New crime: Airbrushing while Muslim

Here's an interesting case of religiously motivated censorship.

Religious paper apologizes for erasing Clinton from iconic photo – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs

Faith has outweighed fact at Di Tzeitung, a Hasidic newspaper based in Brooklyn, New York.

The ultra-Orthodox Jewish publication ran a doctored copy of the iconic “Situation Room Photo” last Friday – you know, the one taken of President Barack Obama and his national security team during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

Scrubbed from the picture: the two women in the room.

It’s as if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with her hand clasped over her mouth, and Audrey Tomason, director of counterterrorism, weren’t there and weren’t part of history.

In other words, the paper took a picture of the President and senior officials including Hillary Clinton watching the raid on OBL's hideout and removed the two women who were present, presumably for reasons of strict traditional norms of modesty.

I find it far more goofy and counterproductive than disturbing, at least in this case. And if you take into account their strict taboos against mixing or showing pictures of women in public, the temptation almost becomes comprehensible.

I mention it mainly because it reminds me of a case from some years back when an intern (according to their subsequent explanation) at CAIR superimposed a crude hijab over uncovered woman's head in a picture taken of a community event and posted on their website.  At the time, Robert Spencer and the bigot brigade screamed bloody murder (more precisely "Stalinism" in Spencer's case) but I suspect this case will get treated rather differently.

Not that I disapprove of media being circumspect in such situations, but it's interesting how the article blandly refers to it as a "religious" newpaper.  I don't think I'm being paranoid in doubting that a Muslim newspaper would've been extended the same courtesy these days.


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