08/21/2006 10:46 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Scandalous Tale Of Kate Mosque, or, How Rumor And Speculation Becomes Reported Fact Around The World

Are hundreds of Muslims infuriated by a topless poster of Kate Moss in the East Village? Who cares? The newspapers say they are, and that's what's important.

Last Tuesday, August 15th, the ANIMAL New York blog noticed that a giant Calvin Klein ad featuring a tastefully-topless Kate Moss was located directly across the street from the Madina Masjid Mosque on East 11th. ANIMAL speculated as follows:

This surely must not be a favorite for devout East Village Muslims especially since their rigorous prayer routine requires at least 5 viewings of the wide eyed infidel daily. It's only a matter of time before some action is taken, and we're dying to see what a hastily spray painted burka looks like on the young coke sniffing crusader.

Page Six followed up on the 17th with their version, stating that "Kate Moss is offending Muslims in the Big Apple and she doesn't even know it." However, Page Six offered no source for this statement, except for the original speculative ANIMAL post.

The ball was picked up by All Headline News that same day, which reported that Moss had "upset hundreds of Muslims in New York with an advertising poster that was put up of her - and she doesn't even know it." Wow! It's such a coincidence how these items sound the same! All Headline News reported that "Worshippers are upset by the image because under Islamic law, Muslim men are not supposed to look at women who show off any skin unless they are their wives." Hundreds of upset worshippers? Wow, pretty big scoop for ace reporter Maira Oliveira who bylined that story. Too bad she doesn't isource her statement, either.

Meanwhile, according to Fashion Monitor Toronto, "hundreds" of Muslims were "infuriated" and Zee News in India says that Moss has "raised the hackles" of Muslims and that her "half-naked" poster is "making Muslims mad." Source: ANIMAL New York. Pickup: Yahoo! India. And let's not forget the Hindustan Times: "Topless Kate Moss offends Muslims!" Whee!

(It should be noted that also on Aug. 17th, the National Enquirer ran the item as well, but funnily enough was the most journalistically responsible of them all, stating that Muslims would "probably want her to change clothes".)

In other news, observers are even more horrified that Kate Moss has reunited with coked-out trigger-tempered rock star Pete Doherty. I don't need to source that, it's just obvious.

Update: Just to reiterate: As far as has been reported, NO MUSLIMS HAVE ACTUALLY COMPLAINED. In fact, it doesn't look like anyone has asked them. You know, the mosque is in the East Village. I'd wager they're actually pretty chill. But then again "Muslims Are Actually Pretty Chill About Topless-But-You-Can't-See-Her-Front Kate Moss Poster" isn't quite as good a story.

Kate Moss Stares Mosque In The Face [ANIMAL New York]
Burqa Blaster? [Page Six]
Muslims in New York Upset Over Kate Moss Calvin Klein Poster [All Headline News]
Kate Moss Infuriates Muslims [Fashion Monitor Toronto]