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QATAR REMOVES ZIDANE STATUE AFTER OUTCRY

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DOHA - Qatar has removed a statue depicting a headbutt attack by French footballer Zinedine Zidane (photo) following an outcry by conservatives who slammed it as anti-Islam idolisation.
The 5-metres sculpture depicting the France footballer attacking Italy's Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final was put on display on Doha's corniche on October 3.

  • But the statue, sculpted by Algerian-born French artist Adel Abdessemed, appears to have offended Muslim conservatives, who saw it as a violation of religious tenets.
  • It was removed on Monday, according to local newspapers.
  • "Congratulations for having new idols," wrote one tweeter sarcastically, as the Arabic hashtag "Zidane's statue in Qatar" triggered huge reaction from dismayed conservatives.
  • "It is sad that our youth see in this art and modernity. Our children do not differentiate between the right and the wrong, or the haram (prohibited) and the halal (permissible)," wrote another.
  • The Qatar Museum Authority bought the "Coup de Tete" sculpture after it was put on display earlier outside the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
To avoid the possibility of idolisation, Islamic jurisprudence prohibits statues of human beings and animals. Although some Muslim countries display statues in public, conservative Gulf nations mostly do not.
Saudi municipal authorities in June smashed sculptures of horses erected on a roundabout in the southwestern Jazan province after the kingdom's top cleric Abdulaziz al-Shaikh wrote to the local governor demanding their removal for being a "great sin".

Source: Al Jazeera
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