If you are a Muslim in America, be warned: apparently now even the very fact that you exist is offensive to people on September 11th.
This weekend was the ninth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. It was also the end of Ramadan. To celebrate the latter occasion, the Portland Press-Herald placed this picture of some Portland Muslims praying on the front page of its September 11th edition. Just a normal, slice-of-life shot that editors use when they don’t have any news with a hard visual peg, right?
What the Press-Herald editors forgot is that on that date nine years ago, members of the same religion as these Portland residents killed thousands of people. Because everyone who has a religion is apparently responsible for the actions of everyone else who shares that religion, it is offensive to the memory of the people who died that day to print pictures of anyone who practices the same religion as the people who killed them.
Fortunately, the paper has realized how insensitive it was to suggest that Maine’s Muslims are normal people who are not responsible for horrible terrorist attacks. Now Richard L. Connor, the Press-Herald‘s editor and publisher, has issued an apology:
We made a news decision on Friday that offended many readers and we sincerely apologize for it.
Many saw Saturday’s front-page story and photo regarding the local observance of the end of Ramadan as offensive, particularly on the day, September 11, when our nation and the world were paying tribute to those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks nine years ago.
We have acknowledged that we erred by at least not offering balance to the story and its prominent position on the front page.
Ah yes, balance! Clearly it would have been more balanced for the paper to include language in a story about a local religious celebration the specified all the horrible things other people who practice that religion have done in the past.
Do you think we’ll get an apology for this apology? (via Business Insider)