Geert Wilders and Lars Vilks the exceptions that prove the rule: if you want to offend Muslims, Danes are the go-to guys for the job.
Take the latest example, as given in the report below. The canceled exhibition is in Berlin, but don’t be fooled: an avant-garde Danish group was behind this escapade.
According to Reuters:
Berlin gallery shuts after Muslim threats
A Berlin gallery has temporarily closed an exhibition of satirical works by a group of Danish artists after six Muslim youths threatened violence unless one of the posters depicting the Kaaba shrine in Mecca was removed, it said on Thursday.
The Galerie Nord in central Berlin said it had closed its “Zionist Occupied Government” show of works by Surrend, a group of artists who say they poke fun at powerful people and ideological conflicts.
On Tuesday, four days after the exhibition opened, a group of angry Muslims stormed into the gallery, shouting demands that one of the 21 posters should be removed, said the gallery.
“They were very aggressive and shouted at an employee that the poster should be taken down otherwise they would throw stones and use violence,” the gallery’s artistic director Ralf Hartmann told Reuters.
The Muslims objected to a depiction of the Kaaba — the ancient shrine in Mecca’s Grand Mosque which Muslims face to say their prayers — which gave a “bitingly satirical commentary against radicalism,” said the gallery in a statement.
It wasn’t just a “depiction” of the Kaaba.
Steen did the photographic research — he says photos of the exhibition are very hard to find — and, as you can see, the photo of the big black box is labeled Dummer Stein, which can be translated “Stupid Stone” or “Dumb Rock”, depending on your taste for English idiom.
The article continues:
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Hartmann said the gallery was working with German authorities to improve security and he hoped to re-open the show as soon as possible.
“It would be unacceptable if individual social groups were in a position to exercise censorship over art and the freedom of expression,” said the gallery in a statement.
The show also contained pictures which ridiculed neo-Nazis who believe Jews dominate global politics and industry as well as the state of Israel and radical Jews.
Surrend members are mainly street artists and use stickers, advertisements, posters and Web sites to express irony.
In 2006, a Berlin opera house caused a storm in Germany when it cancelled a production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” which showed the Prophet Mohammad’s severed head, citing security fears.
And this month, Danish newspapers reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad which caused outrage in Islamic countries and sparked violent protests across the globe two years ago.
They republished the drawings after police arrested three men on suspicion of plotting to kill a cartoonist who drew one of the images.
The mau-mauing of the West by Islam continues apace. We are rapidly reaching a point where no cultural event can take place unless it is Islamically approved.
This weakened condition will require the passage of no laws. No official censorship is needed, nor any governmental boards of approval.
All it takes is fear, plus weak and vacillating administrators within our institutions.
The only requirement is that we be collectively unwilling to stand up to bullies.
If we are going to cave in to the threat of violence in every instance, then we are effectively inviting Islam to take over our game.
Their ball, their pitch, their rules.
And then we lose.