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The 'Islamic Art' Hoax
American Thinker ^ | 4/1/2012 | Jessica Rubin

Posted on 04/01/2012 1:35:44 PM PDT by WPaCon

Talking about Islamic art is rather like talking about the art of the Khanates. The Imperial Kingdom of Genghis Khan was the largest contiguous empire on earth. But just because different lands and cultures were conquered by Genghis Khan doesn't mean that there is a significance to grouping their art. The sphere of power of the Muslim Empire stretched from the borders of China and the Indian subcontinent across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula, and on to the Pyrenees. There needs to be a further rationale for calling art collections from lands conquered or subdued by the forces of Islam "Islamic Art."

Then why all the impetus, which started in earnest some almost a decade ago, for all the "Islamic Art" openings at prestigious museums, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Victoria and Albert Museum in England? The creation of departments of Islamic art at prestigious universities and museums? The support of prestigious foundations like Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art?

It is political correctness.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: art; godsgravesglyphs; silkroad
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To: WPaCon

Orham Pamuk, a Turk, won the Nobel prize for literature with an really great novel, “My Name Is Red”. It is a mystery whose subcontext is the the difficulty of Muslim artists reconciling their art with the tenets of their religion which forbids representational art.

41 posted on 04/02/2012 6:02:57 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: Mmogamer; Clintonfatigued

You’re right, I’m unaware of any contemporary art from the Islamic world.

Lets google it

3 paintings shown there, all crappy.

42 posted on 04/02/2012 6:05:13 PM PDT by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: Impy

I’m unaware of any contemporary anything from the Islamic world except for violence, death, and destruction.

43 posted on 04/02/2012 6:10:58 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (A chameleon belongs in a pet store, not the White House)
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To: SunkenCiv

I guess I do have some small respect for the Bedouins. At least they figured out when you couldn’t dig a hole to crap in without flinging crap everywhere it was time to move on. Not like the rest.

44 posted on 04/02/2012 6:16:45 PM PDT by bigheadfred (MY PET TAPEWORM (OBIWAN) IS AN INSANE MILITARY HATING LEFTIST)
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To: WPaCon

I like some of the tile work in their mosques and some of the Islamic cuisine of the Mediterranean which belongs other peoples too. For example humus crosses national and cultural boundaries

But for the most part I Don’t see much culture

45 posted on 04/02/2012 6:29:14 PM PDT by dennisw (A nation of sheep breeds a government of Democrat wolves!)
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To: ml/nj

The use of alabaster there and in Granada was amazing. It made everything feel cloudlike.

46 posted on 04/02/2012 6:46:44 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: Cronos
The Spanish kept the influence: Aranjuez
47 posted on 04/02/2012 6:55:51 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: James C. Bennett

The Islamic dome was stolen from the engineering and artistic design of Byzantine Christians.

48 posted on 04/02/2012 6:57:59 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: ml/nj

Are those twelve bulls supporting a fountain?

49 posted on 04/02/2012 7:16:44 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: odds

So the Shia have no problem depicting Mohammad?

50 posted on 04/02/2012 7:20:37 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

lots and lots of depictions of the warlord, curses and the pox be upon him and all of his followers.

51 posted on 04/02/2012 7:56:10 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: 1010RD

I can only speak about my experience when living in Iran during the Shah’s era. You could see framed paintings (small or medium size) of Mo and also of shia imams (mainly Ali and Hussein i.e. 1st & 3rd imams for shia 12ers) hanging on walls in some public places such as small grocery stores. Those who displayed such pictures presumably were religious. In more working-class, poorer suburbs of Tehran more shops, etc.. publicly displayed them.

52 posted on 04/02/2012 7:57:50 PM PDT by odds
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To: odds

whoops....should have pinged you to # 51.

seems that most of the depictions featured on that website have their origin in Persia.

53 posted on 04/02/2012 8:29:03 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: Fred Nerks; 1010RD

Very interesting - in top 3 pictures there Mohammad looks Central Asian (slanted eyes)! as he does in several of last pictures, namely from Afghanistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Am not totally surprised, maybe a bit of Mongol influence after their invasion and during their rule, given the timeline mentioned in your link. Btw, Al-Biruni was not a “Persian”, he was an Uzbek, born there too. Though because today’s Uzbekistan was part of the Persian Empire, others call him “Persian”.

