Islamoeroticism or Art?

I was on Russia Today (RT) live yesterday evening discussing something I had never heard about until I was asked to come and talk about it: Islamoeroticism.

Now one can imagine just from the name alone how controversial this latest series of art has caused both in the Muslim world and beyond. I argue that the controversy lies in the name “Islamoeroticim” and not the art. The name would be equally offensive if it was called “Christian Erotic Art,” or “Judaism Erotic Art.”

The name suggests that the paintings portray religious pornography. That is probably what has everyone up in arms. But when you look at the art,  many of the pieces done by Muslim women, but some also by men, the messages are very political and feminist. This art is not for worship. For example, the Iranian artist Amir Normadie uses his series called “Hejab” to portray the systematic subjugation of women by the Iranian Regime.

Scholars argue that the Quran does not explicitly ban nudity in art, so why are religious leaders attacking the work? I think it is because the name “Islamoeroticism” is more offensive than the art itself. I am sure it is the western media who has dubbed this art as erotic just to sensationalize it.

We are missing the message. To understand the real meaning of the paintings, we should keep religion out of the discussion and take these works for what they are: Art.

What do you think?

** Disclaimer: The author does not claim to be a specialist on Islam, and apologizes in advance for any offense caused to her readers.


  1. Congratulation for your interview at RT about islam erotics…
    I can tell you that women in all major muslin societies are treated as objects, like all the women before the 20 century..
    You once could buy, sell, trade women as if is a dog, or camel and that have been for at least 20000 years you are the second generation of free women, think about…

    The leaders of the muslim society does not dare to give power to the women because they will loose control of the society. One of the reasons that among the countries, the worst ones are the muslims, just because they are loosing 50% of the populiation doing nothing (women).. in my country, 54% of the jobs are women 40% of homes have a woman as the principal. 3/4 of the persons that graduate in universities are women. My boss is a woman, and I am very satisfied with it. I have 2 boys, and now I am trying a girl.
    As times goes by, the society where women are more present and more powerfull will reach higher levels of development. and will leave behind those muslims ones that wants to live in the 13 century…
    I am not against people who want live in the 13 century. but they must pay the price… poverty, no freedom, no jobs, slavery, violence, control…
    If a person wants to live that way, no problem… move to the middle east, Iran, Palestine… Just let us live the way we want here with, shampoo, mini skirts, bikini, blush, lingerie…

    It is up to you, you choose

  2. Hi,

    Listning your interview … a question came into my mind … Have you read Quran yourself ? and complete? I would recommend girls and women to read Quran thoroughly to understand their rights … It may happen that you would find Quran talks about your interests rights and power … and yes your status.
    My point of view is different … All the points raised by you for women are correct one can not deny its happening in most of the muslim societies … Is it because of Islam? or not? Of course its because of those who think themselves as the servant of Islam the so called Mullas … I think we must read Quran ourselves and seek guidence. As it is the reveletion for the whole humanity and is not subject to a particular group.
    I belong to Pakistan live in abroad … Atleast I can give you one good example that you might not have heard before from the same country out of which you hear nothing but bombs etc.. The speaker of the parliament of Pakistan is a women and different sessions of parliament held under her. Any constitution of Pakistan is not a constitution unless approved by speaker. By the way, Pak is the first islamic country in the world which had first young lady prime minister. These are the news from the same country in which you also hear about the atrocities of women.
    In the end, I will end by commenting on one of the remarks made by you (Anushay) that Quran doesn’t forbid nuditiy. I strongly object that. Whether it is in the art or any other form. Quran can better answer you. So read that …

    Have a nice life.
    May He bless us with wisdom …

  3. Thank you for your comment, Ali. I really appreciate it. I would encourage you to read the post which accompanies this video. I should have been more clear in my interview about the Quran not forbidding nudity in ART. Also, both the interviewer and myself should have stipulated that we were discussing one very specific article. Many thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

  4. hi,
    i know this is an old post of yours, but i just found it out now and thought id leave you with a few thoughts ……..
    would a bangladeshi ever hang on his wall the masterpiece drawn by a pakistani painter in loving memory of their so called heroic pathan regiment battling indian soldiers in bangladesh?
    would the guernica by pablo picasso be freely cirulated by nazis among themselves in their society?
    art is nothing but the expression of ideas. ideas. thats the key word that were forgetting here. art is appreciated first and foremost becasue of the idea it holds. ideas which the right audience finds palatable or agreeable at the right time.
    so i think ur being unfair (you and the lot of them out there ) by simply dismissing this whole thing as ‘art,’ instead of actually going by the purpose it serves.
    if the hijab is a symbol of obedience to the ONLY ONE , surely, those faithful to HIM are to find that art ofensive just as the paki masterpiece and the picasso masterpiece would be found offensive by bangalis and nazis respectively.

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