By HANI JAWHARI
Technique: oil painting
Description: a tongue tied up with metal chain and a lock on a red and black background with white color in the middle and white waves downside and some green leaves are growing from the tongue.
The painting symbolizes the suppression of Muslims everywhere and in many different ways, and the importance of change and breaking all the shackles of misunderstanding and mistreatment by speaking and using words as a powerful weapon. The change started in the Arab spring and it should grow and continue to be a Muslim spring especially in these dark days
Islam is as a religion and a lifestyle is a true caller for peace, human rights and equality where it shows in almost every aspect of this beautiful religion. This art work is influenced by the political and social environment, globally and locally and the misconception of Islam as a religion of blind mislead savage people while it’s actually the opposite. Plus the Arab spring that’s taking over the Middle East and the people are having the power of expressing their opinion without being afraid of anything. Muslims had gone through bad times of misjudging and provoking their freedom to practice their basic human rights which is freedom of speech and expression from both their own governments and western antimuslim radicals. Plus a wrong understanding and practicing of Islam that lead to fear and absence of democracy; which is one of the essentials in the Islamic lifestyle and even the religious side. While the Quran and Sunna are full of evidence about that people tend to ignore that and hide it in the shadow.
Freedom of speech in Islam:
Islam in text and practices applied democracy and freedom of speech in all aspects of a Muslim lifestyle and considered it essential in decision making first and pointing out the wrong actions, and there is a lot of evidences such as "و أمرهم شورى بينهم" where god is saying Muslims must consult their civil matters with each other to guarantee Muslims happiness and well-being. Even the prophet Mohammad used to counsel his followers and friends in most of Muslims general issues according to gods order to him in Quran "و شاورهم بالأمر". Also when the prophet was asked about the best jihad he answered that the best jihad is saying the truth in front of an unfair and wrongful ruler as in the hadith
"سئل رسوا الله: أي الجهاد أفضل؟ فقال كلمة حق عند سلطان جائر" . Plus many incidents about the prophet telling the people to be brave and say the truth whatever it takes, even encouraging Muslims to say nice thing and call for values and manners loudly . The prophet also used to teach us that everyone should know his rights where even within the family should be democratic system and the members should express their opinions openly without being scared, which leads to a healthy atmosphere for the families and society to grow and develop and this is what happened actually.
Muslims in the golden age of Islam used to follow up and investigate the caliphates actions and even integrate them in public if they suspected anything until things are cleared out, everything in the state was being done openly and truthfully and people were actually allowed prosecute the ruler on public with evidence and something like a jury , which is the highest levels of democracy and freedom ever.
Islam the religion of peace and mercy and that shows from the smallest to the essential matters of Islam, our greeting itself is a prayer for peace and mercy. And our message in life is spreading peace and love among the nations by obeying the same truthful god.
I did this art piece cause believe that Muslims should speak and fix all the misconception about Islam within Muslims and non-Muslims and explain how Islam is an icon of human and civil rights and a peace maker. And I used this way and this style to deliver my message through symbols and illogical scenes with photographic precision allowing our unconscious to express itself, even with the proper explanation and description I wanted to leave some space for the observers to let their imagination go and maybe see what I didn’t see through this painting.
And as I believe this is the point of art; to deliver a complicated message to the people by touching their feelings and being indirect plus giving them some joy while watching and experiencing this painting.
I really enjoyed doing it and I hope I did my duty as a Muslim and human to say what may want to say in such beautiful way, thanks.