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The troubled history of putting Islam on stage

Negative depictions of the Prophet Muhammad and Muslims have a long history in European theatre

By Matthew Dimmock  
Tamerlane and his troops as seen by British Painter CL Doughty © Bridgeman

Tamerlane and his troops as seen by British Painter CL Doughty © Bridgeman

The past decade has been punctuated by controversies concerning the representation and denigration of the Prophet Muhammad. From the Jyllands-Posten cartoons of 2005 to the Charlie Hebdo crisis in January and the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” rally outside a mosque in Phoenix, Arizona last month, depictions of the Prophet have come to embody a faultline within secular western democracies between the cherished principle of…

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