Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crap Terrorists.

This man is such a useless terrorist that I kind of feel sorry for him:

Beheshti, unemployed, from Ilford, East London, was a former member of the radical group al-Muhajiroun who had burned himself on a demonstration in May 2005 when he set light to a picture of George Bush.

Calling himself Abu Jihad, he also took his 20-month old daughter, dressed in an "I love al-Qaida" hat, to the protests against the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2006.

On the subject of the Danish cartoons, my post about the origins of religious icons got me thinking about the logic of objecting to them. The reason for the Islamic prohibtion on images of Mohammed (and for the occasional bouts of Christian iconoclasm) is to avoid the worship of images in place of God. Seeing as the Danish cartoons were quite clearly not going to be utilised as objects of worship there isn't any internally coherent theological reason to issue death threats and burn the Danish flag to protest against the Mo-toons. Obviously Muslims will object to the insults of Mohammed, but even the cartoonists who avoided insulting him had to go into hiding.

The threats and violence unleashed in response to the cartoons would have been disgraceful even if the theological objections were coherent, because no one has the right to impose their religious strictures on non believers, but I don't think that the outrage even made sense on the terms of the outragees*.

* Is that a word? Probably not.


TDK said...

Surely there are two traditional religious objections. First, iconography/craven images, which you note. Second, taking the name of god in vain, which has been used to prevent any flippant or non reverential usage.

I'm no expert on Islam but I think the commandment would have been subsumed in one way or another.

Ross said...

Yes of course! I forgot about that stricture.