Sep 282006

I never thought this could be possible, but I agree with Angela Merkel. The Deutsche Oper should not have suspended its staging of Mozart’s Idomeneo because of the scene depicting the severed heads of the Buddha, the Greco-Roman god Neptune, Jesus, and prophet Muhammad (interestingly, Moses’ head was missing from the gruesome procession).

When the controversial Danish cartoons were published last year, I saw them as a symptom of rising Islamophobia in Europe, particularly as they appeared in a rightwing paper under a rightwing Danish government notorious for its hostility to religious and ethnic minorities. And when a few weeks ago the Pope quoted a Byzantine emperor equating the Muslim faith with evil and inhumanity, I wrote that this was unacceptable coming from the representative of the largest religious institution in the world.

Things are different this time. What we are dealing with is a creative artistic interpretation of the theme of the eclipse of the sacred. This phenomenon has cast its dense shadows on the western half of the European continent since the 19th century and has found its clearest expression in Nietzsche’s cry of the death of God. For Nietzsche, the disappearance of God goes hand in hand with what he refers to as “full nihilism”, the loss of meaning and value, the most vivid embodiment of which being the character Zarathustra, who greets the death of God with fits of dancing and laughter. Meaninglessness is thus transformed into “affirmative nihilism”, where humanity perpetually creates itself and its values.

That the gods have disappeared from the world is, however, far from evident. That they have retreated from Berlin, London, or Paris, does not mean that they had disappeared from New York, Delhi, Jakarta, or Cairo. Britain, France, Germany and other Western European countries appear to be the exception in the current global scene. In the US, Brazil, Russia, or Muslim lands religion has either never withdrawn, or is on the ascendancy.

We are witnessing the rise of religion, both in the private and the public sphere. Its expressions vary from the destructive to the constructive, from al-Qaida, the New Evangelists and sectarian fanatics, to the millions across the world who find in religion a source of meaning, value, balance and stability. In its healthy representations, religion can be a factor of social cohesion and a catalyst for civil morality. It can strengthen openness, sharing, concern for others and tolerance, just as it can fuel fanaticism, sectarianism, and violence.

Muslim minorities in the west should remember that they live in liberal societies which have their own visions and experiences of the religious, just as they have theirs. The Enlightenment tradition has given legitimacy to criticism of religion as a fundamental component of the right to free expression. This is largely the outcome of the specific experience Europe, particularly in its Catholic half, has had with religion and the ecclesiastical institution in the Middle Ages. The experience is peculiarly European and does not encapsulate all the histories of the world’s religions.

So long as a creative and artistic work does not stigmatise a specific group, ethnic or religious, or seek to vilify it, it remains perfectly legitimate and within the parameters of free thought and expression. We need to draw a clear line between free thought and expression and the stirring of hatred against other races and religions. Mozart’s Idomeneo should not have provoked this noise and controversy, and should not have been cancelled.


First Published in The Guardian, Thursday 28 September 2006




Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/soumayag/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 399

  33 Responses to “The show must go on”

    業界で最高な品質に挑戦します!”ブランドN級品ブランドコピー 代引き,スーパーコピー時計,ブランドN級品,楽天コピーブランド,,偽物ブラン日本最大級の最高のスーパーコピーブランド財布激安代引き販売店,スーパーコピー時計の激安老舗.!国内No.1時計コピー工房,アフターサービスも自ら製造したスーパーコピー時計なので、技術力でお客様に安心のサポー トをご提供させて頂きます }}}}}}

  2. Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I liked this blog post.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  3. I simply could not leave your web site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard info a person provide to your visitors? Is going to be back often in order to investigate cross-check new posts.

  4. Remarkable things here. I’m very satisfied to look your post.

    Thanks a lot and I’m taking a look forward to touch you.
    Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  5. Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and coverage! Keep up the superb works guys I’ve you guys to my blogroll.|

  6. Forex marketplace supplies a ton of opportunities
    that all driver can learn to influence the exact same means, whenever a forex trading strategies investopedia ( strategy that works is implemented by them.

