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Thread: Muslims and dislike of photography.

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    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    Muslims and dislike of photography.

    When I was a lad, I was taught that muslims disliked being photographed, as a result of the prohibition of graven images. Is this still a thing? Was it ever a thing? I recall that they had trouble finding a photo of Mullah Omar, is that the reason?

    By the way, whatever happened to Mullah Omar?

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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    I have no idea, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a wide variety of attitudes about photographs in the Muslim world. There are over a billion of them after all.

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    There is a prohibition of graven images in the Bible as well, yet I have seen many Jewish and Christian photographers and photographees.

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    The prohibition on images, I believe, has to do with Allah not being a physical being so physical representations of him make Baby Mohammed cry or something like that. Then the prohibition on images of Mohammed had to do with the fact that when he started the religion, there were a bunch of wanted posters of him around because the police wanted to question him in regards to a pedophilia ring in the area that was selling nine year old girls to dirty old men, so he needed as few people as possible to know what he looked like.

    Mullah Omar was just a guy who was beaten in the face with an ugly stick and putting his picture out there would have undercut the Taliban's ability to recruit new members so they just didn't photograph him too often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    The prohibition on images, I believe, has to do with Allah not being a physical being so physical representations of him make Baby Mohammed cry or something like that.
    It's possibly simply a carryover from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

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    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpedon View Post
    When I was a lad, I was taught that muslims disliked being photographed, as a result of the prohibition of graven images. Is this still a thing? Was it ever a thing? I recall that they had trouble finding a photo of Mullah Omar, is that the reason?

    By the way, whatever happened to Mullah Omar?
    The religious edict, "Thou shalt not have graven images before thee," is interpreted in many ways, according to culture and society. For some this simply means no images, statues, paintings, etc of God. For others, the idea that man is created in God's image means a painting or photograph is an image of God. Others see the whole thing as silly and understand they are praying to God, not representation of him which sits on a table.

    The Graven Images controversy has been a perennial issue in all Abrahamic religions, from Islam, to Protestant, to Eastern Orthodox. The term "iconoclast" originally referred to a person who wants to destroy the icons(religious images displayed in a church). Today it refers to any person who wants to disrupt traditional practices.

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    Iconoclasm is alive and well in Islam. Some parents are withdrawing their children from art classes because they are taught to draw living things. Although I did see a young woman today in very tight fitting jeans, short leather jacket and hijab!

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    Super Moderator dx713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clivedurdle View Post
    Iconoclasm is alive and well in Islam. Some parents are withdrawing their children from art classes because they are taught to draw living things. Although I did see a young woman today in very tight fitting jeans, short leather jacket and hijab!
    Plenty of those around here.
    The hijab can be as much a cultural mark/fashion item than a religious symbol, and even more than a patriarchal symbol. Or a decision to keep the hair intimate, like some girls start wearing bras for nipple intimacy and not for support.

    Which is why I always found our "anti-hijab" laws silly, and suspect they are just a way to try to get some far-right voters back.[/derail]

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    I had assumed it was something like this:

    "Be excellent to each other." -- Bill

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    I have no problem with having photographs taken.

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