Wednesday, September 27, 2006
On Criticizing Islam
James Lileks doesn't mince words:
Clip and save, for this may come in handy: If you mock Islam with a drawing or a novel, you get riots and dead people. News of mishandled holy books yields riots and dead people. Insufficiently reverent short films by a Dutchman yields a dead person, specifically the Dutchman.Indeed.
Now we add this detail: Quoting medieval religious colloquies is a reasonable justification for burning churches, shooting a nun and holding up signs demanding that the pope convert to Islam or saw off his own head. [...]
This is a new twist: Now history itself cannot be discussed. 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.
Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun has a similar list:
But let’s now sum up our list of artistic must-nots, based on recent history. We must not:Remember this, boys and girls. There will be a test later... and the grades could be just deadly.
Other than that, we should be right. Or not, given how badly we tremble.
- draw or publish pictures of Mohammed, however respectful, for fear of causing deadly riots
- make films criticising Islam for fear of having our head nearly sawn off by a furious Islamist a la Theo van Gogh
- tell a joke against a Muslim for fear of having our act banned by the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s director
- preach to our Pentacostal congregation about the danger of Islam’s jihadist preaching for fear of being found guilty of vilifying Muslims and sentenced to run full-page advertisements to tell the world of our guilt
- quote the verdict on Islam of some 14th century Byzantine emperor for fear that a Catholic nun might be murdered, churches in Palestine torched and demands be issued for an apology or violent else
- perform Mozart’s Idomeneo (or, for that matter, his Aduction from the Seraglio, which is set in a harem and features a dumb Muslim guard) for fear that our theatre might be blown up