March 31, 2008

Islamism and art

Did you know that in 1997, the Council on American-Islamic Relations demanded that part of a 1930s frieze in the main chamber of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. be sandblasted into oblivion, on the grounds that Islam prohibits representations Mohammed? Chief Justice William Rehnquist rejected CAIR's pressure.

Did you know that back in 1955, a campaign to censor a Mohammed statue in another American court building was successful? The New York City-based courthouse of the Appellate Division, First Department of the New York State Supreme Court, which was built in 1902, featured on its roof balustrade an eight-foot marble statue of "Mohammed" by Charles Albert Lopez as one of ten historic lawgivers. Egyptian, Indonesian, and Pakistani ambassadors to the United Nations responded to an overhaul of the building in 1953 by asking the U.S. Department of State to have the Muhammad statue removed. New York City's public works commissioner Frederick H. Zurmuhlen had the statue carted off to a storehouse in Newark, New Jersey.

Read more about destroying sculptures of Mohammed to appease Mohammedans, here, by Daniel Pipes.

Click here to view a comprehensive collection of images of Mohammed in Islamic Art through the ages.

Read more about the hundreds of paintings, drawings and other images of Mohammed that have been created over the centuries, with no complaint from the Muslim world, here.