Recently, terrorists attacked the offices of a satirical magazine in Paris called Charlie Hebdo , killing at least 12 people and injuring more. Many believe that this attack was in retaliation at the magazine’s cartoons which depicted the Islamic Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]. And this is not the first time that an incident like this has happened The question is : why are some Muslim groups so adamantly against depicting Muhammad [pbuh] ? Well, the Qu’ran condemns any idolatry – meaning the worship of a physical object or other idols. Some Muslims believe that seeing their Prophet or God in paintings will lead to people praying to or worshipping that painting or object, which is in exact contradiction to Tawhid , the Islamic monotheistic belief that God is a unique unity [entity] and not a thing. Many others cite passages in the Hadith, which is a record of teachings and sayings of Muhammad [pbuh] They believe that these teachings ban not only images of Allah and Muhammad but also images of all living creatures – this includes other Islamic Prophets (which is why movies depicting Jesus, Noah and Moses have been banned in some Islamic countries). This is also why, unlike Christianity and Buddhism, a lot of Islamic art is text and calligraphy – not portraits. But not all Muslims feel this way. These beliefs are mainly held by Sunni Muslims , who make up the largest branch of Islam. In Iran, where Shi’ite Muslims are the majority, depictions of Muhammad [pbuh] are much more common. These are usually in the form of hand-painted miniatures, which have been common for hundreds of years in Iran, Turkey and Central Asia. However, these depictions are obviously respectful and used for storytelling and historical purposes. Some images put a veil over Muhammad’s [pbuh] face or obscure it with whiteness, light or flames and these are mostly done by Muslim artists I mentioned at the top that Westerners depicting Muhammad [pbuh] has led to trouble before but it has not always resulted in violence ; sometimes, there is diplomacy and cooperation. In 1955, New York City – at the request of Indonesia, Pakistan and Egypt – agreed to take down a statue of Muhammad [pbuh] that was honouring him as one of ten lawgivers alongside Moses, Confucius, and Alfred the Great and in 1974, the New York Times published an apology for running a picture of Muhammad [pbuh] in an article about Islam after receiving numerous complaints. But as we know, not all disagreements end so peacefully … In 1977, a reporter was killed and over 100 hostages were taken in Washington DC possibly in response to how some important Islamic figures in the motion picture “Muhammad, Messenger of God”. More recently, publications in Sweden and Bangladesh were sent death threats after they depicted Muhammad in some of their periodicals. These images also caused international protest and the evacuation of some embassies. This is one debate that probably will never be resolved – on one side is people asking others to respect their beliefs ; On the other side is journalists, asking people to respect freedom of speech and of the press. But it’s important to note that most people on both sides condemn terrorists and their actions. Subscribe to TestTube for more new videos six days a week. and if you’d like to learn more about the differences between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, check out this video now. Initially, Muslims were all one group unified under te Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] then in the year 632 Muhammad [pbuh] died, and Muslims split off into two separate groups Thanks for watching!