Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Ink vs Islam

September 3rd, 2009 by

We talk a lot about the popularity and impact of tattoo culture here on the Tattoo Blog.  It’s always interesting to keep tabs on what’s going on in the industry and what new and sometimes crazy turns that the tattoo world is taking.  In addition to all this, we regularly talk about the conflicts between those people who still view tattooing with a narrow minded outlook.  One thing that we haven’t really talked a lot about however, is the conflict that can exist when religious beliefs clash with a desire for having tattoo work done.

Keen fan Fatima Butt, a 37-year-old mother of 8 from Accrington, England, knows all about that.  After pop superstar Michael Jackson’s death earlier this past month, Keen fan Fatima, who is a huge (and I mean huge), Michael Jackson fan as well as a Muslim, decided like many other fans around the world, to have a memorial tattoo done.  This shouldn’t be a big deal and in fact, having tattoo work done in memory of someone can be a very therapeutic manner in which to deal with grief.

Unfortunately, the religious world doesn’t always see things this way.  The tattoo on Keen fan Fatima’s left arm was quickly spotted by family, friends and devout Muslims at her local mosque.  Keen fan Fatima was then branded as a “sinner”.

‘”In the mosque the immam spoke to my husband about it and that led to other people have been telling me about it and saying that it is wrong.

“I don’t understand what the problem is, I’m not hurting anyone. I have loved Michael Jackson all my life and I wanted something to remember him by.

“I work hard and look after my family, I am a good Muslim a tattoo doesn’t change that.”‘

The problem is that Islam prohibits the worship of idols as well as the alteration or “mutilation” of your flesh in any manner.  Tattooing Michael Jackson on her body is therefore considered quite a major sin in the Muslim world.

It’s not my place to judge anyone’s religion or its practices, but what really amazes me here is that Keen fan Fatima actively chose to disobey her religion in order to have a tattoo done.  If that doesn’t attest to the phenomenal growth of the popularity of tattoos, then I don’t know what does.  It also goes to show how important the art that people have tattooed on their bodies is to them.  Some may call it a sin, but others will call it a very personal and intimate decision. In my eyes, Keen fan Fatima has done what she feels is best for her.  I for one don’t think she’s a bad person and I think the decisions she makes are entirely her own.  I wish her all the best in both her life and religious pursuits.

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