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Associated Press and the Profit of Mohammed

Associated Press and the Profit of Mohammed

Remember after 9/11 (the original, not the Benghazi update), when Reuters decided its stylebook would require putting the word terrorist in scare quotes on the grounds that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”?

Well, now the Associated Press stylebook apparently insists that Mohammed be preceded by the word Prophet.

An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world….

The low-budget “Innocence of Muslims,” parts of which were made available online, portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon.

Hmmm.  What if you think one man’s prophet is another man’s deviant? What if you’re a Christian who prefers to see Son of God or Prince of Peace precede “Jesus Christ”?  Sorry, you’ll just have to live with this:

Pope Benedict XVI completed his trilogy on the life of Jesus Christ with a new book on Jesus’ birth, insisting on its significance for Christians today and lamenting that God is still considered by many an obstacle to their freedom.

On the other hand, if you’re an Israel denier who believes that that little country doesn’t get to choose its own capital, then the AP has got you covered.  Via Politico:

What is AP style for the city of Jerusalem?

Friday morning, The Associated Press blasted this tweet for a story on Gaza-Israel conflict: “Air raid sirens wail in Jerusalem, signaling a possible rocket attack aimed at Israel’s capital….Just over a half hour later, the AP issued a “correction” tweet: “Air raid sirens in Jerusalem signal a possible rocket attack aimed at Israel’s self-declared capital…

Self-declared capital?  Aren’t all capitals self-declared? Washington, D.C.?  Paris? Amman?

So let’s recap: A religion whose adherents sentence to death several people for the crime of saying things they don’t like 7500 miles away gets to determine how its fearless leader will be referred to by a news agency headquartered 4500 miles away.

But a country that was (re)founded nearly seven decades ago and duly recognized by the United Nations has to share its capital with people who have never had their own country and whose claim to Jerusalem rests entirely on nothing more than their claim to Jerusalem.

Do you get the feeling AP editors are worried about being tried in absentia and sentenced to death?


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What next? “Peace be upon him” after every mention?

    A federal district court in Michigan is already there:

    AIG has advertised itself as the market leader in Sharia-compliant financing … AIG defines “Sharia” as “Islamic law based on Quran [sic] and the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH).” FN3 …” (emphasis added)

    FN3. The Court takes judicial notice that “PBUH” is an acronym meaning “Peace be upon him” and that practicing Muslims often include the acronym after naming a prophet of Islam… “

    Murray v Geithner, 763 F.Supp 860, 864 (2011):

      As an American Catholic and a retired newspaper editor, may I say that my enthusiasm for AP is tepid at best? I despise Islamists more than my observant Muslim friends dare say out loud. But fair is fair. AP is merely stupid and consistently misinformed. When an observant Muslim speaks of Moses or Jesus or the Virgin Mary (who rates an entire Sura to herself in the Qu’ran) or other major figures of the pre-Islamic Abrahamic tradition, they *always* say: Peace be upon him/her, just as they do with their prophet. Until AP and the courts prescribe terms like “Moses Our Teacher” or “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” I think their allowing PBUH for any of them is excessive as well as apotropaic. As, however, to using the term prophet before the name of Mohammed, let us call to mind the observation of the immortal Sam Goldwyn, brought up to date: In the Islamic realm, every Tom, Dick and Harry is called Mohammed. Clarity, however, is not a hallmark of the AP tradition. Of the state of the American judiciary, decent men do not speak.

I find the AP editors guilty and I sentence them to their own self-declared self-deception.

legacyrepublican | November 29, 2012 at 10:11 am

Come to think of it, by the same logic, it means I am a self-declared individual and no one else needs to agree with that.

Look at the little thumbs down there, green and red.

Let “me” take a little poll using those thumbs …

Does the reader of this comment think I exist or not?

“Do you get the feeling AP editors are worried about being tried in absentia and sentenced to death?” – yes, please – how do we make this happen? And in the interest of equality of religions, shouldn’t Israel and the Pope be able to try the AP editors in absentia and sentence them to death? I mean, fair is fair…

[…] Press and the Profit of Mohammed Associated Press and the Profit of Mohammed Posted by Joel Engel Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 9:30am Remember after 9/11 (the original, not […]

While I generally agree with your posts, I must point out that “Christ” is actually a title, much like “prophet”. It means “the Annointed One”, or “messiah”. So while the AP is generally execrable, I think they’re ok in this case.

This post includes two of my favorite greed fulfilling goals, capital and prophets and excludes my least favorite, spelling and usage.

The problem is that prophets are the only profits that Comrade Obama and the classically trained professional journalists at AP like or understand.

Don’t fret.

Jamie Foxx has been making submissions to the Associated Press stylebook on our behalf.

Not to quibble but isn’t saying Prophet Mohammad and Jesus Christ basically equivalent? Both “Prophet” and “Christ” are titles, not proper names.

The part about Israel’s “capital” is, of course, outrageous.

    Phillep Harding in reply to DrMaturin. | November 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Yes, but I’ll worry about it when the Christians start pushing for a law requiring we use Jesus Christ instead of just one or the other.

