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Photography is a Sin, According to India’s Leading Islamic Seminary
Old 09-11-2013   #1
kbg32
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Photography is a Sin, According to India’s Leading Islamic Seminary

http://petapixel.com/2013/09/11/phot...amic-seminary/
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Old 09-11-2013   #2
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I wonder which specific sentence in the traditional texts makes photography sinful, since they were certainly written centuries before any type of photographic equipment were invented...
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Old 09-11-2013   #3
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Well, that doesn't surprise me. If the truth were known, they probably outlaw toilet paper as well.
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Old 09-11-2013   #4
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Old 09-11-2013   #5
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..... And away they go!!!!
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Old 09-11-2013   #6
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I would think it has something to do with this line of thought: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniconism_in_Islam

Although I think it is tougher to apply to photography (reasonably) than to things like painting.
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Old 09-11-2013   #7
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well done, give the minority extremists as much coverage as you can
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Old 09-11-2013   #8
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lets keep it on track folks...or it will be gone real quick!
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Old 09-11-2013   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
well done, give the minority extremists as much coverage as you can
Quite. Certainly, the Muslims I know are not loonies like that. But then again, I don't know many right-wing born-again Christian loonies either. It's always all too easy for those who naturally foam at the mouth to demonize any group they may choose. Who's for all gays being mad rapist paedophiles?

The photographic exhibition that Frances and I had at Arles this year was in a shop owned (and run, on the spot) by a Muslim.

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Old 09-11-2013   #10
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Old 09-11-2013   #11
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I've had middle eastern guys on the street of NYC tell me it is illegal to photograph people in public without their permission. I just tell them that it may be where they lived previously (if they lived elsewhere outside the US) but it's not the case in NYC. They are genuinely shocked and have a hard time believing me. Perhaps these cultural and religious beliefs come into play.

I just tell them that if they don't want their photo taken in public in the US, they can ask not to and most photographers will comply with their wishes. However, if you tell them it is illegal, most photographers will have a chip on their shoulder and will try to prove a point.
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Old 09-11-2013   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
well done, give the minority extremists as much coverage as you can
Hmmm. Is it really so extreme? I wonder too if it is so much a minority, India does have more Muslims than Saudi Arabia for instance. But then again Indonesia has even more, and I don't think I've heard of anybody in Indonesia declaring photography (in general at least) to be a sin.

I suppose like many things in religion it's all up to who interprets what.
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Old 09-11-2013   #13
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I assume the seminary think it is wrong to take pictures of people, but it may very well be that they have no objections to pictures of objects - say for a technical manual. Religion and religious views are not subjects to be discussed in this forum, but I think it may be OK to discuss (for clarification, not for bashing...) issues involving religious views' impact on photography.

The idea could probably be summed up as: If there is a God, He has to be perfect. Any attempt to try to make something (or more importantly; someone) look better than they are, would be like lying or trying to be a better artist than God Himself.

We may or may not accept this point of view, but as always it is a good idea to try to understand the background, cultural context and philosophy before hammering down harsh comments on the computer keyboard...
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Old 09-11-2013   #14
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some say satan himself used a leica...
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Old 09-11-2013   #15
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I knew some of my stuff is an abomination, but damnable?
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Old 09-11-2013   #16
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Food for thought: If anyone finds it difficult to understand how and why some people get extreme in their religious views, there are a number of threads on this forum where Leicaism may be observed...

(I have a Leica myself, but I don't make it an object of worship... )
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Old 09-11-2013   #17
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This isn't about giving extremists as much publicity as possible, it's about exposing limited thinking to the light of reason.
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Old 09-11-2013   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune View Post
I assume the seminary think it is wrong to take pictures of people, but it may very well be that they have no objections to pictures of objects - say for a technical manual. Religion and religious views are not subjects to be discussed in this forum, but I think it may be OK to discuss (for clarification, not for bashing...) issues involving religious views' impact on photography.

The idea could probably be summed up as: If there is a God, He has to be perfect. Any attempt to try to make something (or more importantly; someone) look better than they are, would be like lying or trying to be a better artist than God Himself.

We may or may not accept this point of view, but as always it is a good idea to try to understand the background, cultural context and philosophy before hammering down harsh comments on the computer keyboard...
True, but once you get into theology, there's not always that much scope for reason. For example, I'd suggest that blasphemy is impossible, because any deity that is weak enough to be harmed by blasphemy ain't much of a deity, and any professed believer who finds blasphemy offensive enough to warrant temporal punishment is not really convinced that they're right. If they were, they'd simply treat the "blasphemers" as misguided. This is not to say that "blasphemy" may not offend people: only that those who are too deeply offended are not bothering to think things through.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-11-2013   #19
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Let's expose all wrong thinkers in the universe and talk about camera stuff just now and then. We're so smart, are we not?
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Old 09-11-2013   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
This isn't about giving extremists as much publicity as possible, it's about exposing limited thinking to the light of reason.
So far as I know the Amish are not very fond of taking pictures, or having their picture taken either. They have their own views of light and reason of course. Just as any religion does. Reason like most things is relative to one's experiences. It is of course sort of funny to think of the Amish as "extremists" but they are in a sense.
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Old 09-11-2013   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squareshooter View Post
Let's expose all wrong thinkers in the universe and talk about camera stuff just now and then. We're so smart, are we not?
You mean you shoot digital?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-11-2013   #22
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Back when I was a kid (1960's), my best friend was Islamic. His family took their religion very seriously, they weren't part-time Islamics. I spent many an hour at his house when I was young and I can tell you that they took pictures of everything. My buddy's dad even and asked my father to help him fix a Polaroid camera that he has a having problems with at the time. I find the petapixel article a bit confusing.

