Wednesday, 8 February 2006

Holy hats

The Danish cartoon of Mohammed wearing a bomb on his head was crudely drawn and not in the least funny, a good enough reason for not publishing it apart from other considerations. I see that Iran’s best-selling newspaper intends to “retaliate” by publishing cartoons satirising the Holocaust, and we can be sure that these won’t be up to much either. And, of course, they are unlikely to evoke much anger or even surprise in the context of the known views of some of Iran’s leaders on the subject, any more than anyone gets into a lather now about David Irving’s lunacy.
I suppose the idea is to see whether the Western press reprints the cartoons: if they do, why? and if they don’t, why not? But to raise these questions it would have been better to have chosen an equivalent insult, one better calculated to inflame non-Islamic sensibilities: pictures of Jesus doing something really ridiculous, say, or of some leader of the Christian church wearing one of the spectacularly batty varieties of hat which clerics affect; a few are described here, though not illustrated.
Here’s a friendly image of religious headgear, drawn by Nicolas Bentley.

[Bentley was also marvellous with nuns, as I shall show in a later post.]


Pennyroyal said...

Hi Tony,

I like this picture and your discussion on the "headgear." I remember one of my literature teachers pointing out that "hats symbolize pride." I wouldn't go that far, but each hat might have something to say about its owner. I've had to wear the headscarf for many years though, while I was in Iran, but it had nothing much to tell about my personality except that as an Iranian woman I had to wear the "hijab" or face je ne sais quoi.

Best Wishes.

Tony said...

Thank you, Pennyroyal. By a coincidence I am just writing two new posts about hats which illustrate your teacher's point.