At least three English-language outlets—the New York Daily News, the London-based Daily Telegraph, and the Associated Press—are either pixelating or completely deleting photos of Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting Mohammad. Members of the satirical magazine’s Paris staff were gunned down this morning by masked attackers. As BuzzFeed points out, other Western outlets such as CNN have taken similar steps in the past when reporting on controversial depictions of the most prominent prophet in Islam.
Below is a GIF comparing the Daily News’ photo to the original, which was pulled from Getty Images. It depicts slain Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier standing in front of his magazine’s office after it was firebombed in 2011:
(What exactly the Daily News deems worthy of pixelation is unclear. In 2012 it pixelated part of a different Charlie cover depicting a rabbi pushing an imam in a wheelchair; only the imam was obscured.)
Below is another GIF comparing the Telegraph’s photo to its original, which was also pulled from Getty Images. Dated June 2013, it depicts a woman reading a different issue of Charlie Hebdo; it was eventually removed from the paper’s website.
The Associated Press, by contrast, has taken even more severe steps. Several hours ago, photos that showed the magazine’s Mohammad cartoons were made available on their extensive wire photo database. However an AP spokesperson later told BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray that the photos were mistakenly uploaded and that “it’s been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images.” The photos in question have since been deleted.
A set of Muslim teachings called hadith forbid visual representations of Mohammad. The same teachings also prohibit artistic representations of living beings.
Gawker published several of the cartoons here.