I've meant for a long while to write a post about iconoclasm. The Byzantine Empire had been suffering defeats to Muslims for centuries. They lost 2/3rds of the Empire, and almost lost the whole of it too. It's no wonder that some emperors thought that maybe Muslims were doing something right. They certainly seemed to have God's favor.
The conclusion they reached was that God liked the Muslims because they did not have human figures in their mosques. Byzantine churches being full of icons, paintings, mosaics of Jesus and the myriad saints. Most of them pretty lame, too. Byzantine icons tend to be plain, dull, and often just badly drawn. It probably was the work of an endogamic caste of icon-painters who promoted each other for personal reasons unrelated to skill at painting, and flayed at any criticism by laypeople. How dare you criticize our holy art? You are just ignorant of God's taste in painting. Kinda like the argument that progressive academics use when called out on their nonsensical "research".
Anyway, Iconoclasm was attempted. The Byzantine state burned every human figure from their churches, which became as bare as mosques. It didn't do much to help out in the war against the Muslims. What it did was provoke a century-long civil war. The icon-painter guild was *very* stubborn. And the Byzantine state was a mess who couldn't impose it's authority. So the change did more harm than good. Rhomania kept declining and rising again and then declining for good. And that was that. I guess there's a parable here about cultural continuity.
Still, whatever the real world results of Iconoclasm, I couldn't help feeling for Leo III when reading this piece of news. Man, these guys are doing something right.
Who is this lonely looking woman? It's the premier of the Canadian province of Ontario. She went to visit a mosque. See? All my multicultural subjects are my dear
subjects citizens, I go around and they all worship me equally. That's an actual line by Yongzheng emperor when been asked by a Chinese minister about Muslim misbehavior, by the way. But I digress. The premier of Ontario goes to visit a mosque as part of her show of holiness, and what happens? The Imam tells her that the guys are praying, so she gotta wait. And out of the way, please. We guys are busy. Serious stuff. Oh, yeah, go sit over there in the corner. But don't you dare take off your veil. That's right, good girl. Now where were we guys? Allaaaaaahu akbar.
The funny thing is that the Ontario premier is a lesbian. "First openly gay blabla". A lesbian. A woman who wants to be a man. She probably wants to be there with the boys, praying to Allah. Dressing like a bro. But Allah won't have her. Look at that face again. Poor thing. All the power of her office is nothing against the rock-solid frame of the Imam. Damn, that must have felt good.