Mary, Muhammad, and Hypocritical Media Dhimmitude, From The New York Times, to Fox News

Clay Waters of Newsbusters (h/t Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch) underscores the rank “free expression” hypocrisy, and sheer dhimmitude, of the New York Times, resplendent once again, in its Thursday, May 28, 2015 “Arts” section. A prominent photographic reproduction of the 1996 Ofili painting, “The Holy Virgin Mary”, which accompanied the story about its sale, included an accurate description of the painting’s contents. The Times report also made a rather contemptuous assessment of then New York Mayor Giuliani’s reaction to Ofili’s deliberately insulting work, an unabashed “artistic” exercise in scatology and pornography.

The Australian collector David Walsh is selling Chris Ofili’s 1996 painting “The Holy Virgin Mary,” which caused a furor when it was shown at the Brooklyn Museum in October 1999 as part of Charles Saatchi’s touring “Sensation” exhibition of works by Young British Artists (YBAs). The eight-foot-high depiction of a black Virgin Mary, encrusted with a lump of elephant dung and collaged bottoms [i.e., naked buttocks] from pornographic magazines, outraged religious leaders and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who described Mr. Ofili’s painting and other works in the show as “sick stuff.” Mr. Giuliani’s attempts to close the exhibition by withholding public funds were rejected by a federal judge.

Yet the Times remains steadfast in its refusal to show any drawings of Muhammad, despite their obvious centrality to—wait for it—the news, given the very recent mass murderous Muslim reactions to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in Paris, and the failed attempt at similar jihadist carnage in Garland, Texas. The latter occurred following an educational conference which displayed historical and contemporary Muhammad images, produced by Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, and also included a contextual discussion of Islamic “blasphemy law,” which is antithetical to free speech as enshrined in the first amendment to our U.S. Constitution.

It must be emphasized, however, that The New York Times’ acquiescent dhimmitude, vis-à-vis its self-imposed “ban” on displays of any images of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, is shared uniformly by all our major television media, notably Fox News (see here; here; here; here; and here). The abject dhimmitude of Fox News is particularly egregious given the network’s continuous preening verbal support for free speech, and its history of appropriately condemning the hypocrisy of displaying works like Ofili’s Virgin Mary, but not artistic images of Muhammad.

I have included both the Ofili painting, and. just below it, Muslim “apostate” artist Bosch Fawstin’s drawing of Muhammad—a pure free speech political cartoon, which garnered first prize at the Garland conference exhibition—for juxtaposition.

Any rational, honest, objective human being should discern—and acknowledge—the stark contrast between these images.

How profound is our media dhimmitude that even “alternative” Fox News, by its repeated actions— i.e. refusing to display Fawstin’s sober, thoughtful Muhammad drawing, not Fox’s empty “free speech support” rhetoric—has effectively conflated Ofili’s dung-clotted, pornographic buttocks-collaged Virgin Mary, an “artistic” exercise in gratuitous profanity, with a brave ex-Muslim’s plaintive, non-profane image extolling our bedrock liberty, freedom of expression?

Ofili MaryFawstin_Mohammad-Contest-Drawing-1-small-1024x814

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at

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