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you are talking about. One of the primary difficulties of being a Muslim today is that one is subject to intellectual terrorism by extremists who attempt to dictate what it is to be a Muslim. In my experience, the Salafists who are the worst offenders, are about as representative as Muslims in general as Fred Phelps of Westboro is representative of American Christians.

Certain segments or tendencies of Islam have a big issue with portrayals of Mohamed. This has always been the case, and there has always been great diversity on this issue among Muslims.  Bad taste to quote Wikipedia, but the article is pretty well-referenced :

Depictions of Muhammad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The permissibility of depictions of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, has long been a concern in the religion's history. Oral and written descriptions are readily accepted by all traditions of Islam, but there is disagreement about visual depictions.[1][2] The Quran does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad, but there are a few hadith (supplemental teachings) which have explicitly prohibited Muslims from creating visual depictions of figures.

Most Sunni Muslims believe that visual depictions of all the prophets of Islam should be prohibited[3] and are particularly averse to visual representations of Muhammad.[4] The key concern is that the use of images can encourage idolatry.[5] In Shia Islam, however, images of Muhammad are quite common nowadays, even though Shia scholars historically were against such depictions.[4][6] Still, many Muslims who take a stricter view of the supplemental traditions will sometimes challenge any depiction of Muhammad, including those created and published by non-Muslims.[7]

The Arabian tradition tended to forbid all portrayal of living things. This seems to have broken down a bit in the TV age. The Turkish pictorial tradition is of course the counter-example.

But the more important thing to bear in mind is that any historical tradition or sacred law forbidding portrayal of Mohammed or anyone else could only apply, by definition, within territories governed by a Muslim political power. Postulating an obligation to accede to demands of non-depiction based on a notion of religious freedom is completely fallacious and baseless. The demand is explicitly political, conceived as such by those making it and claiming to speak for all Muslims, and it is our duty to resist it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 04:39:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no problem supporting muslems who wants to exercise their right to portray their profet. But that is not generally what happens, what generally happens is that westerners brought up in Christianity finds easy targets in another culture and thereby feeds the fundamentalists sense of a culture war against another culture.

Lets also remember that pictures of Muhammed - and republishing those pictures - became a big deal in February 2006 when non-violent protests, boycotts and symbolic destruction (flags, an empty embassy in Syria) in the Muslem world had got Aftenposten to apologise for offense they caused (30th of January 2005). Yes, it is a pitty for comic writers that gets caught up in a culture war they did not ask for, but it is not like this is the only taboo out there. Just by following the news, I have after January 2006 noticed that comics of the royalty in the nude is forbidden in Spain, as well as depicting cops as pigs is forbidden in France.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 07:43:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Charlie Hebdo is definitely not "brought up in Christianity" - they target the Catholic church with equal enthusiasm (and nastiness) but get less publicity from that as it is a more traditional fare for them, and thus not newsworthy...


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:07:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you misunderstand me. I meant that to refer to persons growing up in a predominanatly Christian society, and thus better suited to critique Christian practises then any other. Am I wrong, is it a publication dominated by people grown up in any other culture?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:05:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are not wrong.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 04:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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