05 September 2007

Artist Portrays Bin Laden As Christian Prophet

And why wasn't that the headline? Because the media doesn't want to get fire-bombed by angry Muslims, that's why.

In case you missed it, an artist in Austrailia had some pieces in an exhibit that depicted Osama Bin Laden as Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary in a burqa.

Down Under has been thrown for a loop with a small art exhibition in which two Australian artists depict Christian religious icons with Islamic overtones, including one image portraying Osama bin Laden as Jesus Christ.
One of the first interesting things that I noticed was that if you looked for this online, most of the news pieces about it showed pictures of the Virgin Mary in a burqa and Bin Laden as Jesus; yet in every instance that I saw, the so-called art was described as provocative, and the offense to Christians seemed to be quickly glossed over.

In Islam, though, it is allegedly wrong to have an image of a prophet (which is how the Muslims claim, however incorrectly, to view Christ). So we have this image of a prophet (in the eyes of Islam), which also transforms into the image of a mass-murdering terrorist, and we don't have Muslims marching in the streets or rioting.

Compare that with the controversy over the decision of a Swedish newspaper to publish a drawing of Mohammed with a the body of a dog. That hasn't been so popular with the suicide-bombs-are-okay-but-no-bacon-for-us crowd.

Swedish Muslims demonstrated Friday against a newspaper that published a drawing depicting the Prophet Muhammad with a dog's body and demanded its chief editor apologize.
The pictures included along with the news pieces on this topic, however, weren't of the offending mutt-prophet. Instead, they were pictures of protesters in Pakistan, displeased with the publication of such a cartoon. The most common image was one of protesters standing before a sign on the ground which appeared to say (I can't confirm due to AP's spectacular crop job), "Down With Sweden, Death To Lari." I am guessing that Lari is in reference to the artist, Lars Vilks.

So, when art is produced that offends Christians, it is presented in the media for the world to see. When art is produced that offends Muslims, however, the media makes sure to only show the protesters, not the art. Does anyone else see the double standard?

Beyond that, the entire tone of the news pieces about each are completely different. When the Christians are offended, the story is peddled as a display of controversial art. When it's Muslims being offended, however, then it is a case of Muslims protesting the depiction of their prophet. Not quite an equal footing in the media.

Now, I know that the Muslim rioters are not the brightest bulbs in the knife drawer, but do you think that if someone would point out to them that the portrayal of Bin Laden as Jesus Christ is comparable to presenting a Muslim as a Christian prophet, that they wouldn't erupt into violent protests over such a portrayal?

So, the next time you see Ahmed smiling over that article of Bin Laden as Christ, remind him that a staunch Muslim is being portrayed as a Christian. That'll get ol' haji super-pleased.


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