Alain Jean-Mairet, the translator of my columns into French, writes from Switzerland:
Visitors to the Théâtre de Carouge in Geneva between Sept. 28 and Oct. 10 can see Opération Métastases by Dominique Ziegler, a play full of information on America's hidden hand. As the press release of the play and the interview given by Ziegler to Swiss national radio (read the transcript here) indicates, the CIA launched "massive killings in the name of … strategic interests" and probably is behind Islamist terrorism, both as means to "spread North America to the world." He informs us that the CIA is the "armed branch" of the US government whose job it is to "spread disinformation on a very large scale." Ziegler is, of course, free to spread this pablum. More troubling is that his play received the support of no less than the Department of Education of Geneva, the Migros Foundation (a well-known cultural private institution), and the University of Geneva.
When Jean-Mairet challenged the public funds for this purpose, the principal sponsor of the play, the State of Geneva, promised to return his calls, but failed to do so. Likewise, Migros (which gave money, sells tickets to the play, and provides "some publicity" for it) did not have anyone available for comment. Vincent Jaquemet of the university assured him that his institution "contributed a mere mailing list to inform students interested in the theater" and insisted on the "genuine artistic quality" of the play.
This episode brings to mind what the city of Geneva did a decade earlier, as recounted by Koenraad Elst in the Middle East Quarterly:
In 1994, the city government of Geneva organized the performance of all of Voltaire's theatre plays to celebrate the famous freethinker's 300th birthday. However, the Muslim community (not Islamists, but state-subsidized cultural foundations) objected to the staging by director Hugues Loichemol of Voltaire's play, first staged in 1742, Mahomet ou le fanatisme, an attack on religious intolerance based on the Muslim biography of Muhammad in which he orders the murder of his critics. The city government withdrew funding for the play and no one dared come forward in response to Loichemol's plea for private sponsorship, so the performance was cancelled.
As usual, the far-left and the Islamists work together hand-in-hand. (October 1, 2004)