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Mozart opera cancelled due to fear of Muslim reprisals

Reader comment on item: Intimidating the West, from Rushdie to Benedict

Submitted by James Vesce (United States), Sep 27, 2006 at 11:15

from the AP, and as reported by CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and Neue Presse, on 9-27-06: Kirsten Harms, Director of Berlin's Deutsche Oper, announced that she had decided to cancel Mozart's "Idomeneo", as produced by Hans Neunfels since 2003. Neunfels' production depicts King Idomeneo presenting the severed heads of Poseidon, Mohammed, Jesus, and Buddha, and this presentation of severed heads was Neuenfels addition to Mozart's opera.

Director Kirsten Harms announced her decision after German state security officials warned her that the scene with Mohammed's severed head could provoke dangerous reactions in the current politically-charged climate. She described her decision as , "weighing artistic freedom and freedom of a theater ... against the question of security for people's lives."

Hans Neunfels has insisted that his staging not be altered, saying that the scene where the king presents the severed heads represents his protest against "any form of organized religion or its founders." "I stand behind my production and will not change it," Neuenfels told the Berliner Morgenpost in its Tuesday (9-26-06) edition. He told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel, "Where will we end if, in the future, we allow ourselves, in foresighted obedience, to be artistically blackmailed?"

Some politicians have called the decision to cancel the production "a fatal signal" of caving in to extremism. Some have called on Muslims to accept the role of provocation in art.

The leader of Germany's Islamic Council welcomed the move, saying the depiction of Mohammed with a severed head "could certainly offend Muslims". But in an interview with German radio, Ali Kizilkaya added, "Nevertheless, of course, I think it's horrible one has to be afraid. That is not the right way to open dialogue.'" Germany's Islamic Council has taken a softer approach to non-Muslim Germany than CAIR has taken in their approach to non-Muslim America, recognizing that Germany has a greater potential to deal with provocative Islamists harshly than the US does, apparently finding the holocaust to have more historical authenticity than Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will acknowledge.

"We must be careful that we do not flinch out of fear of radicals who are prepared to use violence," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in the Hanover-based newspaper Neue Presse. "Self-censorship for reasons of fear is not acceptable. It should only be allowed when it is done responsibly within a genuine and completely violence-free dialogue of cultures," she said.

Kay Kuntze, director of the Berlin Chamber Opera, said, "If we give up the central point of our culture — the freedom of art — we end up giving up our entire culture."

This writer would tell Kay Kuntze, "That's the point, Kay. That's what they want. That's how the cultural jihad works."

We always expect appeasement from the French, but now we're seeing striking and unexpected appeasement from Germany. One has to wonder if Germanic pride has blinded Germans to the fact that they're being bent over a barrel and abused, again and again, by Islamists. One has to wonder if Germany has been so distracted by their competition with the Anglo-european world that they've been unable to recognize that the Muslims, whom they've regarded as compliant subordinates for the last century, have now achieved an upper hand in their relationship with Germany.

Let's see if the German press turns against Angela Merkel like the American press has turned against George Bush, and like the British press has turned against Tony Blair.

Whose operas will Germany surrender to "Islamic correctness" next? Wagner's?


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