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Bye-Bye, Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa, Courbet's famous studio scene at Musée D'Orsay, Titian's "Venus of Urbino" at the Uffizi...so many paintings and great works of western art are threatened by the spread of radical Islam. Fjordman writes on "Why Western Art is Unique, and Why Muslim Immigration Threatens It," noting that we're the only culture in the history of mankind "to develop realistic, faithful depictions of beings and matter in our paintings and sculptures, rather than merely stylized depictions," and this doesn't really work for the Allah-worshippers:

The legend that the missing nose of the Great Sphinx at Giza was removed by Napoléon Bonaparte's artillery during the French expedition to Egypt 1798-1801 is incorrect. Sketches indicate that the nose was gone long before this. The Egyptian fifteenth century historian al-Maqrizi attributes the act to Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr, a Sufi Muslim. According to al-Maqrizi, in the fourteenth century, upon discovering that local peasants made offerings to the Sphinx, al-Dahr became furious at their idolatry and decided to destroy the statue, managing only to break off its nose. It is hard to confirm whether this story is accurate, but if it is, it demonstrates that Sufis are not always the soft and tolerant Muslims they are made out to be.

Far from damaging the Sphinx, the French expedition brought large numbers of scientists to Egypt to catalogue the ancient monuments, thus founding modern Egyptology. The trilingual Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799, was employed by philologist Jean-François Champollion to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs in 1822. In this task, Champollion made extensive use of the Coptic language. Arab Muslims had controlled Egypt for more than a thousand years, yet never managed to decipher the hieroglyphs nor for the most part displayed much interest in doing so. Westerners did so in a single generation after they reappeared in force in Egypt. So much for "Arab science." And they did so with the help of the language of the Copts, the Egyptian Christians, the only remnant of ancient Egypt that the Arab invaders hadn't managed to completely eradicate.

Sita Ram Goel and other writers have tracked the destruction of numerous pre-Islamic temples in India in the book Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them. Infidels would be well-advised not to believe that such cultural Jihad is a thing of the past. Within a few years, thousands of churches have been destroyed in Indonesia, and many more Serb Orthodox churches and monasteries have been damaged by Muslims in Kosovo and Bosnia. An attack on statues at a museum in Cairo by a veiled woman screaming, "Infidels, infidels!" shocked the outside world. She had been inspired by Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, who quoted a saying of the prophet Muhammad that sculptors will be among those receiving the harshest punishment on Judgment Day. The influential Sheikh Youssef Al Qaradawi agreed that "Islam prohibits statues and three-dimensional figures of living creatures" and concluded that "the statues of ancient Egyptians are prohibited."

The great Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan were demolished by the Taliban regime in 2001, who decreed that they would destroy images deemed "offensive to Islam." The Taliban Information Minister complained that "The destruction work is not as easy as people would think. You can't knock down the statues by dynamite or shelling as both of them have been carved in a cliff. They are firmly attached to the mountain." The statues, 53 meters and 36 meters tall, the tallest standing Buddha statues in the world, turned out to be so hard to destroy that the Taliban needed help from Pakistani and Saudi engineers to finish the job. Finally, after almost a month of non-stop bombardment with dynamite and artillery, they succeeded.

Judging from the experiences with the Bamiyan Buddhas, it is tempting to conclude that the only reason why the pyramids of Egypt have survived to this day is because they were so big that it proved too complicated, costly and time-consuming for Muslims to destroy them. Had Saladin's son Al-Aziz had modern technology and engineers at his disposal, they might well have ended up like countless Hindu temples in India or Buddhist statues in Central Asia.

As a European, I fear for the future of the Louvre in Paris, the National Gallery in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Michelangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. There is every reason to believe that they will end up the same way as the Bamiyan Buddhas. Although it may not happen today, tomorrow or even the day after tomorrow, sooner or later, pious Muslims will burn these works of art, and doubtlessly consider it their sacred duty. Muslim immigration now threatens many of the masterworks of the Western tradition of art, the most inventive and groundbreaking mankind has ever seen, with annihilation. History will never forgive us for our cowardice and stupidity if we allow these treasures to be destroyed just because we think history is boring or don't want to say anything unfashionable about other cultures.

The official reason given by Muslims for why non-Muslims are not allowed to visit the cities of Mecca and Medina is because they might damage or destroy the Islamic Holy Sites. But since Muslims have a proven track record of more than a thousand years, from Malaysia to Armenia, of destroying non-Muslim places of worship or works of art, perhaps we should then, in return, be entitled to keep Muslims permanently away from our cultural treasures?

