Once upon a time when newspaper and magazine offices were torched for offending a powerful group, the rest of the press would rally behind them. But when Charlie Hedbo, a French satirical magazine decided to put out an issue dedicated to Islam with a cover of Mohammed declaring, "100 lashes if you don't die laughing," and received a very special burning "Letter to the Editor" from the country's "Religion of Peace," the American press lined up behind the firebombers.
Christopher Dickey, the Paris Bureau editor at Newsweek suggested that the far right was probably behind it because it had the most to gain from the attack. Dickey was unable to accuse Hedbo, a left-wing magazine, of being a member of the far-right, so he did the next best thing by diverting attention from the perpetrators and transforming Muslims into the victims of a far-right conspiracy.
Newsweek's response showed that the second most pernicious thing about the Islamophobia myth is that even when Muslims are the perpetrators, they are still the victims. Moments after an attack takes place, the press rushes out editions worrying that the murder or attempted murder of innocent people by Muslims will cause Islamophobia.