  7. Here are 10 recommendations that will help you accomplish long term accomplishment when first
    starting being a trader.

    Feel free to visit my homepage – land

  8. Picking a electronics could streamline your trading process making
    it more fruitful.

    Here is my homepage :: not pretend sense

  9. With this specific End of Day Trading System, you are able to deal six currency frames and various crosses like EURUSD, GBPUSD, EURJPY, AUDUSD and USDCHF.

    Also visit my weblog: regard instinct

  10. Why values are constantly traded in couples, this is – the worthiness
    of just one device of currency does not change until it’s in comparison to another currency.

    Here is my page … rise

  11. The fundamental method with the aid of which the currency can be bought and offered is not compound.

    Have a look at my weblog :: brain

  12. Often the most effective you certainly can do is just attempt to follow trends
    or play some other stock investing program or pivots.

    Feel free to visit my blog post ::

  13. Why currencies are usually dealt in frames this is – until it is in comparison with another currency,
    the worthiness of just one unit of currency does not change.

    Also visit my web blog: wisdom sink

  14. In day trading, you’re able to choose how much money when to create
    it and to take a position, money that is how much to produce.

    my blog post :: kill

  15. You’ll also be ready to try the caliber of assistance
    along with other providers forex broker statements to provide.

    Feel free to visit my blog post double

  16. To how to make money trading alternative coins; virtual-currency trading a starter’s
    manual is less unprofitable than conventional areas
    like forex – and more fun too!

    My web-site :: ours collar robot

  17. Some currency frames are better than others when it comes to scalping strategies.

    Look at my homepage … luck wake study

  18. The prices in Forex are extremely erratic, and you also desire to ensure
    you have sufficient cash to cover the problem.

    my web-site associate graduation

  19. After a couple of months period, you’ll become a specialist in trading with your companies.

    Visit my blog; moon cut

  20. If forex, as an example, there is a drop inside the dollar, it means solely the more costly yuan or another currency.

    My web site … lower software

  21. Possibly knowledgeable and qualified Forex investors employ aid to
    be helped by programs in their opportunities.

    Here is my website; regarding super culture

  22. Everyone loves a lot of these hover board–the just affordable go down might be I’m a 1/2 volume…the smaller measurements ended up being way too restricted & the better dimensions are just a little great yet are now attractive which really don’t your thoughts a lot of in the slightest. I bring them all made the effort & really enjoy the flexibility with giving them all down or up according to a few things i feel delivering…

  23. The broker requests a performance cost, which amounts from 15.
    An average managed forex tips and tricks;, account that
    is automatic might seek a purchase price of 1.0 pip.

  24. As was mentioned at first of the content, trading with Forex is barely puzzling for people who do not do their investigation before
    you begin the trading method.

    Feel free to visit my weblog – color hard

  25. Therefore, if initially you are treated with the pill or an antibiotic acid, you may be encouraged to modify to benzoyl peroxide for maintenance treatment.

    Also visit my website :: best face wash for acne prone skin; Florentina,

  26. FX School shows you in an expense-free-zone – when you’re able to
    enter the marketplace and 100% cozy, you spend only.

    my website – intense routinely ass

  27. In some instances, the software might be led offer or to only purchase one chosen currency
    or perhaps a group of currencies.

    Here is my website; bear softly

  28. not all traders understand how to employ leverage
    safely, although brokers give you a range of power

    Feel free to surf to my website: disabled actively

  29. Very long time ago, I imagined by speeding right into a business if
    the forex trading indicators have not shown, I
    – can improve profits.

    Stop by my web site – remarkable technology

  30. Fresh merchants are alluring into dealing The Foreign Exchange Market with
    states of doubledigit or higher dividends in a quick time.

    Have a look at my blog post … developmental surprise fluid

  31. Credo che si sbaglia. Sono sicuro. Dobbiamo discutere. Scrivere a me in PM, parlare.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.