Sunday, February 05, 2006

No Idolatry

I don't believe in idolatry.

So I removed my image.

(Lest someone worship me or something.)


nachtwache said...

found your blog by chance and it's interesting! I've been wondering about all this uproar over those cartoons, I thought in Islam there's only one God: I get the impression that people almost worship Mohammed. I also wonder about all the photos of the suicide bombers that are draped with decorations and hang in the familys homes; also, why don't the fathers and mothers that send their children to blow themself up go do the job themself, don't they want to go straight to paradise? If men get 7 virgins for their sacrafice, what do the women get??

Seneferu said...

Hi nachtwache,

Let me clarify my position on idolatry when it comes to Muhammed (pbuh). I have always agreed with the philosophy of his non-depiction on the following premise: that he is meant to be such a high role model that if depicted, will be diminished.

It is sort of like reading a really good book but walking out of its movie adaptation really disappointed. Not only will you be upset by the movie, but now whenever you think of the characters in the book you cannot help but visualize them in the bad terms of the movie.

So it is on these terms which I fully agree with the concept. But when these psychopaths react in this extreme manner to this cartoon provocation, which I agree is offensive, they need to look more into the origins of idolatry and the thought behind why they are so against it in the first place. He was meant to be a role model as an example of extreme simplicity and clarity of thought; yet how in any way are these crazy rioters living up to either of these two traits? And how are they honouring him by committing crimes of violence in his name? They miss the whole point.

Shia muslims supposedly depict him as part of their faith and see no conflict of interest leading to idolatry, although I have seen pictures of Ali only and not of him. For the reasons I explained, I still choose non-depiction however. And in mainstream Islam the depiction of all the prophets is banned by way, including those of Moses and Jesus (Who muslims believe in as a prophet), not just Muhammad.

So it depends on what you see in the concept of idolatry of the prophets; if behind it is the philosophy described above, then I am all for it. As for the insane people you see in the news nowadays, I really don't know what they are thinking.

nachtwache said...

Thanks for your answer, all the information and thoughtful writings, my condolences on the ferry tragedy. I'll keep reading your posts.

Seneferu said...

Thank you, nachtwache, enjoy your stay and feel free to participate whenever you can.

Seneferu said...

Feel welcome I mean, that came out wrong:-)

halalhippie said...

Thanks for a fine explanation re. idolatry.
Would you believe, I have been to Egypt, inside the great mosque in Cairo and noted there was no pictures, only beautiful calligraphy, and still didn't get it.

In Denmark we have no problem depicting Moses, Jesus, or anybody...except in our churches. There's the crucifix alright,but that's it.

500 years ago when we were catholic there were a lot of pictures in our churches. Then we turned protestant (or rather, a king did) and they were all painted over in order to keep ppl listening. Now the pictures are being reconstructed for historical value.

My point is: I assumed there were no images in the mosque for the same reason, to keep ppl listening. Just shows how ignorant one can be.

Most Danes simply didn't understand the fuss until it all exploded.

Sorry to keep on about these cartoons, but I'm still deeply concerned

Keep up the good work

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

Can anyone tell me of ONE instantce where Muslims protested the depiction of either Jesus or Moses? Even a quiet, dignified protest.
(Btw, there was a Moses cartoon in today's paper, showing him boarding an airplane with the 'two tablets' and being told that regulations only permitted ONE piece of carry-on luggage.)

Seneferu said...


Thanks for sharing Denmark's experience with Protestantism. But you do understand that the church's removal of images after the conversion is not really "to keep people listening", but to eliminate idolatry, right?

It is the same exact concept taken by Islam that was taken here by the Protestant church (against the "idolatry" of Catholicism).