The image shows a woman in a full-length burkha – but instead of having a cut-out for the eyes, the cut-out exposes one of her nipples. The artwork has already been condemned by the Union of Muslim Organisations of the UK and Ireland (UMO) as "blasphemous, cheap porn".
A spokesman said: "At a time when tensions are already heightened, gallery owners shouldn't be exhibiting artwork like this - it's offensive, inflammatory. and degrading to Muslim women. "Photographer Yeon Lee, defended her image, titled Seeing is Believing, claiming it "highlights the ways women are categorised in male-dominated societies". But the UMO said the image could spark similar angry scenes to those in Denmark in September 2005 when a newspaper printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed portraying him as a terrorist. He said: "People will protest. It's blasphemous – the artist just wants to make some money – and it's not helpful in this current climate."Gallery owner James Freeman, who is exhibiting the image as part of a wider collection, called Five Years, from emerging international artists in North London", agreed the image had "shock value". But he denied it was blasphemous.He said: "It's not ridiculing, or ironic, or degrading or perjorative. I don't think you could perceive any blasphemy in this.
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