Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

Catholic World News News Feature

Supreme Court Mohammed Sculpture Sparks India Riots March 13, 1997

SRINAGAR, India (CWN) - Indian Muslims rioted on Thursday to protest a US Supreme Court decision to keep a sculptured frieze of the Prophet Mohammed.

Indian police used tear gas and batons to disperse protesters who attacked a police patrol in Srinagar in Kashmir state. More than a dozen rioters were injured. "More than a dozen stone-pelting incidents were reported from (neighborhoods in) Srinagar," a police spokesman said.

The US Supreme Court issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the court would not remove a 66-year-old depiction of Mohammed from a sculpture that included "lawgivers" from history including Moses, Justinian, and Confucius. A coalition of Muslim groups had requested that the image be removed because orthodox Islamic tradition discourages artistic renderings of living people, and portraying the Prophet's face is considered particularly offensive.