In a break with tradition, a Baghdad mosque shows religious paintings


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On the Los Angeles Times’ Babylon and Beyond blog, contributors Usama Redha and Meris Lutz write about a Baghdad mosque’s decision to display two paintings depicting the battle of Karbala in the 7th century.

The move is unusual because paintings were illegal under Saddam Hussein, and even today the depiction of living creatures in a painting is controversial and even banned by some sects. The mosque is in a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad; Shiite clerics, the two write, have generally been more tolerant of depicting human figures.


To read more about the Zulfiqar Mosque’s paintings by Baqer Sheik, click here.

Above: Artist Baqer Sheik puts the finishing touches on one of 11 paintings commissioned for the Zulfiqar Mosque. Credit: Usama Redha