In publicly displayed paintings I saw back in Iran long ago, Mo and shia imams looked distinctly Arab - facial features and all.

I also recall one or two religious programs (mini-series) on tv in Iran back then about Mo and especially the 3rd shia imam Hussein. But, in those series they never showed their faces.

54 posted on 04/02/2012 9:08:22 PM PDT by odds
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To: 1010RD; Fred Nerks; Cronos
We can't compare the pics below to much grander, more modern and well-preserved landmarks and sites, but the concept & design of Dome Shape structures existed long before the Byzantine Empire.

Anyhow, we'll never know/see the true artistic design and engineering of many pre-Islamic sites in Iran, because firstly Alexander destroyed most of Persepolis, and then the Moslem-Arabs, Mongols and Turks did the rest, instead replacing them with mosques & Islamic shrines. In the past 32 yrs, Mullahs regime has continued to destroy pre-Islamic buildings, monuments, etc.. in Iran, only to expand their Islamic this & that to glorify Islam.

Here is a bit about the pictures below:

Chahar-Taqi Fire Temple Design

Together with the Parthian era fire-temple / fire-house (atash-gah), the Ani fire-house is an early example of the fire temple design that came to be known in Iran as chahar-taqi meaning four directions. The walls and openings faced the four cardinal directions. The alignment of the walls or pillars of the fire-houses with the solar-based cardinal points has led some to believe that the fore-houses/temples served an additional function - that of using the position of the sun at sunrise, noon-meridian and sunset to determine seasons and significant days of the year. Zoroastrians mark these days with festivals, jashnes or jashans, and they were particular important for farmers in determining sowing times and for live-stock owners as well. The chahar-taqi design continued to be used for fire temples during the Sassanian era, that is up to 650 ACE. -- more here

Bazeh Khur Fire Temple, Khorasan, Iran - one of the oldest Chahar-Taqi temples dating to the Parthian era 247 BC - 224 AD

Sassanid ((226-651 AD) Chahar-Taqi (meaning four directions fire temple) at Niasar near Kashan, Esfahan (Isfahan) – Iran

Frankly, I see the very basic design & concept shared between above pics and Taj Mahal (the main temple and its adjoining structure). Taj Mahal was built in the 1600s? - can't find a photo of a Hindu temple predating Taj Mahal, which also would suggest providing the blueprint, so to speak, later for Taj Mahal.

55 posted on 04/02/2012 9:52:26 PM PDT by odds
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To: odds


The Message (1976, 1977) (aka Mohammed, Messenger of God)
D. Moustapha Akkad

Though this epic biopic deferred to Islamic law by never showing Mohammed, it was still condemned as sacrilegious and banned in many Arab countries.

Taglined as “The Story of Islam,” this epic-length 178 minute dramatic biopic was the debut feature film of Islamic, Syrian-born producer/director Moustapha Akkad (who later produced John Carpenter’s successful horror film Halloween (1978)). It starred Mexican-born actor Anthony Quinn (Abdallah Geith in the 198 minute Arabic version) - following his success in the desert epic Lawrence of Arabia (1962) — as Mohammed’s desert-dwelling warrior uncle Hamza. It was set in 7th century Mecca and documented the beginnings of Islam and the life and teachings of the prophet. The film’s script - written by Irishman H.A.L. (Harry) Craig - took two years of research and writing before its readiness for filming, due in part to the restriction that Muslim authorities had to approve the finished screenplay before filming could commence.

Problems began almost immediately when it was unfoundly rumored that Peter O’Toole, and then American star Charlton Heston, would star in the lead role, causing two days of bloody riots in Karachi, Pakistan. This caused a stir because it was feared that the film would violate the strict Muslim belief (forbidden by Shari’a, Islamic holy law formed after Mohammed’s death) that any representation of the Diety Allah or His Prophet Mohammed (and his immediate family including wives, daughters, and sons-in-law) could not be depicted on screen nor could his voice be heard. However, the politically-correct film represented him either off-screen, as the camera’s point-of-view, or with occasional symbolic appearances (i.e., his camel-riding stick, his tent, and his holy camel). Nonetheless, endless protests, riots and death threats (by telephone) accompanied the film’s production and making (totaling seven years).

