THE Religion of Perpetual Outrage has found something new to offend it: a picture of a Muslim woman cradling a pig.
Mokhtar Badri, the vice-president of the Muslim Association of Britain, tells the Telegraph’s Mandrake that his organisation plans to visit the SaLon Gallery, in Notting Hill, west London, to demand that it remove Sarah Maple’s painting when it exhibits it next week.
Although we condemn violence Muslims have a right to express their disgust at this work. An artist has the right to free speech and to express him or herself, but people also have the right to protest. She clearly wants to provoke a strong reaction from Muslims and that is what she will get.
Maple, 23, who was brought up as a Muslim, has already evoked Islamic wrath. Her exhibition at Rolling Stone Wood’s gallery earlier this year depicted Muslim women in provocative poses, including one suggestively sucking on a banana.
Badri explained the upset that would be caused by the image.
Muslims believe that all of God’s creatures should be treated with respect, but we are taught to keep our distance from pigs because they are unclean. That is why this picture is so offensive to us.
A spokesman for the gallery explained:
She doesn’t intend to offend anyone but simply wants to pose questions about Muslim culture and identity.
Talking about matters Islamic, we have just learned that a petition asking that the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday be made a British bank holiday signally failed to garner any significant support. A mere 407 people signed the Downing Street petition, but 1,530 people signed a counter-petition started by Roger over at Roger’s Realm.
Thanks to everyone who signed the petition and everyone (especially the Freethinker) who supported and publicised it!