Thursday, December 30, 2010

Call For a Serious Investigation: How many Muslim Artists are There?

This is in reaction to what I read in a short article at Jihadwatch. The article is about how middle school teachers cannot find enough books about being a muslim teenager in America for their students to read.

The writer then goes on to suggest, tounge in cheek, various innacurate portrayals of Muhammad and Islam as good examples of islamic fiction. Well and fine but the revelation about a derth of creative writing for YA readers on the subject raised a potentially important question.

We know that Islamic countries have contributed very little to the sciences in modern times but what about the arts? Exactly how many Musilms contribute to the arts? And how does that number compare to other various peoples contributions in various locales? If a lot then it should be lauded (to offset negative perceptions on both sides about negligible islamic contributions to the sciences). If not a lot then this should be encouraged.

I posit here that the contribution to the arts of an immagrant group is an indicator of actual assimilation. For arts I mean hand or digital painting, drawing, fine art photography, music composing, music playing, fiction writing (and ONLY fiction writing), poetry. and comic books.

I don't include Political Cartooning and Film/TV as those are too commonly used to disseminate political/religious propoganda.

Specifically:

What is the percentage of muslims who contribute to the arts in various western and muslim countries?

Or more specifically:

Is thre a difference in percentage between western and muslim countries?
between different muslim countries?
between different western countries?
In Western countries, how does that percentage between different Western countries?
In Western countries how does that percentage compare to other immagrants of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation in those countries.
What is the difference between western and muslim contries of similar GDP or standard of living?
How many muslims or people of muslim descent or people who identify as muslim are proffesional fine artists, commercial artists or involved in arts administration?

If there is a negative discrepancy then arts education can be enhanced in various ways as a way to facilitate assimilation of youth from islamic countries. Also contests with rules against political or religious content can be held to encourage the arts in "various communities".

I am not a sociologist, anthropologist or statistician. I hope a study of this has been done but if not I hope this inspires someone who is in a position to make such a study.

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