Mohammed Image Archive
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(This page features links to other Web sites that contain information, news, analysis, humor, research or collections related to Mohammed and the controversy of depicting him. Note that some of these links date back as far as 2006, and as a result many of them have expired or have been taken offline for various reasons. We will try to keep the links here as current as possible, but inevitably more will go offline one by one with every passing month -- so don't be surprised if not all the links below still work.)
In the February 3, 2006 Der Spiegel, Ibn Warraq makes a powerful argument for freedom of speech.
This essay by Amir Taheri in the Wall Street Journal discusses how there is actually no Koranic ban on depicting Mohammed, with yet another medieval-era image as evidence.
A Danish television station produced an outstanding 40-minute documentary about the Mohammed Cartoon Crisis and its political implications; it is available only as a streaming Windows Media file, and (depending on your browser and operating system) is visible in a standalone Windows Media Player by clicking here. If that doesn't work, try opening a media/video player (such as QuickTime) and use this address to "Open URL" or "play URL": mms://wms.dr.dk/storage/PP/dril/dmb/03-10-2007/51729_320x240x500K.wmv
Arab-American psychologist Wafa Sultan appeared on Al-Jazeera on February 21, 2006 and gave one of the most incisive and scathing monologues about Islam ever seen in the Middle East.
Diana West: Fear leads to dhimmitude over cartoon violence.
Answering-islam.org has a perceptive article on the controversy with an extensive collection of links.
Crossroads Arabia has an interesting essay on the topic with links to a few additional historical depictions of Mohammed.
The Official Website of the Prophet Mohammed uses many images from the Mohammed Image Archive and features a variety of other satirical material as well.
The Faces of Mohammed site is a mini-archive of Mohammed imagery, also mostly composed of pictures from the Mohammed Image Archive.
Brokeback Mohammed, an extremely well-made parody of Brokeback Mountain, but this time starring Mohammed.
Watch an ad for "Muhammed Extreme," the new action figure from France! (Hat tip: Thomas V. O.)
Am I Fatwa or Not? allows readers to rate the pictures from the Mohammed Image Archive (and a few other sources), to determine which ones are fatwa-worthy.
A Memo to the Saudi Royal Press Secretary from the Religious Policeman features The Mohammed Image Archive.
Daryl Cagle's Web Log has many interesting political cartoons about the controversy from artists around the world.
Aaron's CafePress shop has a vast selection of outrageous Mohammed- and Islam-themed satirical t-shirts, bumperstickers, coffee mugs and more.
Metrospy sells three different provocative t-shirts with Mohammed depicted on them: "We ran out of Virgins"; Happy Face Mohammed; and Che/"Mo Bomb Head". (Hat tip: Martin.)
"There's a picture of the Prophet Muhammad on the back of my shirt" says this sarcastic t-shirt from TShirtHell.
Does an explosive head lead to exploding heads?
At Flush a Holy Book you can flush the Qur'an -- as well as the Bible and a variety of other sacred texts -- down the toilet.
This YouTube video shows crazed Finnish extremist comedian Seppo Lehto drawing an insulting sketch of Mohammed.
Islamic Update Monthly is a satirical newsletter (in pdf format that can be downloaded) purportedly for fundamentalist Muslims.
This page of satirical Arabic cartoons by "lebanon0" apparently contains several comical depictions of Mohammed, though it is unclear who or what the cartoons are mocking.
The Anti-Semitic Cartoon Contests:
As a response to the Danish Mohammed cartoons, the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri sponsored a contest for anti-Semitic cartoons "about the Holocaust" in an attempt to show that freedom of speech in Western countries is not universally accepted on all topics.
An Israeli comic group called Boomka.org decided to out-maneuver the Iranians by sponsoring their own anti-Semitic cartoon contest, with the entrants to be drawn mostly by Jews themselves and the winners to be displayed at an exhibit in Tel Aviv.
You can see the results of both contests here:
Iranian anti-Semitic Holocaust cartoon contest submissions.
Israeli anti-Semitic cartoon contest submissions. (Hat tip: Killgore Trout.)
"Silver Linings of the Holocaust" would have been the funniest submission to the Iranian contest, but it was not included among the official entrants. (Hat tip: Erik.)
Of course, the Iranians didn't need to hold a contest to find anti-Semitic cartoons, since they're published frequently by the mainstream press in the Muslim world:
Anti-Semitic cartoons from contemporary Arab media.
Major anti-Semitic motifs in Arab cartoons.
