A Complex World, Reduced To A Buzzword

In much the same way that conventional wisdom in the Arab world tends to view “America” as a monolithic place speaking with a single, domineering voice, Westerners have begun to discuss “the Islamic world” as if such a thing could really be reduced to a simple set of ideas and actions. By extension, “Islamic art” is often seen as monolithic and single-minded, when the truth is far more complex. “It’s a political story, an ancient and universal one, about how an image, and almost any image will do, once it is fused to cultural identity — Islam, in this case — can end up being used as a weapon.”