Muhammad In Court

Posted on Fri 05/08/2015 by


marlin-thompson_FI-1.2x1By Marlin  Thompson ~

ISIS appeared to declare war on controversial blogger Pamela Geller on Tuesday in an ominous online message claiming it has fighters across America ready to attack “any target we desire.” The threat, posted on an anonymous message board, singles out Geller, who helped plan a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that was attacked by two gunmen in Garland, Texas, over the weekend. ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting early Tuesday, marking the first time the terror group called an American attack one of its own.

20130425_radical_islam_shhh_LARGEWhile Muslims have engaged in violent protests worldwide over caricatures of Muhammad, there is a much more visible depiction of him. A prominent marble stone frieze in the U.S. Supreme Court has sculptures of 18 of the great lawgivers of history, from Hammurabi to John Marshall, and ranging from Confucius to Moses to Napoleon. Muhammad is between Charlemagne and Justinian. The artwork, perched high above the justice’s mahogany bench, was designed by sculptor Adolph A. Weinman for the building that opened in the 1930s.

In 1997, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, protested the Supreme Court’s Muhammad sculpture, saying, according to its annual report for that year, “While appreciating the fact that Muhammad was included in the court’s pantheon of 18 prominent lawgivers of history, CAIR notes that Islam discourages its followers from portraying any prophet in paintings, sculptures or other artistic representations.” They wrote to the court urging that the statue’s face be sandblasted. CAIR also was concerned that Muhammad “was shown with the Koran, Islam’s Holy Book, in his left hand and a scimitar in his right.” Among Muslims, the left hand is considered unclean, and holding the Koran in that hand is an insult.

Responding to the complaint, then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist told CAIR the image could not be changed and explained that swords also were used throughout the court’s architecture as symbols of justice. “Altering the depiction of Muhammad would impair the artistic integrity of the whole,” Rehnquist wrote. “Additionally, it is unlawful (under the U. S. Code) to remove or in any way injure an architectural feature in the Supreme Court.

Marlin Thompson submits regular articles to PA Pundits International about topics of current cultural and political interest from a conservative perspective. Marlin is a Mechanical Engineer, and is now a semi-retired owner of small company designing and building custom automation machinery.