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Old 09-11-2013   #23
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The point is, you can dig up gibbering loonies from any country and any religion. When you start pointing the finger like this it's sometimes a good idea to look in the mirror: if not personally, then nationally. It rapidly become apparent how alarmism and xenophobia, indiscriminately promoted, commonly turn into a two-way street.

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Old 09-11-2013   #24
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I don't understand how it can be ok to get your picture taken for an ID card but at no other time.

I wonder then if when Muhammad conquered Mecca he issued ID cards to all of his soldiers? It must have been hard to keep track of who was who in those days.
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Old 09-11-2013   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squareshooter View Post
Let's expose all wrong thinkers in the universe and talk about camera stuff just now and then. We're so smart, are we not?
Let's just not talk about anything you don't want to talk about. Does that work for you?
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Old 09-11-2013   #26
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Based on 90+% of the stuff posted on the internet, they are correct in calling photography a sin .

Seriously though - look at the threads here on RFF regarding the legality or the morality of photographing people in public. Legal people use the word "illegal", religious people use the word "sin".

Everyone has an opinion on the topic, you know.

(When I was a kid they taught us if you ate meat on Friday your soul would burn in the fires of hell for all of eternity - how sick was that !)
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Old 09-11-2013   #27
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"Photography is unlawful and sin. Hadith (recorded Islamic tradition) warns sternly against it. Do not do this course. You should search any suitable job based on your engineering course."

It is the same problem with every religion. Pretending to know what is right and wrong on basis of fairy tales, and more - imposing this on fellow humans.

I firmly adhere to the cult of Bertrand Russel's tea pot, circulating on an orbit of the Sun. At least this particular pot has no opinions about photography.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot
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Old 09-11-2013   #28
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"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." - Richard Dawkins

For myself, I have to amend this quote to "...many religions...".
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Old 09-11-2013   #29
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The 7 deadly sins

1. Greed - Wanting too much of something. should i but a M?
2. Gluttony - Similar to greed, but gluttony is the action of taking too much of something in. should i buy another M
3. Lust - The need to fulfill unspiritual desires (not just sexual desires, but this is usually what lust is associated with.) mmmm...i want that M
4. Envy - Jealousy; wanting to have what someone has. everyone else has got an M..why not me?
5. Sloth - Being too slow or lazy at doing something. I want an M, how much should I pay
6. Wrath - Vindictive anger; angry revenge. dont buy an M,you will not be taking better pictures
7. Pride - Being too self-satisfied Well ive got 4 M`s
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Old 09-11-2013   #30
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Who cares, if they don't want to take pictures, let them do what they want.

It's only when they tell ME what to do or not is when we break out the weapons.
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Old 09-11-2013   #31
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I am going to a hell just like mama said......
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Old 09-11-2013   #32
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I saw this earlier today and did some searching to see if I could find the background. The earlier posts in this thread seem on target.

http://my.opera.com/Quran%20and%20Ha...on-photographs

Note that I don't have a background here and don't know the context of the quotes in this link. It does give some insight though in to where the ideas come from.

Also note that the people pushing this argument explicitly talk about how photography is common practice in plenty of islamic places, etc. It definitely does read like a somewhat fringe group.

As a friend pointed out in response, plenty of strict religious Jews and Christians could take issue with nylon/cotton or wool/acrylic blends if they strictly followed Leviticus 19:19 -- "Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee."
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Old 09-11-2013   #33
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Quote:
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It is the same problem with every religion. Pretending to know what is right and wrong on basis of fairy tales, and more - imposing this on fellow humans.
As a gnostic atheist, I hate it when people describe religion as "fairy tales"

In Christianity and Judaism the Bible tells the believers: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. This is the reason why protestant churches don't have statues or pictures. Islam forbids idolatry and pictures of people are traditionally considered as a form of idolatry - that is why you will find beautiful geometric figures in Andalusia. I don't consider this a problematic position, as long as this vision isn't forced upon me.
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Old 09-11-2013   #34
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Who cares, if they don't want to take pictures, let them do what they want.

It's only when they tell ME what to do or not is when we break out the weapons.
I agree with this totally. Live and let live. Imagine what second hand Leica prices would be like if they were into photography as well?
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Old 09-11-2013   #35
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I'd expect that the photographic prohibition has to do with keeping secret the identity of the 72 Virgins
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Old 09-11-2013   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redisburning View Post
I don't understand how it can be ok to get your picture taken for an ID card but at no other time.

I wonder then if when Muhammad conquered Mecca he issued ID cards to all of his soldiers? It must have been hard to keep track of who was who in those days.
Similarly, I believe it is acceptable for a Muslim to consume alcohol if it is part of a prescribed medication. Generally Islam is quick to make exceptions to the rules if there is a compelling reason.

I think that the Quran only prohibits making idols, and I guess some Imams took that even further.

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Old 09-11-2013   #37
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I am not in the least bit interested in what is prohibited or acceptable for Muslims, and the less I hear about it, the better. I am not the least bit interested about what is in the Quran either, and I like it that way.
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Old 09-11-2013   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Stupak View Post
I am not in the least bit interested in what is prohibited or acceptable for Muslims, and the less I hear about it, the better. I am not the least bit interested about what is in the Quran either, and I like it that way.
Just making conversation.
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Yes!!
Old 09-11-2013   #39
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Yes!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Stupak View Post
I am not in the least bit interested in what is prohibited or acceptable for Muslims, and the less I hear about it, the better. I am not the least bit interested about what is in the Quran either, and I like it that way.
You, Sir, have plunked the magic twanger with this post.
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Old 09-11-2013   #40
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Just making conversation.
Sorry, I wasn't addressing you personally. I was just making a comment about "religious" texts.
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