A Crescent, but not Acacia

Regents Park Mosque in London, as viewed from the bank of the Regents Canal…

Regents Park Mosque, London (photo: © 2010 Francis Sedgemore)
Regents Park Mosque, London (photo: Francis Sedgemore)

The aesthetics of Islam I find interesting. Islamic art tends to be abstract and mathematical, in contrast to the representational and often earthy iconography of Christianity. One can see why Islam is attractive to some secularised westerners who for whatever reason cling to a vague notion of ‘spirituality’, and have not yet managed to fully shake off the God fantasies of their Christian upbringing, whether that was pious and observant, or nominal and largely cultural.

At the risk of being provocative, I would also point out the naturalistic, pagan-tinged imagery of Islam, such as the symbol of the Earth’s Moon shown here in the photograph of Regents Park Mosque in London. So where does calendrical discipline end, and spiritual devotion begin?