Wednesday, April 21, 2010

South Park, Islamist threats and Theo van Gogh

One thing I've noticed about the denizens of the arts world is how cowardly they are in relation to religious intimidation. They are more than willing to condemn and provoke Christians at every opportunity, but are very careful not to say anything critical of Islam.

They like to claim that's because Christianity is the more pervasive and oppressive religion. But clearly it's mainly because they know that Christians won't fight back. They might complain, but that's about it. And they are extremely unlikely to choose violent retribution.

If you dare to mock, condemn or criticize Islam, however, there's a real possibility you may suffer as a result! Several years ago, a Dutch doco-maker called Theo Van Gogh paid with his life for offending an Islamist. I can't recall any local, Aussie artists complaining about that. (There might have been a few lone voices, but overall the silence was deafening.)

Now, the creators of South Park have provoked the ire of Islamic revolutionaries. What the cartoonists did hardly sounded provocative. And compared to what they usually dish out it was very mild indeed.

Chillingly, the Islamists have referred to the death of Van Gogh in their online statement. It will be interesting to see how artists react. It would be heartening to see a shift in attitudes and they start to condemn the Islamists rather than the artists. But I doubt it. I suspect they will be obediently politically correct as usual - particularly if some sort of violent action does occur (which is a slim possibility).

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