Culture ministry calls on artists to represent real image of Prophet Muhammad (S)

October 30, 2020 - 18:11

TEHRAN – The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has invited the artists to introduce the real image of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (S) with their artworks in the response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s defense of the insulting cartoons on the Prophet of Islam (S).

In a statement published on Thursday, the culture ministry wrote, “The ministry condemns Macron’s defense and calls it an improper and an anti-human rights act, and asks all the human rights organizations to react against this anti-cultural action.”

The ministry expects the peace-seeking artists to produce a variety of artworks to introduce the real image of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (S) to take the lead from the ill-wishers and the divisive people.

“We believe that the image of the Prophet Muhammad (S) will never be destroyed by these words and actions, while we know that in his lifetime, the prophet’s enemies surrendered to the legitimacy of his words and his good behavior,” the report says.

Macron supported a French teacher’s displaying of cartoons insulting the Prophet of Islam in his class early October.

“France will never renounce caricatures,” Macron has said, defending the teacher for “promoting freedom.” 

The teacher, Samuel Paty, was killed by an 18-year-old Chechen assailant. Commenting on the attack, Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide, attempting to suggest that the assailant had been motivated to kill the teacher by the faith rather than radicalism.

Macron’s comments have drawn a wave of condemnation throughout the Muslim world.

The Art Bureau of Iran’s Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization has announced a plan to organize another Holocaust denial exhibition of cartoons in response to Macron’s defense.

“The French president has ignored the over 1.5 billion Muslim population of the world,” the director of the bureau’s Visual Arts Office, Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai, has said.

“It’s really obvious that we Muslims face a scenario promoting Islamophobia, hate-mongering and racism,” noted Shojaei-Tabatabai who is also a veteran cartoonist.

“In an exactly similar form, our program is to publish serious artworks challenging the Holocaust; for one insulting cartoon, we will publish ten cartoons in social media and other virtual spaces. This current will show how much Macron and his friends have tolerance for freedom of speech,” he added.       

“We plan to retaliate through the language of the cartoon,” he stressed.

Photo: An Arabic calligraphy featuring the phrases “Muhammad, the Messenger of God” and “Ali Is the Vicegerent of God”.