Muhammad: the Banned Images

The scandalous book “Muhammad: The Banned Images” causes a considerable public reaction due to the attacks performed by the Muslim activists. The book touches upon important questions and people have different reactions on it.

John, A Journalist From Ireland

When I heard about the cartoon controversy and the protest which occurred in France after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, I have decided to read the newly published book “Muhammad: the Banned Images”. It amazed me how strict and authoritarian Islam really is. I believe I have experienced some kind of cognitive dissonance. I have always believed that any religious affiliation and belief in God, the values that religions create are supposed to be humane, kind, but not violent. After reading this book I realized that Islam is totalitarian and unbelievably patriarchal ideology, and so I have changed my mind about this religion forever. Something is certainly wrong when the religion of “peace” sparks out extremist violence all around the world, just because people have different opinions.

Mathew, Online Casino Manager From London

As an atheist, I have always been critical towards any religion, including Islam. My friend, who shares my worldview, advised me to read a book called “Muhammad: the Banned Images”, because he thought I might find it exciting, and I did. The book vividly describes how severe the Sharia law is, and how deep the religious beliefs are rooted in the Middle East. As a manager of an online casino, a person from gambling industry which is perceived as a vice in an Arabic world, I believe that their worldview is truly absent-minded. Constant censorship is what destroys any society; it violates one of the core values of freedom, which is freedom of speech. Constant restrictions are enforced onto any Islamic society by the Sharia law, which is a part of Islam; that is why these they cannot break free. The book is a good reading for anyone who cares about the roots of Islamic ignorance, rage and extremism.

Monica, Entrepreneur From Wales

Recently I have decided to read the book “Muhammad: the Banned Images” and to be honest, I have controversial feelings after I finished the reading. To my mind, the issues of censorship are quite important, and they have to be resolved. Yet many people form radically negative opinions about Islam in general. I think that this religion is in fact very complex to understand. There is a great number of peaceful moderate Muslims who hate extremists in the same way as Christians, atheists, pagans or anyone else does. There should be no prejudice to people because of their ethnicity or religious affiliation. The book provides different examples of bad sides of Islam, like justification of domestic violence, which is awful of course. Yet people have to remember that Quran also has positive verses, and teaches respect and humanism. The book has amazed me, and I might soon reconsider my view on Islam, yet deep down, I still sincerely believe that every religion should be respected.

Background and Bustle Around the “Banned” Images

I came up with this book at first when I noticed an article in The New York Times which had described the ban of Muhammad’s Images in the new book by Yale Press. That time there were a lot of serious rumours and actions within that situation. It was said, Yale University together with Press decided to do so, because of the consultation results (authorities and diplomacy dealing with Islam questions recommended to reject those illustrations). Although, those 12 ‘banned’ pictures had been already printed in the Danish edition few years before (September 2005). Moreover, it was considered that all illustrations including those for children book made by an Islamic artist Gustave Doré of Muhammad would be prohibited by the Yale Press as well.

Banned Images

The “Banned” Images by Muhammad is a book written as an answer to “The Cartoons that Shook the World” (2009) book which refused to publish Muhammad’s cartoons. Both books were released almost simultaneously in 2009. This decision was announced by the director of Yale University Press, John Donatich, arguing that it could cause serious problems connecting with the “risk of instigating violence”. From his telephone conversation, the decision upon those images withdrawal was not initiated by him only and recommendation to remove historical images that are “overwhelming and unanimous” was developed by the meeting of experts in that sphere. banned images

Content of the Book

The “Banned” Images is first of all about the First Amendment rights and free speech. It includes 31 illustrations of Muhammad. It is aimed at depicting a vast variety of Muslims’ prohibitions and ‘bans’, hence it has some political and religious issues. It also includes some images drown by non-Muslim origin artists which get through the development of Islamic world. All pictures are full-size and of a good quality which perfectly illustrates a colour transfer. There are pictures by Gustave Dore, William Blake, Salvador Dali, Ottoman, and Mughal empires.

Sponsorship of the Book edition

A curious thing is that introduction of this book done by Dr. Hull. I consider it as a great intro to the controversial book which is controversial itself. Hull was the Director of the Program at his native Duke University (Values and Ethics in the Marketplace). In his intro, he sharply says about the university and its graduates (Nathan Hale, for instance, as he was hung by the British for his speech). In 2008 he enhanced those pictures (Danish cartoons) appearance in one of Flemming Rose. He is also a well known due to his works in local and international editions such as San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes.com, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Barron’s.

In November 2009, exactly due to the efforts of Professor Gary Hull Images were published in The “Banned”. Hull had owned a Voltaire Press which sponsored the book edition. So far from the Hull publication, a picture book by Muhammad is an ‘errata to the bowdlerized version of Klausen’s book’.