The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City quietly removed artwork containing images of the Prophet Muhammad from its Islamic collection to avoid offending Muslims, the New York Post reported yesterday.
In Islam, any artistic depiction of the prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous. Yet, the Met’s three ancient pieces were painted before religious authorities banned portraying the prophet.
The museum is most likely trying to escape the type of outcry that Danish cartoons of Muhammad caused in 2006. However, the move ultimately undermines Western values. As Paul Marshall warned in the winter 2007 issue of inFOCUS, Western nations should fiercely resist the Islamic World’s calls to cease “insulting Islam” by restricting freedoms of speech, press, and religion.