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 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?