Muslim opinion gradually hardened towards aniconism

by Rashmee

Posted on September 6, 2020


There are many examples of the gradual hardening of Muslim opinion towards aniconism. Aniconism, not iconoclasm. It’s important to note the distinction. Aniconism refers to cults where there is no iconic representation of the deity [anthropomorphic or theriomorphic, which is to say in animal form] to serve as the dominant or central cultic symbol. As … Continue reading “Muslim opinion gradually hardened towards aniconism”

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Early Muslims’ attitude to art in the sacred space

by Rashmee

Posted on September 5, 2020


What’s clear is that early Muslims maintained a separation between art considered appropriate for sacred and secular spaces. In the religious space, the Abbasids, the second Muslim dynasty, followed their predecessor Umayyads. Both employed great restraint in terms of decoration. So the Dome of the Rock, built by the Umayyads, followed Christian techniques of construction … Continue reading “Early Muslims’ attitude to art in the sacred space”

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Early Muslims’ attitude to art and creative expression

by Rashmee

Posted on September 4, 2020


  In the beginning, there was art. Lots of it, in fact, in the secular space. Consider this. Within 30 years of Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632, there was abundant art for the secular space. The palaces and bathhouses of the Umayyads, the first Muslim dynasty (661-750), were rich with exuberant figural art. Three Umayyad … Continue reading “Early Muslims’ attitude to art and creative expression”

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Of course we shouldn’t blame Islam for terrorism. But don’t let’s gloss over this fact either

by Rashmee

Posted on March 29, 2017


David Shariatmadari’s rather well-argued piece in The Guardian asking if we should blame Islam for terrorism, makes an unforced error I wish he hadn’t. In his attempt to show that Islam is a pretty normal religion – in the sense of wanting to grow, proselytize, impress people with its worldview and so on – Shariatmadari … Continue reading “Of course we shouldn’t blame Islam for terrorism. But don’t let’s gloss over this fact either”

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1,400 years before Trump the wall was celebrated as a beautiful way to feel secure

by Rashmee

Posted on February 25, 2017


The idea of walls – Donald Trump’s proposed “beautiful” build along Mexico; Israel’s 708-km separator from the West Bank; Tunisia’s barrier of sand banks and water trenches along its border with Libya – can be pretty comforting. Nearly 1,400 years ago, when the Umayyads had established the first Muslim caliphate, they started to construct walled … Continue reading “1,400 years before Trump the wall was celebrated as a beautiful way to feel secure”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK