Initially, this project began as an exploration of my personal history in confrontation with Islam and how it manifests as a practice. The fundamentals of most religions are started with indoctrination, whereas in Islam it is started with adhaan (call to prayer) recited in one’s ear just as they are born. Furthermore, the indoctrination is not only verbal but also visual, in that children are forced to recite and memorize parts or even the whole of the Quran even though we understand none of it. The manifestation of Arabic verses of the Quran is considered sacred in Islam so as to not be touched by a Kafir (nonbeliever). These fundamentals of belief are true when environmentally contextualized by a space such as a mosque, however, once the individual and the dogma are contextualized by an environment that constantly contradicts beliefs one is forced to reflect. In addition, some images are a manifestation of self-visualization as shaped by the indoctrination of religion and how it shapes a child's imagination. Fundamentally, the logic of the images follows in the tradition of the key Islamic philosopher, Averroes (also known as Ibn Rushd) as he quotes the Quran, stating: “Reflect, You have vision.” Lastly, there is a deeply moral question to be asked on the fundamentals of all Abrahamic religions and the sacrifice of Abraham’s son Isaac. Ask a religious individual, “If God didn't send down a lamb, would we sacrifice our sons?” If they have unquestioning faith, that is your answer.
Abdul Rehman is a third-year student in Ryerson University’s Image Arts: Photography Studies Program.