Qatar: citizens protest Zidane headbutt statue as un-Islamic

Calls for fatwa and removal of offensive depiction

08 October, 17:24

    (ANSAmed) - DOHA, OCTOBER 8 - Qatari citizens have called for Adel Abdessemed's statue ''Coup de Tete'' (Head Butt) to be removed because it is offensive to Islam.

    The five-meter statue depicting footballer Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest during the 2006 World Cup has been placed on the Corniche, a symbolic Doha location.

    The statue is an invitation to idolatry, and Islam forbids making statues and depicting animals and people, protesters claimed. ''We want a legitimate fatwa from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs against this statue! Because statues are not allowed in Islam and Zidane's action was unethical'', one commentator wrote on Twitter.

    ''Who is this Zidane, to be honored with this statue? And what did he do for Qatar? Is it right that anyone who deserves to be honored should be honored against our religion and our creed?'' wrote another.

    In this conservative Islamic country that practices sharia or Koranic law, citizens don't understand why the government has decided to erect a statue of two men, which is also a violation of Islamic principles.

    The October 10 opening of a cycle of 14 Damien Hirst installations is bound to be controversial as well: titled ''The Miraculous Journey'', it represents the phases of life and includes depictions of naked newborns. The show was organized by Qatar Museums Authority Chairperson Al-Mayassa, sister to the ruling emir.

    ''I think the cultural differences are a bit hard. There would be no issue with representing naked newborn in England. This is the first nude sculpture in the Middle East, and Sheikha Al-Mayassa has been very brave'', Hirst told the Doha News. ''Having something like this is less bold than having a lot of nudity. There is a verse in the Koran on the miracle of birth. It is not against our culture or our religion'', Al-Mayassa told the New York Times of the show, Hirst's first ever exhibition in the Middle East. (ANSAmed).

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