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20 December 2004


A theatre in Birmingham, has cancelled a play about abuse and rape in a Sikh temple after a Sikh protest against the play turned violent.

The Sikh wanted the play adjusted so that it would no longer be set in a Sikh temple. The theatre refused to ask the playwright to change the play as it would mean reducing freedom of speech. So after negotiating for a few days, the theatre decided to cancel the play altogether to 'ensure the safety of our visitors'.

I am outraged and disgusted. Since when does a small group of religious zealots get to stop art from happening? The play was performed and written by Sikh so obviously the protest did not reflect the opinion of the entire Sikh community. In fact, the Sikh had already achieved that the theatre would read out a statement at the start of the play that the play did not reflect the Sikh community as a whole and that certain Sikh disagreed with the contents. How much further should they have gone? Hell, I think that is already a concession too far!! Let's ban Hamlet because it offends the Danes!!

People from religious minorities are so easily offended these days. I guess that is the result of 'emancipation'. We teach them that a true democracy means freedom of speech and freedom to express their religion, something they might not be used to in the country where they come from. So should we be angry when they decide to actually express their (new found?) freedom?

If you don't like something, don't watch it. The Sikh in this case claim it is deliberately offensive to Sikh as the play suggests sex and abuse in a holy temple. Well sorry, but I am sure this happens in real life. Just like it happens in churches and mosques.

Another argument against the play was that, because Sikh and other small religions get so little attention in art & media, people might think the play was an accurate reflection of their community. After all, Christianity and Islam gets so much attention that people know more about it and are able to say: "It is only art, they are not all like that."

What kind of shit argument is that?

Political correctness is a curse on society. It seems that the place where Muslims have 'integrated' most successfully in Europe is actually Austria. The country has some laws that can be considered racist or restrictive to freedom of religion, but fact is that Muslims in Austria themselves claim they are an example to their 'brothers' in Europe.


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