Posted by aalkon at May 16, 2007 12:22 PM

Comments

"The official reason given by Muslims for why non-Muslims are not allowed to visit the cities of Mecca and Medina is because they might damage or destroy the Islamic Holy Sites."

That first sentence of the last paragraph, reminded me of a special highway I had to use called the ‘Christian Bypass’ (all non Muslims must use) when traveling to Ta'if to Jeddah. It is the closest any non Muslim can get to Mecca and Medina and its 70 miles out of the way.

Posted by: Joe at May 16, 2007 1:18 PM

A de facto tax on non-Muslims. Ugly.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 16, 2007 1:58 PM

I was upset after I read the citation because it had never occured to me that art would make it to the Islamofacist's "to-do" list. What a great history lesson and motivator to keep our eyes peeled.

It is a shame there is no way to effectively discriminate between a moderate muslim and a radical asshat muslim.

Posted by: Trickish Knave at May 16, 2007 4:27 PM

Trickish,

Here is a site centered on former Muslims around the world:

http://www.apostatesofislam.com/index.htm

Most of them are now atheists and agnostics. I recommend reading their testimonials on leaving Islam. Also they have articles and little facts on the Qur'an and the Hadiths for Westerners unaware of the true beliefs of Islam.

Posted by: Joe at May 16, 2007 5:30 PM

Barbarians of any stripe can have the paintings decorating the halls of the Sistine Chapel when they pry the bars of the gate from my cold, dead, semi-practicing Catholic fingers. (Yes, I am favoring my own religion here, but I can't be everywhere.)

Posted by: marion at May 16, 2007 8:24 PM

Every example cited in the excerpt happened in a country with an Islamic government. When exactly is it you think France is going to have a radical Muslim elected leader? You're there all the time, but haven't given us any firsthand accounts of being bothered by Muslims in Paris. Instead, just hypotheticals based on the fact that there are Muslim immigrants, and they don't use birth control, so one day they might take over, or something.

As for "realistic, faithful depictions of beings and matter in our paintings and sculptures," they've been pretty okay with photography, haven't they? What about Star Wars figures? Adam Parfrey bought an Osama Bin Laden doll from the Middle East, and I figure they're okay with that particular sculpture, since no-one but radical Muslims would be buying it.

Hey, Muslims don't like gelatin either. Watch out, jam factories! Or dogs -- the city pound might be a target!

I'm not saying there's no danger, but honestly, these targets are most likely way down the list of terrorist priorities.

Posted by: LYT at May 16, 2007 9:27 PM

(LYT- Please send a link to your full review of Eternal Sunshine ASAP. Thanks.)

Posted by: Crid at May 16, 2007 10:23 PM

When exactly is it you think France is going to have a radical Muslim elected leader?

The "problem" with democracy is that the majority rules.

When you consider that theocratic radicals of every stripe make a point of breeding like rats and the Western intelligencia doesn't, it's only a matter of time.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at May 17, 2007 5:01 AM

One must ask a question on why does Islam spread so fast through out history? Even in our modern world too. People are not converting out of fear. That would be a very small percentage of the population. Also, Islam would have problems maintain stable numbers of adherents if a majority of converts did it out of fear and intimidation.

What does the Islamic faith offer to the average person?

During all my travels within the M.E. and conversations with many people (both genders) from different parts of the social strata they all said same about Islam and what if offers: Dignity. A form of dignity found in the 7th Century Arabian peninsula. Dignity in martyrdom, dignity in violence, dignity in jihad, dignity in veiling women, dignity in challenging the physical laws of science and most of all dignity through Imshallah and the writings of the Mohammad.

Now it is instinctual and natural to have a revulsion towards the behaviors and practices of Islam seen through our Western eyes. But they (Muslims) see themselves as our liberators from the inhuman practices of secularism, modernity, technology, artistic achievements, scientific achievements, modern women and the other byproducts of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment that has lead us to our contemporary world.

Even evangelical Christians use the ‘dignity’ excuse in defending their literal interpretation of the scriptures. The lack of dignity in a pure materialist world. How abortion objectifies women and treats the unborn as globs of cells. The fears of future discoveries in biology, genetic research and so on.

Posted by: Joe at May 17, 2007 8:34 AM

> and they don't use birth control...


I thought that was the catholics.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at May 17, 2007 9:49 AM

Thank you for the link, Joe. It was an interesting read and somehow, while trying to look up information on that website I came across this one.

I can sympathize with the fact that only 10% of the Islamic religion is violent; but it does not comfort me to know that equates to 10 million asshats that want to separate my head from my neck.

http://thereligionofpeace.com

Posted by: Trickish Knave at May 18, 2007 3:19 PM

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