Thailand Wants to Ban Tourists From Getting Buddha Tattoos

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Max Oppenheim / Getty

In the same way that Muslims don’t want the image of Muhammad to appear anywhere, Thai officials are looking to ban tourists from getting tattoos of Buddha.

Although it isn’t yet illegal in Thailand, a mostly Buddhist country, for tourists to ink the enlightened one on their bodies, Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat said in a statement that his office has received complaints from residents that the practice is growing rampant and is disrespectful and insensitive.

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The ministry has called on tattoo parlors across Thailand to stop drawing Buddha on people’s bodies because his image is sacred and has asked provincial governors to inspect parlors to assure that they are not defying the decree.

This initiative isn’t the first instance that a group of people are speaking out in the name of their sacred objects of worship. Muslims across the globe have cried foul when the image of Muhammad has been reproduced. Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten came under fire in 2005 when it printed drawings of Islam’s prophet. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have included Muhammad in their story line three times and were ordered not to air one in which his image appeared. And Danish artist Kurt Westergaard has been in hiding ever since 2006, when he drew a cartoon of Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.

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