A Portrait of Muhammad as a Young Man

The First Muslim Finds the Human in the Sacred

Comments

1
It's kind of funny how you give pretty much equal treatment to the anticipated or potential reaction of Christian zealots and that of Muslim zealots. Is the Christian side of that equation really an issue? Is that meant to tamper the suggestion the crap could fly with fanatical Muslim elements, as it did with the Sherry Jones book?

A bit of a false equivalency, at the least. An overly sensitive treatment for the Muslim fanatical element and unwarranted target practice on the Christian right at the worst.
2
@1 I believe Christian zealots have done quite a bit worse throughout history than Muslin zealots, all in all.
3
Why isn't writing about Muhammad likewise considered to be offensive?

I dunno, let's ask Salman Rushdie.

Seriously, did you think about this for even half a second?
4
Oh good, Muslim-bashing hour on the boards of the 'liberal' media.

@1 - please, go ask the FBI how much of a threat those 'Christian zealots' have become in this country.
5
I saw her speak at the TedX Rainier conference last fall - fantastic speaker and by the sounds of it, a fantastic writer as well. Can't wait to read this book!
6
@3 Actually, both folk and orthodox Islam is replete with many viivd descriptions of Mohammad, from his physical characteristics to his dress, habits etc. There are thousands of extremely descriptive biographies of Mohammad, produced largely by Muslims. The censure against Salman Rushdie was not the least because of writing about Muhammad as a subject.

The issue against depicting Muhammad as an image, from a theological point of view, comes from prohibition against idolatry - with images being the percursor of an idol. Muslim cultures are against visual depiction of any of their prophets, including Jesus. This has been my understanding of the issue, coming from an Islamic subsumed culture. (I would consider myself an atheist, but identify culturally as a Muslim).

Another point of disagreement Paul, imagery from early period of Muhammad's life portrays him as extremely vulnerable. This was the 'persecution phase' where he was harassed by everyone from local kids to neighbors. Both vulnerability and humility are important aspects of his character that feature extensively in his hagiographies.

Lesley Hazleton is great and writes with great nuance and I wish her work reached more audiences, especially more Muslims. I can't wait to dig into this work.