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.