Coverage of the Cartoon Riots:
Blogger "CharlesMartel1981" has amassed the definitive collection of photos of the cartoon riots and protests during February, 2006, with over 200 images from global news sources. (Hat tip: Patriotic Kiwi.)
CAGE has a compilation of photos showing the violent extremist reaction to the publication of the cartoons.
The site "Islamla" has a gallery of pictures from the cartoon riots.
The Jawa Report has a photo essay of the Cartoon Protests around the globe.
Cartoon Body Count keeps track of the number of deaths so far resulting from the Cartoon Riots. (Hat tip: Chicken Kiev.)
Counter-protest: On March 25, 2006, there was a rally in London against the cartoon riots and for freedom of speech; coverage of the event can be found at the Nordish blog and at thatshot.org.
This scholarly essay by Wijdan Ali entitled "From the Literal to the Spiritual: The Development of the Prophet Muhammad's Portrayal From 13th Century Ilkhanid Miniatures to 17th Century Ottoman Art" traces the history of Islamic depictions of Mohammed. It can also be downloaded as a pdf document here.
The scholarly journal Studia Islamica published an article by Oleg Grabar in 2003 entitled "The Story of Portraits of the Prophet Muhammad," which details (with words) the long history of Islamic depictions of Mohammed.
TheReligionOfPeace.com keeps tabs on all the latest news about Islamic extremism, including terror attacks, attempts to impose shari'a in the West, and any protests or violence related to "Mohammed cartoons."
Prescient monologue about Muslim oppression of free speech from Beaumarchais' play The Marriage of Figaro, from 1784:
"I cobble together a verse comedy about the customs of the harem, assuming that, as a Spanish writer, I can say what I like about Mohammed without drawing hostile fire. Next thing, some envoy from God knows where turns up and complains that in my play I have offended the Ottoman empire, Persia, a large slice of the Indian peninsula, the whole of Egypt, and the kingdoms of Barca, Tripoli, Tunisi, Algeria, and Morocco. And so my play sinks without trace, all to placate a bunch of Muslim princes, not one of whom, as far as I know, can read but who beat the living daylights out of us and say we are 'Christian dogs.' Since they can't stop a man thinking, they take it out on his hide instead."
The Plus Ultra Blog reports that KATU-TV in Portland showed all 12 of the original Jyllands-Posten cartoons on the air during a report about the Web sites (including the MIA) that were banned in Pakistan (see the "BBC [Urdu Edition]" below for more info). Video of the TV segment is available on the Plus Ultra site.
Danish Mohammed Cartoons is a site that monitors the ongoing cartoon jihad, with frequent updates and in-depth information about the original Mohammed cartoon scandal and other stories relating to the clash between the European and Islamic worlds.
The 2006 cartoon riots were actually not the first time there has been outrage in the Muslim world over the depiction of Mohammed in the Western media. When Time magazine published an historical picture of Mohammed in its April 16, 2001 issue, there were riots in Kashmir and government ban in Malaysia. Time quickly apologized to Muslims for having offended them. (Hat tip: bummer.)
"The True Believer's Dream" is a 19th-century painting that depicts what a devout Muslim imagines paradise is like; though it doesn't show Mohammed, many Muslims consider the painting blasphemous nonetheless, because it reveals the sexual aspect of the Islamic heaven (which has always caused controversy -- even centuries ago.) (Hat tip: Archive readers.)
DailyKos post with links to and examples from the Mohammed Image Archive, plus discussion of the Islamic tradition of depicting Mohammed.
Hodja's blog from Denmark has interesting news stories and images about the ongoing cartoon jihad -- partly in Danish, but some in English too.
The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin has put up a display of Mohammed images.
Faithfreedom.org has a few computer-generated pictures of Mohammed which appear nowhere else.
If you speak French, the site "islam-documents.org" has a comprehensive collection of essentially all historical texts about Islam, translated from Arabic into French, to be used as source material for research.
The French King Louis XIV (and many other European monarchs) were directly descended from Mohammed himself, according to this genealogy site. (Hat tip: Terry.)
Mohammed was ethnically Jewish, according to this French site.
A Disney-style film called "Muhammad: The Last Prophet" tells the story of his entire life without ever showing him on screen. (Hat tip: Raafat.)
As a point of comparison -- when pictures of these two artworks were widely published around the world, there were no riots:
Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ" (photo of a crucifix in a jar of urine).
Chris Ofili's "The Holy Virgin Mary" (made from paint and elephant dung).
