| Hugh Fitzgerald: Kenan Malik and the Art that Connects Europe and Islam
| Friday, August 24, 2018
Jihad Watch : Recently an article — “Look at art for the deep connection between Europe and Islam” — appeared in the Guardian.
The author, Kenan Malik, sometimes a critic of, and sometimes a sly
apologist for, Islam, claimed that there was a deep respect in
Renaissance Europe for the world of Islam. “Embodied in the Renaissance
view is certainly a sense of Islam as the other. But it is intertwined
with curiosity, respect, even awe. There is a willingness, too, to reach
beyond the otherness of Islam and to see the Muslim world not as demonic or exotic but as a variant of the European experience.”
states this; he does not prove it. Do “curiosity, respect, even awe’’
adequately describe what the people of Western Christendom felt about
the world of Islam as they watched, in horror, as the Muslim Turks
steadily conquered all of Byzantium, including, on May 29, 1453, what
had been for 500 years (he bullshits here, it was 1,000 years of Christendom) the largest and most splendid city of
Christendom, Constantinople? (Read here the rape and sack of Constantinople)
Malik offered as his sole evidence of this “deep connection between
Europe and Islam” in art a single painting by Gentile da Fabriano, “The
Adoration of the Magi,” from 1423, or rather, he offered a single
detail in that painting, in which, the author claimed, he could detect
Arabic writing in the halos of Joseph and Mary. But as Robert Spencer
has pointed out, this Arabic “writing” was not “writing” at all, but
merely the use of what is called Pseudo-Kufic, a script that the
Europeans of that time believed was also used in the time of Jesus.
Pseudo-Kufic was used as a decorative element, in non-Arabic contexts,
usually associated with the Holy Family, especially with Mary. And far
from being a sign of respect for Islam and the Arabs, it appears that
the artists who painted in a bit of Pseudo-Kufic wished to express a
cultural universality for the Christian faith, by blending together
various written languages, at a time when European Christians
entertained hopes for converting the Muslims.
Read it all here....................
|posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:00 PM