A website called IslamicPoetry.org is currently holding a contest for poems praising the religious prophet Mohammad.
Organizer Shaykh Abdur-Rhaman ibn Yusef an Islamic leader in Santa Barbara, California admits he created the contest to counteract the controversial Danish cartoon released a few months ago.
Islam forbids the representation of graven images and Yusef admits that means most of the religious art is abstract. However, he wants the contest to show how Islams emphasis on words instead of pictures has inspired a rich poetry scene in Muslim countries.
Limericks and haikus are welcome as long as they are clean and sing Mohammads praises.
Poems are being accepted until August 31 and the contest is open to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
However, the prizes vary depending on religious affiliation. If the winning poet is Muslim, they win a trip to Mecca, but non- Muslims will just be given $800 in prizes.
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