You’d think Islamic extremists would welcome an opera featuring severed heads:
A leading German opera house has canceled performances of a Mozart opera because of security fears stirred by a scene that depicts the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad, prompting a storm of protest here about the renunciation of artistic freedom.
The Deutsche Oper in Berlin said it had pulled “Idomeneo” from its fall schedule after the police warned that the staging of the opera could pose an “incalculable risk” to the performers and the audience.
Political and cultural figures throughout Germany condemned the cancellation, which is without precedent here. Some said it recalled the decision of European newspapers not to print satirical cartoons about Muhammad, after their publication in Denmark generated a furor among Muslims …
Michael Naumann, a former German culture minister, said, “It’s a slap in the face of artistic freedom, by the artists themselves.”
Interestingly, the severed heads of Jesus, Buddha, and Poseidon also feature in the opera. No threats were anticipated from Christians, Buddhists, or Athenians. Related thoughts from James Lileks:
Since it’s difficult to predict what else will enflame the devout, Islam has to be treated with unusual deference, like a 3-year-old child with anger management problems.
But it’s not what we say that truly offends. It’s what we are. The West’s lack of interest in joining the Ummah is an affront in itself, and we broadcast our sins in High Infidelity. If you believed that the West’s apostasy was an affront to God, you’d spend your leisure hours torching straw popes, too …
In the meantime, we will learn to say less and less about more and more. As the grim cliche has it: If you say Islam isn’t always a religion of peace, the Islamicists will kill you. This doesn’t make them hypocrites, of course. The grave is a very peaceful place.
Speaking of which, let’s pause to remember Sister Leonella Sgorbati. Three people have now been arrested for her murder.
(Via Wayne B.)
UPDATE. Could people please stop referring to the Pope as “ham–fisted”? It’s unbelievably offensive, this concept of a mighty Pontiff crushing all before him with gigantic fists of ham, each wild blow unleashing a spray of pig juice over his prone and helpless enemies. So quit it, before you are subject to reprisals.
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