Saturday, March 25, 2006

BBC News editorial guideline change in references to Muhammad?

In Free speech protest to be staged, one can read the following:
The protest has been organised in response to the uproar over cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, which appeared in some European newspapers.
The Islamic prophet Muhammad is referred to as just that, “the Islamic prophet Muhammad” — a welcome change from “the Prophet Muhammad” or “the Prophet”, the first letter of the term invariably capitalised.

Could it be that the BBC News editors have modified the guideline, having understood that a little more than 97% of the United Kingdom’s population’s prophet isn’t Muhammad? Or is it simply a case of an article mentioning Muhammad written by a non-Muslim? I hope it is the former.

2 Comments:

Anonymous JohnOfBorg said...

The old form appears twice later in the article unfortunately, though one of them is in a quote.

Well spotted though - everyone at biased-bbc missed it in the discussion of this article.

A google search for "islamic prophet muhammad" on bbc.co.uk returns 4 hits, including this, in which the issue is discussed. Looks like the free speech article hasn't made it into google's cache yet.

Apparently there are so many famous 'Muhammad's that they feel the need to be more specific. They make no attempt to explain their capitalisation of 'prophet', however.

10:05 am  
Blogger Grumpy Troll said...

I do hope that it becomes a habit at BBC News.

You have found an interesting article there. I would write to the BBC to ask why the term "prophet" is capitalised, but NewsWatch no longer replies to my queries ever since I published the email exchange over BBC News's lack of coverage of the Nazanin case! I think that the BBC probably asks its Muslim employees to write articles related to Islam (as the BBC site on the Islamic religion appears to prove, with each reference to Muhammad being followed by "peace be upon him").

12:50 pm  

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