I asked this question in World-Building but it seems better fit for Writing.
I ask for a few reasons. Despite the specific arguments against speculative fiction within Quranic tradition and protests by other Abrahamic traditions and Hindus against certain franchises, I've noted:
- Accounts of cultures, especially in the medieval period, undermining doctrine by relying on talismans or superstitions possibly at odds with theological tradition.
- Modern Muslims, Jews, Buddhists asking for and expecting representation in fantasy and sci-fi.
- The suggestion that creating a fictional religion based on a real religion isn't any better than leaving people out entirely, because it creates a superficial proxy to which the writer has no responsibility to portray accurately or fairly.
I've looked into how religious people who enjoy speculative fiction think about this, and I'm trying to find experts on the subject willing to answer my questions, but I'd like as many perspectives on this as possible.
In the past, firebirds, djinni, spirits, angels, demons, basilisks, witchcraft, dragons, etc were generally accepted to be actualities of the world often reinforced by religious belief, and even now, people tend toward a belief in the preternatural where spirits, angels/demons, practical magic, chakras, etc are concerned.
In western liberal society, even though adherents to religions like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism often voice opposition to how magic/fantasy elements and their faith are depicted in fiction (His Dark Materials comes to mind), it's generally not out of the question for Christian/Jewish characters to appear in speculative fiction. Conversely, in Islamic societies, genre fiction is often thought of as a force opposed to Quranic truth, and fiction featuring Hinduism is frequently ardently pro-Hinduism.
My understanding is that religious doctrine usually explicitly describes magic/witchcraft and spirits/demons as physical actualities within dogma, so it's blasphemous to depict those things as physical actualities outside of dogma. So is it possible to respectfully write a culture that believes in the divinity of Trimurti or the Abrahamic God according to Islam in a world where wizards can perform feats otherwise only achievable through God, or in which elves are physically superior to humans?
I want to stress the difference between coexistence and tolerance. Of course not even a fictional Muslim society would abide witchcraft within its borders; my question is more about whether it's antagonistic to religious belief to feature a sorcerer capable of staving off an army of devout Muslim warriors, or a dragon whose knowledge surpasses that of any Brahman, or a magically-inclined elf child as the sympathetic victim of Abrahamic witchhunters?