The offending photographs of Kate Middleton, left; an Islamic depiction of Muhammad by not showing his face, right

[Note: The following commentary has been posted to my column “Middle East Muddle” on the online website of Anthropology News, published by the American Anthropological Association. To read the entire commentary, click here. For more commentaries on “Middle East Muddle, click here.]

Two scandals have dominated the news, at least in Europe and America, over the week following the 9/11 anniversary. The first, which has yet to abate as I write this, is the widespread protests against a pathetic anti-Muslim film trailer trolled from Youtube, rhetorically warmed over in Arabic and promoted by extremist Muslims to stir up violence. The troll took a toll with the American ambassador and several other Americans killed in Libya, violent clashes in Egypt and in Yemen and a range of protests (many of which have remained peaceful) across Muslim communities. The second, which is equally absurd as a pretext, is the voyeuristic publishing by French, Irish and Italian tabloids of a long-distance photograph of the naked breasts of Kate Middleton, the newly wed wife of Britain’s Prince William. The paparazzi have once again harmed Britain’s royal family, first by chasing Princess Diana and now by turning a powerful lens on a private moment in a private home while Diana’s son vacationed in France. In both the body is all about politics…

For the entire commentary go to “Middle East Muddle” by clicking here.