to our situation in America,' he said."