Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Artists too frightened to tackle radical Islam

by Ben Hoyle from The Times (UK)

Across Europe there is growing evidence that freedom of expression has been curtailed by fear of religious fundamentalism. French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker is in hiding after calling the Koran a “book of extraordinary violence” in Le Figaro in 2006; Spanish villages near Valencia have abandoned a centuries-old tradition of burning effigies of Muhammad to mark the reconquest of Spain, against the Moors; and an opera house in Berlin banned a production of Mozart’s Idomeneo because it depicted the beheading of Muhammad (as well as Jesus and other spiritual leaders). In Britain, Tim Marlow, director of exhibitions at White Cube - the London gallery, said, "It’s something that’s there but very few people have explicitly admitted. Institutions, museums and galleries are probably doing most of the censorship. I would be lying if I said of course we would show something like the Danish cartoons. I think there are genuine reasons for concern."

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