Art and Religiophobia

baslik We are unfortunately facing with harsh treatments on religions. Refusing believes is transcending into vandal devastation, hereby, recent actions towards religious believes must be considered not only as theological cases, but also as historical phenomenon, social problem, philosophical issue and cultural shift. Having been concerned with these notions, I foresee that aesthetic approaches in Islamic World are unconsciously in interaction with nowadays’ most shattering problematic: Islamaphobia. I have got a glance on literature in islamaphobia by googling, and what a pity thing I saw nothing on any effect of islamaphobia on Islamic aesthetic identities. Neither academics nor activists do ask any inspiring question and nobody puts any tangible argument regarding these two. I, as a pursuer of beauty, think our glances should lean on relationship between Islamaphobia and artistic tendencies among Muslim artists.

Iconoclastics destroyed faces

We may consider first orientalists laid foundations of Islamaphobia. Over centuries, trials have mostly failed to describe dimensions of Islamic way of “being”. A decade had arrived and Muslims had spread around western cultures, then, they have become a part of western. Indeed, this interaction took centuries and centuries with breaking points as we see in Andalusia. Having been an enormous cultural shift after Reconquesta, the boundaries sharpened between Muslims and Christian world. Spanish forces did not destroy all the concrete beauties of Andalusian heritage, however, we should always consider how Nietzche told the story of Crusaders against Moors (May refer to Nietzsche’s Antichrist/60). Early Christians had faced with phobic reactions during few centuries after Christ’s birth. Jews and Roman Pagans always encountered with Christians, hence we may say that Christianity went underground then rituels, symbols, late artistic understandings had been fed by this era. Christianity was born in a great holy city, and grew up in catacombs. All phobic reactions surrounding Christianity formed artistic understanding of holinnes. The christograms ichthus and Chi-Rho were labeled at that period. Those who were willing to hide their believes were communicating eachother with these symblos. Symbolism in Christianity was highly ranged at that time. Roman’s transition period from Paganism to Christianity was a counter reaction, of course. Naturally, Christians got their revenge, a revenge of hundreds of years. Icons and idols of Roman Pagans were either destroyed or somehow fit in Christianity. Then Roman’s decided to destroy the maintains of Pagan influence in Christian Symbolism, they decided to start one of the most destructive iconoclasm. I do not understand why a religious artifact feels menace from another belief. Jewish art is also highly symbolic. Due to being spreaded around the world, I am not sure if there is a possiblity to say a single/common stylistic feature in Jewish art. Yet, we are sure that they widely dwelled in ghettos or metropolises. That is why high level of interaction with other artistic approaches have been inevitble. Jews have a unique and solid calligraphy, great to observe their letters…


A Ceramic tile in Seljuki Palace Kubadabad

Most islamaphobic people are Christians and Jews; also vice versa. They have faced the same artistic problems with artists having senses in Islamic way of interpretation and beautification. There is also a vast experience in relationship between Islamic scholars and art. Some of classical scholars claim ban of music, some say any kind of imaging is forbidden in Islamic law… This is a case of another topic, yet we all see even the palaces of caliphs are ornamented with imaginary paintings, and most of them are good musical composers and performers. This is a blog post, and, I realise that there is no possiblity to zip all my statements on this topic in a post… Yet I am glad to say what I needed to say 🙂 There is much to say about grafitties about Palestine, banners on Egyptian Military Coup, symbols of massacres happening in Syria.. All these affect the way of putting someting in art. Muslim artist should be aware of islamophobia and its affects on their artistic interpretation.   Another question, why modern artist prefer more grunge styles then precise and clean? Because classical artists did not hear engine 😉


3 thoughts on “Art and Religiophobia

  1. I always thought, since Christianity caused the Roman dawnfall, Rome exacted her revenge on Christianity through imported Pagan imagery and symbolism. They took them in and recreated them in their own imagery as one last, desperate, attempt to save the dying giant.

    I know I’m missing the gist of the article here but history is more of my thing than art is 🙂

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