Since misnaming somebody as a prophet is blasphemy, wouldn’t it be a kick to start labeling them in our own style books as the blasphemous AP. The damage to their brand would be quite large. As even more fun, it wouldn’t be libelous as it would be true.

An even stronger reason for the AP not to continue down this road. It can’t win on Jesus because it’s blasphemy to call him prophet in Christianity and blasphemous not to call him that in Islam.

    Fancylad in reply to TMLutas. | November 29, 2012 at 11:54 am

    It’s not blasphemous to call Jesus a prophet in Christianity.

    In Scripture Jesus is often presented as a prophet. For instance in Matthew 21:11 crowds identified him as “Jesus the prophet”, And in Luke 4:24 he spoke of himself as a prophet: “No prophet is accepted in his own native place”.

    In fact the phrase “Prophet, Priest, and King” has been used in a great many Christian Hymns, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.

Subotai Bahadur | November 29, 2012 at 11:40 am

They do not seem to have thought this through as far as the risk/rewards. Yes, they can be tried in absentia by sundry Muslims for saying something that some Muslim, somewhere, disagrees with, is offended by, or just plain does not understand. Using the Cthulu theory [suicidal levels of submission and grovelling in hopes of being eaten last] does not improve their odds or safety. They are already under sentence of death for the capital crime of not being Muslim, said sentence being subject to execution at random.

But that is not the only threat axis for being so tried; albeit informally and not by their fellow Cthulu worshiping compatriots in any government. When things go TANGO UNIFORM around the world, in large part because of the active efforts of the media; how popular is anyone who made their living destroying the West going to be, especially if it is found out that they helped run AP?

If you are going to guide your conduct by avoiding the risk of angering people en masse; it seems to be a poor strategy to pander to a smaller group far away, while ignoring the fact that you are micturating in the Wheaties of a larger group, a lot closer. Unless their fallback strategy is to run to the Ummah to claim asylum when life gets Hobbesian; it seems that the reality testing of the “reality based community” is out of adjustment.

Subotai Bahadur | November 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

To be fair, Jesus Christ is about analogous. Christ means anointed in Greek, the equivalent of mashiach in Hebrew, which has been transliterated to Messiah. So using the word Christ is a similar honorific to “the prophet” or in Arabic, Nebi.

Still, you’re far more likely to see the MSM use “the Prophet Mohammed” (often with a capital P), than “the Lord Jesus Christ”. You’ll never see something in the MSM like “Moses the lawgiver”.

Here’s a good test that someone with Nexis access could try out. Compare the frequency of capitalizing the letter P in prophet when preceding “Mohammed” to how the MSM, when they reference Biblical prophets, spells the word. My hypothesis is that they are more likely to go with “the Prophet Mohammed” than “the Prophet Isaiah”.

But isn’t writing “the prophet Mohammed” the same sort of thing as writing “Jesus Christ”? I mean, “Christ” isn’t Jesus’s surname; it’s an honorific, several degrees higher than mere “prophet.” Newswriters customarily employ the full J.C. for clarity in a first reference, a practice that would be the more imperative if “Jesus” were as common a given name in Christendom as “Mohammed” is among Mahometans. I draw the line at PBUH, but “the prophet” doesn’t bother me much.

I prefer a different “P” word, pedophile.

The little fools are already living under a death sentence. Their appeasements will avail them not. Have they forgotten Daniel Pearlman?

This behavior is derived from the Artist’s Law of Bravery: Criticism of a religion is inversely proportional to the likelihood of its proponents killing you multiplied by their density.

CarsinDepth makes a good point – but please don’t educate the MSM on this point. I think its probably out of ignorance that they continue to attach “Christ” to Jesus. Pretty son it will be either Jesus alleged son of God or Jesus the alleged “Christ” or Jesus the one declared “Christ” by his followers….

[…] …and the cowards at the Associated Press. […]

[…] At the blog Legal Insurrection, Joel Engel brings up the use of the honorific term Prophet Muhammad instead of the previous, plain-old Muhammad. Remember after 9/11 (the original, not the Benghazi update), when Reuters decided its stylebook would require putting the word terrorist in scare quotes on the grounds that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”? […]

I insist on “The Prophet Muhammed, Mass Murderer of Christians (and cartoonists)”

[…] Next in our tour, we see some ironic hilarity from our fine media betters. […]

To be fair to the AP Gods of the Copybook Headings, they were willing and anxious to capitulate to the enemies of America and Christianity without any incentives whatsoever, just as they bowed to their Soviet masters before – even with the certain knowledge they would be among the first liquidated if the Soviets won the Cold War.

Totally inappropriate of course, but since “Piss Christ” was considered art, would an object titled “Piss Obama” be acceptable and if not why not! Of course, to avoid any objection from an exhibitor, the actual piece of art itself would merely be in an abstract form, say a drawing or a photo of a little Obama doll dunked in a yellowish liquid.

Silly me, of course we know why it woudln’t be acceptable but still, I had to ask. Maybe if the “Piss Obama” art was framed with a halo around it, that would make it acceptable?


Accurate journalists and their editors should comply with the style edict by writing “the so-called Prophet Mohammed”. Or is that hoping for too much.