is not of this world

captainsarcasmawaaay  asked:

I'm writing a fantasy story set in the 6th century in various places around the world, including the middle east. I'm concerned about how to represent the pre-islamic world without coming off as disrespectful or islamophobic. For example, the Kaaba being used to house idols. It's historically accurate, but I feel reluctant to depict it in that way, as it might be disrespectful. Is this a legitimate concern? What other pitfalls should I be aware of in depicting this setting?

Representing a Pre-Islamic World Respectfully

It’s historically accurate, but if it’s not important for your world-building, you might as well leave it out. In other words, it would mostly make sense to me if you were writing about the families that historically guarded the Kaaba or were the head of providing for visitors and guests who wanted to view the idols, but may not be necessary if you are already building a society focused on polytheism with characters that won’t necessarily be concerned with the Kaaba or those particular idols at all times. 

Remember, people of that era had their own house-gods to offer reverence to, gods that traveled with them. A lot of people were very poor and might not be able to have the opportunity to mingle with those families that held sway over the Kaaba and the traffic of visitors, etc. 

Also, the Middle East is a very broad place which doesn’t only include Arabia, so make sure to be specific in your details, narrow in on a particular country or locale and let that guide you and your research.

-Mod Kaye

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