Thursday, January 8, 2015

Teaching Extremists a Lesson

These Parisian terrorists appear to be fairly ignorant about the historical person, Mohammad.

#1  The teaching that Mohammad himself should not be pictured was instituted to prevent idolatry--to prevent people from worshiping statues and paintings of him.

It was not to prevent unflattering depictions of the prophet.

#2 Mohammad was insulted plentifully in his own lifetime by his opponents, primarily those who worshipped local and tribal gods and did not want his monotheism to take hold.

He spent years teaching that insults and violence should not be met with violence.  Later in life he did permit military battles between his followers and the established religions.

Those who claim to be "avenging Mohammad" really do not know much about him or his teachings.

Yes, several 'ahadith forbid visual representation of the prophet.  The goal, however, was to preserve monotheism.

Thank you to the Los Angeles Times and reporter Nigel Duara for reporting in detail about the work of Charlie Hepdo, including editor Stephane Charbonnier's awareness of the hadiths against visual representation.

What a sad quote by Charbonnier to the LA Times in 2013, as reported in this article:

"It just so happens I'm more likely to get run over by a bicycle in Paris than get assassinated."

Steve Benson, a Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist for the Arizona Republic, states later in the piece that Charlie Hebdo and other journals are on the front lines of conflict over the right to free speech.

"Art is not done to decorate apartments, but to wage war against the enemy," he said "paraphrasing Picasso."  Art is a "trench soldier" in the battle for free speech.

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