Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Danish imam: It's fine to draw Muhammad

Share this article

Danish imam: It's fine to draw Muhammad
A Koran at the British Museum. Photo: Christian Bortes/Flickr
17:17 CET+01:00
The head of a Danish Muslim organization says that the Koran does not forbid depicting the prophet Muhammad and even if it did the ban should only apply to Muslims themselves.
The head of the Danish Islamic Center says that a “misunderstanding” is behind the belief that Islam forbids the depiction of the prophet Muhammad.
“Nowhere in the Koran does it say that one cannot portray the prophet Muhammad. The prophet has always been drawn in both Western and Muslim literature throughout the centuries,” Fatih Alev told public broadcaster DR
“I’ve noticed that Muslims generally have the impression that they should be against these cartoons [such as the ones in Charlie Hebdo and Jyllands-Posten, ed.] because the prophet is being shown and that cannot be allowed. But it is a misunderstanding,” he continued. 
Alev said that even if Muslims interpret the Koran as being against portrayals of Muhammad, those rules should only apply to Muslims themselves.
“Just like the ban on pork and the consumption of alcohol, the ban on depictions is also only something that affects Muslims. Non-Muslims are free to do whatever they want,” the Danish Islamic Center chairman told DR. 
Despite that, he said it was “very easy” to see why so many Muslims were upset by the Charlie Hebdo and Jyllands-Posten depictions. 
“The prophet Muhammad has always been drawn throughout history, but the new thing is that the prophet is being depicted in a negative mode  with the intention to insult and that’s why people react so strongly,” he said. 
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?