In its troubled production history, the film was forced to move from Saudi Arabia to Morocco for filming, where Akkad promised that he would construct a $100 million film production studio, as well as recreate the city of Mecca (and a model of the town’s sacred holy shrine, the Kaaba, at a cost of $400,000), and hire thousands of extras. [The film was originally backed for up to $60 million by Saudi monarch King Faisal, until he pulled out of the project while disallowing filming on location in Mecca and Medina. Later, Faisal denounced the infidel filmmakers in Morocco and caused the dismantlement of the whole film operation, resulting in relocation costs of more than $2 million.] Akkad was forced to move and find financial backing and sponsorship from terrorist-friendly Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi. Ultimately, The Message was shot in two versions with different cast members, a Western version in English and a special Arabic version (entitled Al-Ris-Alah), adding to the costs.

The film faced a dilemma regarding its marketing for US audiences, for its emphasis on a non-Western religious leader who didn’t even appear in the film. Eventually, it was decided to use the tagline: “In four decades only four... “The Robe” “The Ten Commandments” “Ben-Hur” and now... For the first time...the vast, spectacular drama that changed the world!” Difficulties with the film’s title forced it to be changed to The Message for its world premiere in London in late July, 1976. Various religious groups called the film ‘sacrilegious’ and ‘an insult to Islam’ and it was banned from showings in much of the Arab world. Without all the surrounding controversies whirling about, the film was still viewed as a bland, compromising film that was overlong.

There was further controversy when the film was scheduled to premiere in the U.S. in Washington, DC, in March, 1977. The Hanafi Black Muslim extremist group led by Hamas Abdul Khaalis staged a heavily-armed siege against the local Jewish chapter of the B’nai B’rith (its national headquarters) under the mistaken belief (without having seen the film) that Anthony Quinn played Mohammed in the film. During the two-day crisis, they took nearly 150 people hostage, and threatened to blow up the building while demanding the film opening’s cancellation. Future DC mayor Marion Barry was shot when the terrorists overran the District Building, and many others were injured. The hostage situation was eventually defused by the FBI and Muslim ambassadors, and the theater chain that had booked the film cancelled the showing. This disastrous opening unfortunately ruined US box-office for the controversial film, as various moviehouses were forced to cancel their showings due to political pressures and further fears of violence.

Ironically, in late 2005, Akkad died from injuries sustained during terrorist attacks in Jordan.

56 posted on 04/02/2012 10:20:51 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: odds

107 REASONS WHY - the Taj Mahal isn’t islamic, it’s a Hindu Temple.

57 posted on 04/02/2012 10:32:37 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: Impy; Clintonfatigued

I think the point the author is trying to make is that there is no such thing as “Islamic food”, nor “Islamic art” in the sense that Islam is less a society/culture than a religion. The food of Morocco is far different from the food of Iran which is far different from the food of Indonesia. I love Moroccan food. Don’t really care for Iranian food. Are they both “Islamic” food? Mediterranean food makes sense. Islamic food doesn’t.

I suppose Islamic art could be art influenced by the religion, but its like saying “Catholic art”. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense. There is Moroccan art and Iranian art and all kinds of art in between but how is it Islamic, other than the fact that it was created by Muslims? In fact it is a limiting adjective to call it “Islamic”, why isn’t it just art? I suppose this depends on your definition of art, but to me art is a fair bit more transcendental than the adjectives like these allow.

But “art” has been politicized for a long long time. Politicized art is known by another name: Propaganda.

58 posted on 04/02/2012 10:42:30 PM PDT by monkeyshine
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To: Fred Nerks

What a waste of time, effort & money. He shouldn’t have bothered with it.

59 posted on 04/02/2012 10:52:26 PM PDT by odds
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To: Fred Nerks
The Taj edifice is much more older. It belongs to 1155 A.D, i.e., almost 500 years anterior to Shahjahan.

Makes more sense than 1600s mentioned in wikipedia. A Hindu (Shiva) Temple is also logical; Indians were Hindu before islam was brought to India. Nor is the architecture Islamic, which was my point. But, I still can't find a photo of a Hindu Temple (or remains of one) similar to Taj Mahal's design (at least from the outside), which also predates Taj Mahal.

60 posted on 04/02/2012 11:21:32 PM PDT by odds
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