attempting the destruction of the secular muse, oil on canvas, 2002, 1220x1370 mm.,
hanging in Guildford Lane Gallery 2009. Pinned to the right of the painting is a printout of p. 22 from the publication with the text from pp. 25-26 (reproduced on this page) pinned below.
[pp. 25-26, Humanist Transhumanist, essay by Demetrios Vakras]
[In 2009, Robert Cripps, in whose gallery, my works were exhibited (Guildford Lane Gallery, Melbourne, Australia) took offence to what I wrote here, and asserted that it was "racist" for criticising Islam. He had no objection however to the criticisms I levelled at Judaism or Christianity.]
The evolution of the figure as muse is discussed in an earlier essay. This muse is in the middle of a bomb–cratered landscape. The figure attached to mechanical devices is assailed by war. The war is that of religion against a secular society. The religion that assails secular society today is Islam.
There are those who though ignorant of the Koranic basis of this assault condemn critics of that religion as expressing a personal unfounded bigotry, and then claim that acts of terrorism which have been committed in the name of Islam are by militant "Islamist" "radicals". However, these militant acts by practitioners of that faith are not a radical departure of that faith based on a misunderstanding of the Koran. According to the Koran life is made attractive by god so that we desire not to die as it is intended by god as a test of our resolve to obey his edicts: only those of strong character will willingly forgo this attractive life to die waging war against unbelievers to demonstrate that they are true Muslims 1; the purpose of life is to wage war 2; the only way to guarantee ascent to heaven is to die while killing unbelievers 3; and, according to the Koran, this makes Islam the "House of Peace" (hence the concomitant claim that Islam is a religion of peace) 4; because war occurs only because there are those who are not Muslim against whom war must be waged until these unbelievers are either converted or are forced to pay the poll–tax 5.
My painting is a criticism of the secular society which is sacrificing the secular muse.
There are some who maintain that Koranic–based Islamic law (Sharia) would result in a society not much different from any western society (such as this one) which they believe enforces values which are Christian. Such critics have not read the Bible either. If this society was run on Biblical–based law, I would have been killed as an anti–Christ a long time ago (1 John 2.22 , 2 John 7); the Sydney "gay" parade would instead be a day where homosexuals are dragged to a public place to be stoned to death by people who have travelled from the rest of the country to participate (Leviticus 20.13, Leviticus 20.15, 1 Corinthians 6.9-10)[error: the passage here should be Leviticus 18.22-23 (NOT Leviticus 20.15)]; people would be stoned to death for working Sundays (Exodus 31.15); and we would not have anyone of an alternate faith among us (Exodus 22.20, Deuteronomy. 30.17-18, Exodus 23.22-24, etc.). (Though some Christians claim that when their god took human form as the Christ he renounced these laws, this is incorrect. It is clearly stated in Matthew 5.17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”)
The greatest difference between Muslims and Christians (today) is that a Christian will, though aware of doctrine, actively go against the instructions of doctrine and renounce it. Not even the so–called "moderate" Muslims renounce any passage of the Koran and even go so far as to deny the existence of such passages. Any Muslim (or someone formerly Muslim) who does openly concede to the existence of such passages such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and openly renounces them is actively pursued by faithful followers of that religion, as this is considered apostasy and apostasy elicits the death sentence 6.
The Koranic passages paraphrased above:
1 "If you have suffered defeat, so did the enemy. We alternate these vicissitudes among mankind so that Allah may know the true believers and choose martyrs from among you ...that He may test the faithful and annihilate the infidels. Did you suppose that you would enter Paradise before Allah has proved the men who fought for him...?" (The Imrans) 3.140-142
"He created life and death that He might put you to the proof and find out which of you acquitted himself best." (Sovereignty) 67.2
2 "fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you..." (The Cow) 2.216
3 "Believers, why is it that when it is said to you: 'March in the cause of Allah,' you linger slothfully in the land? Are you content with this life in preference to the life to come? Few indeed are the blessings of this life compared to those of the life to come. If you do not fight He will punish you sternly and replace you by other men. Allah has power over all things.” (Repentance) 9:38 “Are you waiting for anything to befall us except victory or martyrdom?” (Repentance) 9:52
4 “Allah invites you to the House of Peace [Islam]. He guides whom He will to a straight path.... As for those that have earned evil [refusal to accept Islam], evil shall be rewarded with evil. Misery will cover them...They are the heirs of Hell.” (Jonah) 10.26-27
5 "Fight against such of those to whom Scriptures were given as believe neither Allah nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what Allah and His apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Repentance) 9 :29
6 "...those who deny Allah after professing Islam and open their bosoms to unbelief shall incur the wrath of Allah and shall be sternly punished. For such men love the life of this world more than the life to come." (The Bee) 16.107
The Koranic passages I quote are from the 4 different translations I own. The only two translations worth buying/reading are the one by Dawood (Penguin) and the one by Abdel Haleem (Oxford University Press)