islam-proofing the post-industrial muse. graphite on paper. 2004 © demetrios vakras
(The painting of this drawing remains in a state of partial completion since late 2004.
Note: I resumed working on this painting in 2009 and it was finished in the second week of June of that year, see thumbnail below.)
The so-called "muse" began as an accidental creation. She is composed of, as are we, bone and flesh. Flesh is interchanged with bone, and various parts from different species are interchanged with human elements.She shares, as do all vertebrates, the same fundamental components which are modified by nature to serve different needs. [refer to Roar exhibition introduction]. All life shares fundamental characteristics. In my image the organic evolves from the mechanical. She is thus the "muse" evolved of the industrialised age.
This "muse" is then all that we celebrate in our collective human achievement; from art (painting and sculpture), to literature, science and mathematics. This "muse" is our capacity to express our thought in symbols such as images, the word (spoken and written) and in number. She is our capacity to reason. She is however assailed by a force antithetic to reason. She wears a gas-mask for protection.
Humanity's collective achievement is increasingly subject to the prospect of total annihilation in the face of the religion of absolute intolerance: Islam. This is not isolated to the attack on the United States in 2001 which saw, most spectacularly, the destruction of the twin towers of the world Trade Centre, but can be seen in the destruction of other ancient human achievements. The ancient Bamiyan Buddhas were demolished earlier in 2001 because Islam tolerates no other religion. There was also an al Qaeda plot "...to destroy Bologna's 14th-century cathedral because it contained a mediaeval fresco depicting Mohammed in hell... The cathedral, in the central Piazza Maggiore, is dedicated to Bologna's patron saint... [and in the] Mohammed fresco... demons [are] setting upon the prophet." Age, article by Bruce Johnston, 25/6/2002 (from the Telegraph). Even the contrived furore in the Muslim world over Danish cartoons which depicted Mohammed (on the spurious claim that there exists a Koranic injunction against depicting Mohammed, when no such injunction exists) were a consequence of the intolerance of the followers of this faith to negative commentary and portrayals of their religion.
The cartoons (which were never reproduced by Australian newspapers) can now be found on the wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy
Australian cartoonist Peter Nicholson's cartoon, "Muslim stereotyped Islam violence" is a pertinent response to these riots:
This site reproduces depictions of Mohammed as they appear throughout history:
To counter this assail on world civilization various international states have been forced into "islamproofing" themselves against this religion's innately destructive nature. According to the Koran, for instance Verse 9, "Repentance", 38-52 insists that:
Hence, that it is Muslims who assail us and not Tamils, or Basques, or the IRA, is not an accident of happenstance. Those of the faith of Islam, utilising means we call terrorism, are following the edicts of the Koran to guarantee themselves immediate and unconditional entry into paradise, for in that religion renouncing and forfeiting this life on earth assures the believer of eternal life to come in heaven [re: Islam is terrorism].
Yet if this in itself were not bad enough, western societies, instead of clamping down on the adherents of this faith, seek to impose blanket restrictions on all of us, in order to not appear intolerant. What has come to be euphemistically called 'political correctness' - censorship by another name - has meant that governments the world over curtail the liberties of the rest of us, so as not to appear "intolerant".
According to the Koran:
Some translations fudge the meaning however. In the Oxford University Press translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, the term is translated as 'oppression is worse than carnage'... Oppression thus becomes the state of Muslims 'suffering' non-Muslims in their midst. Any non-Muslim society is an offence to Islam for it constitutes "oppression"! Yet what impediments to the unrestricted observation of their faith would constitute "oppression" according to the Koran?
In the Koran , Women 4.34 it reads: "Men have authority over women because Allah has made one superior to the other...Good women are obedient...As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Allah is high, supreme."
In Australia a Muslim cannot practice what is demanded in 4.34. It is illegal, as pointed out by the government campaign "Violence Against Women, Australia Says No"
In addition Australia has legislated anti-terrorism laws. Keysar Trad, a propagandist for Australian Muslims, claims these laws oppress Muslims and violate Muslim's rights to observe their religion. Waleed Aly, another propagandist for Australia's Muslims, also claims that Australia's Muslims are being persecuted by these same anti-terror laws. According to Aly, these laws and the powers vested in ASIO (the Australian "secret service") are merely a means of harassing and persecuting Muslims: "Islamic and legal groups have made submissions indicating the fear and mistrust this legislation has created in the Muslim community... it should be obvious that Muslims are fearful for their civil rights." Age 1/7/2005. (Seven days after Aly's opinion piece, Muslims in London, in pursuit of their religion, set off bombs in the London Underground killing civilians there.)
The question remains: How could Muslims' rights be breached by anti-terrorism laws, if the religion did not pursue or incite violence? They cannot. What we define as "terrorism", is what the Koran defines as "piety":
"fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you..." The Cow 2.216
"The believers who stay at home ... are not equal to those who fight for the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has given those that fight with their goods and their persons a higher rank than those who stay at home. He has promised all a good reward; but far richer is the recompense of those who fight for Him..." Women 4.95
As for Muslims living in secular Christian societies (which, as has been pointed out, are seen as "Al-Fitnah", an abomination "worse than carnage") these are the views of Islam regarding Christianity according to the Koran:
"Unbelievers are those that say: 'Allah [God] is the Messiah, the son of Mary.' ... Unbelievers are those that say: 'Allah is one of three.'" The Table 5.72-74
Whether secular or religious, all of our liberties are at stake because confronting the source of a terror which is demanded by a religion is something that cannot be confronted directly. Somehow admitting that Islam is terrorism has become Medusa whom we cannot look at directly for fear of our turning to stone.
Keysar Trad, propagandist for Australian Muslims, has been found to be a racist by the Supreme Court of NSW, Sydney. Above is the ABC tv (Australia) summary of the story:
Trad claimed that he had been defamed by being labelled a racist. "Justice Peter McClelland dismissed the case and ordered Mr Trad to pay costs. Justice McClelland said Mr Trad was dangerous and encouraged hostility between Muslims and non-Muslims. He described some of his views as "repugnant." The judge said he was satisfied Mr Trad "holds views which can properly be described as racist."
Trad was president of the "Islamic Friendship Association". Via this act of cynicism, any criticism of his justification of Islamic hate was branded as "hateful" because it criticised a body promoting "friendship".