Monday, February 18, 2008

Irony and Imagery

I gather Islam forbids gazing upon any likeness of Mohammed, and I have no problem complying with this rule. In fact, I would gladly take it beyond that and avoid even speculating about what he looked like, reading any of his teachings, reading any of the teachings he inspired, or, to the maximum extent possible, paying any attention to him or the idiotic religion he brought. I would be perfectly content to have Mohammed become a nonentity, visually and otherwise, a nigh-forgotten curiosity tucked somewhere in the pages of reference books I consult rarely and, when I do, for better reasons.

This is my view despite the Islamic proselytizing to which I've been exposed -- not much, mind you, but as much as I need and more than I want.

And yet what should happen but that I found myself gazing upon an image of Mohammed himself this very day. And why? Because via Ophelia Benson, I learn of Muslim outrage that wikipedia refuses to remove depictions of its page on Mohammed. And there I go linking to it and reproducing one of the naughty images, greatly increasing the chances that my five readers will, themselves, gaze upon the face of Mohammed in contravention of Islam.

Given the way of the googles, this post, together with the Butterflies and Wheels post and the wikipedia entry and all the absurd caterwauling will persist far beyond deserving, connecting eyeballs to forbidden depictions through ages to come.

Whew. It's a good thing it doesn't actually matter whether people look at depictions of Mohammed because the efforts to prevent it are failing spectacularly.


Len Hart said...

Good points! I am, frankly, sick of having all kinds of prophets and/or deities rammed down my throat or other orifices. Human beings should grow up. Make up our own minds about things. Live with the consequences of our own decisions. I believe that that is called 'freedom'. Keep up the great work.

Dale said...

Thanks len, I totally agree. This whining -- violent, threatening whining -- about representations of Mohammed has gotten way, way out of hand, but unfortunately it's just one example.