Thursday, February 9, 2017

What exactly is the 'Islamic' world?

By Joobin Bekhrad
The Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. (Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg)
While originally a religion and way of life, given the way the term "Islamic" is being tossed around like candy today, one could be forgiven for mistaking Islam for a country. If we in the West don’t refer to Andy Warhol as a "shining example of Christian art," or speak of Mark Rothko’s paintings as representing Jewish modernism—that is to say, if we don’t define them by the religious traditions into which they were born—then why do we do so when it comes to Iranian, Arab and Turkish artists for example? Why does everything—art, architecture, music, cuisine, you name it—fall under the label of "Islamic" when it comes to regions such as the Middle East? [link]