A far-left student newspaper in Oregon called The Insurgent tried to prove some kind of point by publishing a picture of a naked Jesus with an erection, seeking to "teach a lesson" to Christians about what it felt like to have their prophet mocked. Though the image was vastly more offensive than the original Danish Mohammed cartoons, there were no riots or death threats issued over the Jesus cartoon, which was probably the reverse of what the editors of The Insurgent were trying to prove. The "erection Jesus" was only one of 12 different anti-Jesus cartoons published by The Insurgent. Since Jesus is already mocked incessantly in mainstream Western culture, the students' attempt at outrageousness fell flat.
Media Coverage of the Mohammed Image Archive:
The Pioneer (New Delhi), March 14, 2006: A column in this Indian newspaper links to and refers to the Archive, as part of an excellent essay on religious hypocrisy.
BBC (Urdu edition), March 3, 2006: an article in the BBC's Urdu-language (Pakistani) edition contains a picture of an official document from the government of Pakistan showing that the Mohammed Image Archive was among twelve sites banned in Pakistan -- according to the Plus Ultra blog which has been following the case of the Pakistani government blocking certain Web sites that display Mohammed images.
AccessNorthGa.com, February 28, 2006: article about a lecture on the cartoons by a Danish professor links to the Archive at the end.
The National Review, February 13, 2006: article that links to and derives much of its information (though uncredited) from the Archive.
Rocky Mountain News, February 11, 2006: column with a link to the Archive.
The Nation magazine, February 9, 2006: article about the Archive, with extensive use of the information found here.
The Australian newspaper, February 9, 2006: column that mentions and gives the URL of the Archive.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 9, 2006: article that refers to the archive and makes use of information found here.
The San Francisco Chronicle, February 8, 2006: column that links to the Archive.
The Sydney Morning Herald, February 8, 2006: column with a link to the Archive at the end.
The Times of London newspaper, February 4, 2006: an article entitled "Portraying prophet from Persian art to South Park" copied the information off the Mohammed Image Archive (which was not credited). (Update: The Times added a link to the Archive at the end of the article after readers pointed out it was the source of the information.) The Australian republished the same article on February 6, 2006.
(Hat tip: brenda and Michelle.)
Ekstra Bladet newspaper in Denmark, February 1, 2006: article about the Archive (in Danish).
Wikipedia references the Mohammed Image Archive (footnote 74) in its entry about the controversy.
BBC television, February 2, 2006: the BBC broadcast a televised news segment featuring pictures and information from the Mohammed Image Archive. Click here to see a short QuickTime mpeg video of the broadcast. Here's a transcript:
Reporter: "This Islamic scholar says the crucial injunction in the Koran is against mocking the Prophet, or other authorities."
Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad: "It's totally prohibited to do something that belittle the prophets of Allah, and depiction is part of belittling the prophets of Allah, from one['s] anger.
[Printed-out pages of the Mohammed Image Archive shown being placed on a table.]
Reporter: "Traditionally, Islam has frowned on any representations of living beings. But painters in Islamic countries have depicted Mohammed for centuries."
[Close-up of this image from the Archive showing a medieval Islamic depiction of Mohammed.]
Reporter: "Despite official disapproval, portraits of the Prophet are sold to devout Muslims in Iran today."
[Close-up of this image from the Archive showing Iranian portrait.]
Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad: "Some people have a Muslim name, and they claim that, oh, they might have Muslim parents, but they have left Islam totally."
Reporter: "But [gesturing toward Mohammed Image Archive pages] these are from, these are from medieval Persia, from the medieval Ottoman Empire, so surely they're Muslims."
Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad: "No, not necessarily. Islam is a practice. It is not just a claim. Islam is a way of life. So, we practice Islam in our daily life in every inch and each aspect. It's not just a claim and then we can do whatever we want. No."
Reporter: "So [pointing to Mohammed Image Archive pages] these pictures were wrong."
Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad: "Of course. Hundred percent wrong."
(Hat tip: bweep and Max Darkside.)
The following sites contain exact duplicates of the Mohammed Image Archive, which you can visit if this page is offline for any reason (note that these "mirror sites" do not always feature the latest and most up-to-date version of the Archive):
If you know of any other interesting depictions of Mohammed that you think should be included in the Archive, email suggestions here.
Click here to return to the Mohammed Image Archive home page
Other Archive Sections:
Islamic Depictions of Mohammed in Full
Islamic Depictions of Mohammed with Face Hidden
European Medieval and Renaissance Images
Miscellaneous Mohammed Images
The Jyllands-Posten Cartoons
"This Is Mohammed"
Email Responses from Readers