Saturday, October 10, 2009

Key Islamic leader urges forgiveness

Key Islamic leader urges forgiveness - so reads an article from Thailand from last month. Several years ago, someone took an image from the Brick Testament that was meant to illustrate immorality in Israel before the time of King Saul, and they made fake box art, claiming it was a LEGO set about Muhammad in a sexual situation. This angered many Muslim groups, and LEGO had to make an apology and reassure people that this was not a real set but was rather a fake. In this story from Thailand, someone re-used this image in an student magazine promoting sexual awareness. Local Islamic leaders got upset, and the publisher ran a "five-day public apology advertisement in seven Thai-language dailies," published 50,000 copies of a book on Muhammad, and burned hundreds of copies of the magazine. I'm disturbed by the implied intimidation here that made the publisher go to such lengths. I'm also disturbed that no one ever seems to try to learn something about the original creator of the image or to ask Brendan permission for its re-use.

As before - warning - clicking through the image to the original source will show minifigs in an implied sexual situation. If that sort of thing bothers you, don't click.


  1. Preventing other people from using my images (or derivate works based on my images) without my permission is pretty close to impossible. But I try. Just today I asked Youtube to remove 29 more videos. Last time I asked Flickr to remove images, there were 35 Brick Testament images on other people's accounts.

    This non-Mohammed "LEGO Mohammed" image has spread around the internet far and wide despite my attempts at asking websites hosting the image to remove it.

    Had no idea about the magazine burnings in Thailand. At this point I am just attempting to spread accurate information about the image by posting on sites that display or hotlink to the image:

    "In an effort to get accurate information disseminated about this LEGO Mohammed image: the original image was not intended to depict Mohammed at all, but (ironically enough) ancient Jews.

    It is from The Brick Testament website which is an attempt to illustrate the entire Bible in LEGO. The photo can be seen in its original context here:

    Some unknown person took this image without the permission of the creator of The Brick Testament and altered it to appear as though it is an official LEGO set and as if it was intended to depict Mohammed."

    I invite any and all others to post that same info anywhere they see this image.

    Here is the press release LEGO put out about the image:

    It would have been nice if they'd bothered to follow up that initial statement with the accurate info about the original image. I wonder what the Danish police did to investigate this.

    Anyhow, I hope I don't get killed over some unfortunate misunderstanding about this image.


  2. Hey Brendan,

    Have you ever checked out the Brick Busters group on Flickr? It's all about image theft.