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Parvez Sharma also blogs at The Huffington Post,

Parvez writes for The Guardian

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5.12.10

NY TIMES REMOVES OFFENSIVE IMAGE AFTER THESE POSTS AND TWEETS-SEE IMAGE BELOW


At about 11:13 am the image (see below and above) was GONE.

Timeline of events:
At about 9:15 am I noticed the image.
At 9:30 ish I posted the fact of its existence on my Facebook home-page.
By 9:45 I sent them my first email. (I sent three in total after being asked to provide my contact details from an automated response).
On my Facebook I posted the image at 10:30 am.
Friends started writing that they were emailing them.
At around 10:45 am I presciently posted the following on my Facebook page saying:

Here is the offensive NYT Sunday am photo-before they remove it and say it never existed! See thread below for details.



I even posted a quick column on Huffington Post. (Their young blog editors are probably still hungover from the weekend. Lets see if HuffPo publishes it).

At 10:40 am or thereabouts I tweeted this below-

Blatant Islamophobia on display in the NY Times Sunday web-edition @NYTimes http://bit.ly/hTfU6a


This is the power of us watching the media, folks. Thankfully I was able to take a screen grab of the image and hopefully it now exists for posterity and can go viral, as it should. Post your comments here or connect with me and/or the links on Facebook and Twitter.

A *New* New York Times Faux Pas


The Gray Lady is wearing her Islamophobia on her sleeve this morning.

Sunday morning, like most mornings I opened from years of habit-the home page of the Times. Peering at the lead story without my glasses I was horrified to find the image of Muslim men praying near Mecca-next to a cable excerpt from (the now hard to access) Wikileaks-the Times had decided this was the top story for us this Sunday.

However next to the excerpt which began: "Terrorist funding emanating from Saudi Arabia remains a serious concern...." there was the unmistakable image of Muslim men praying near Mecca wearing the requisite Ihram during pilgrimage.

Is the Times saying that all Muslim men who go for the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages to Mecca are a part of terrorism emanating from Saudi Arabia? Are all Muslims stepping into that holy (and unjustly Wahabi controlled land) getting classes in Terrorism 101 ?

Living in the US, I am now not surprised by the Islamophobia of others. I cringe when cartoons depict our (undepictable) Prophet. And yet as a moderate Muslim, I always fight for freedom of expression (I usually attach the rider-"with responsibility")

Throughout history words and images used together convey powerful meaning. All dictatorships, genocidal regimes and problematic systems of power know this. Journalists and photo-editors should know this better than most.

I often defend the NYT to Muslim friends elsewhere who don't trust it.

Now, I am not so sure.

I wonder if I am the only one to notice what I hope is a lapse of judgment and not an editorial decision.

Below is my hurriedly written letter to the Times. The image grab can be found on my Facebook and if I am able to include it, with this blog-post as well.


To the Times.

As a Muslim writer and filmmaker based in NY, my home-I have always turned to this paper as my primary source of information. In my travels through Muslim majority nations, I have also been very aware of the untrustworthy label easily assigned to your reportage, which I have often defended. This more from a place of knowing that you are also much reviled by the right-wing here in America as being part of some imagined "progressive conspiracy." However, this Sunday morning--like every Sunday morning when I opened the paper in my web browser I was horrified to see an image of Muslim men praying during the Hajj, wearing the requisite "Ihram" next to a Wikileak cable excerpt that says "Terrorist funding emanating from Saudi Arabia remains a serious concern..."

This is blatant "Islamophobia", which your editors surely know is currently much in fashion. Surely a less provocative image can be found to depict a nation, which for many of us moderate Muslims-remains a place we deride for its hypocrisy and totalitarianism but respect as being the home of our two holiest cities. I wonder if the current climate makes it acceptable to use Muslim males in prayer as a suitable image for them usually being branded "terrorists" or singled out at most airports in the world.

Words and images together, convey powerful meaning. Your editors, your web-editors and your photo-editors, I hope know this better than anyone else.

In the past I have considered myself fortunate to have been profiled and written about in your paper. Now I am not so sure.


Thank you.

Parvez Sharma
New York
December 5, 2010

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This JIHAD IS ON FIRE

September 2007 is when I started (with a finished film, my first) and now some 49 countries and 8 million people later, the whole world is talking. The movement around this work has begun worldwide. We will be screening next year around the world and yes in Muslim countries as well.

For more updates email me at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom and post your comments here as well.


Imam Muhsin Hendricks and his website for the Inner Circle

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma
All the Breaking News around 'A Jihad for Love' is at this blog address. You can email Parvez directly at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom

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