The picture attached to this NYT article made me wonder:
Photography, as artificial representations of humans, must be a contentious issue in Islam, right? Or is it as black and white as the Amish stance? I am unfortunately ignorant on this and wikipedia isn't loading for whatever reason...so I don't know what is true!
Then I thought about the other day, when I went into a Russian Orthodox Church. There were people all around, and some looking at me, and I crossed myself in the Russian Orthodox way (right shoulder first), even though I was raised Catholic (left shoulder first) and...well. Was that sign-mimicry disrespectful to my own identity or to the community of believers I was approaching when I entered the building?
I don't think so. It was, rather, a non-verbal communication act that "I understand this is appropriate to do in this situation." How can we toe that line, between appropriateness and cultural plagiarism? If I don't believe that my camera is stealing your soul and you don't see me taking your photo, am I allowed to take it, or will you still think your soul is stolen? Conversely, if I think that people are giving up their souls when they pose for photos...well. I don't even know how to end that sentence.
3 months ago