Wednesday, September 03, 2008

COMMENT: On religious conservatives and artistic erection?

Well, it seems that the Prophet Muhammad is once again in the news. And what has he done this time? Read this ...

Representatives for a gallery in Gateshead appeared in court yesterday charged with outraging public decency, after featuring a statue of Jesus with an erection ...

Lawyers for Emily Mapfuwa, a 40-year-old Christian who was offended by the artwork, launched a private prosecution against the gallery for outraging public decency and causing harassment, alarm and distress to the public. Mapfuwa, of Brentwood, Essex, argues the Baltic would not have dared depict the prophet Muhammad in such a way.

Perhaps not. After all, the art gallery isn't a Danish newspaper, an American pastor or an American cable news network. These days, you can pretty much say whatever you like about the Prophet Muhammad or his followers.

Ms Mapfuwa could easily have gotten Muslims on her side. After all, why wouldn't devout Muslims be equally as offended as she by an artist depicting God's Messiah in this way? Instead, she has turned an opportunity to defend shared Christian and Muslim sentiments into yet another example of far-Right fringe pseudo-religiosity claiming the mantle of victimhood.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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