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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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No more Mozart say Muslims

One of Germany's foremost opera houses has abruptly canceled a modern production of Mozart's ``Idomeneo" because of fears of a violent reaction to a scene showing the severed head of the Prophet Mohammed.

Breaking News Alerts The cancellation, at the urging of security officials, triggered a furious debate over freedom of expression. Muslim groups in Germany voiced satisfaction with the decision, while leading politicians and artists called it a cowardly surrender to religious extremists.

``This is crazy," Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told reporters yesterday during an official visit to Washington. ``This is unacceptable."

The cancellation comes three weeks after Pope Benedict XVI ignited anger across the Islamic world by quoting from a medieval text that branded certain teachings of Mohammed as ``evil and inhuman." The pontiff's remarks were made during a lecture at a university in his native Germany.

The controversial contemporary version of Mozart's 225-year-old classic, which was to have opened for its third season at Berlin's Deutsche Oper in November, includes a scene in which King Idomeneo, the protagonist, lurches around the stage near the severed heads of Mohammed, Jesus Christ, Buddha, and Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the sea.

The staging, a modern modification made by stage director Hans Neuenfels, has been interpreted to mean that God is dead and that humanity no longer need rely on divine guidance. Mozart's ``Idomeneo" was first presented in Germany in 1781, and featured only Poseidon. The addition of Mohammed, Jesus, and Buddha were made by the German stage director to emphasize the modernity of Mozart's message.

In the two previous seasons, some Christian and Muslim groups expressed anger at the production.

The decision to cancel was made late Monday. In August, German security officials had quietly warned the opera house that the production posed an ``incalculable" risk to patrons and performers, according to Kirsten Harms, director of Deutsche Oper.

There was no specific threat of attack from Islamic radical groups, German government officials said last night.

The advice given by security officials reflects the unease in Europe following massive rioting by Muslims in France last year; deadly protests across the Muslim world and in Islamic communities in Europe sparked by political cartoons depicting Mohammed; and a series of terrorist plots, thwarted by intelligence officials, involving Muslim radicals in Britain, Germany, and Denmark.

``This is a protective reaction, indicative of the times we live in," said an Interior Ministry official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists on the matter. ``Terror can hit a Berlin opera house as readily as a New York skyscraper. This is reality for the Western world."

Officials seemed to be contradicting one another, as antiterror investigators urged Deutsch Oper to stop the production while their political superiors, apparently caught off guard and outraged by the move, immediately condemned the cancellation of a work revered by many German opera fans

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 07:11 PM
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Are you trying to get us to feel sorry for the Muslims or side them? Get a life and get off the hate wagon Golf
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 07:41 PM
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Mozart should be banned. His works are blasphemous.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 07:44 PM
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Mozart should be banned. His works are blasphemous.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 07:53 PM
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Appropriately timed book review

The Perfect Surrender
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BY EFRAIM KARSH
September 25, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/40266

Less than a year after satirical depictions of the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper sparked a worldwide wave of violence, Muslims throughout the world are up in arms again. This time the rage is focused on the alleged defamation of the prophet by Pope Benedict XVI. His sin: citing an obscure passage from a late-14th-century debate between the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II and a Muslim scholar in which the emperor denounced the Islamic duty of jihad, for whose sake the Ottomans were then besieging Constantinople, as "evil and inhuman."

It mattered not that Benedict didn't endorse this indictment or that the quote was marginal to his lecture. The Muslim reaction was swift and violent. Inflamed crowds took to the streets in many countries to protest the supposed defamation. In Gaza and the West Bank a number of churches were attacked, fired at, or set on fire; in Somalia gunmen shot dead an elderly Italian nun, while in Kashmir mobs burnt an effigy of the pontiff. In Turkey, due to host in November Benedict's first visit to a Muslim country, the ruling party likened the pope to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades. Radical clerics have called, variously, for a "day of anger" or for worshipers to "hunt down" the pope and his followers, and an Iraqi militant group announced its intention to murder the pope.

That these acts of violence make a mockery of protestations of Islam's tolerant spirit has been totally lost on the pope's critics. And why shouldn't it? Not only did the Vatican issue a prompt apology in a desperate bid to defuse the unfolding crisis, but in the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a vast cohort of Western apologists has consistently painted a surrealistic picture of Islam's political agenda. Depicting jihad as an inner quest for personal self-improvement, rather than the "holy war" claimed by countless Muslim dynasties and leaders throughout history, they dismissed the worldwide wave of Islamic terrorism as an excessive reaction by misguided fringe groups to America's arrogant and self-serving foreign policy. "Muslims have never nurtured dreams of world conquest," wrote Karen Armstrong, a prominent representative of this view, shortly after September 11. "They had no designs on Europe, for example, even though Europeans imagined that they did. Once Muslim rule had been established in Spain, it was recognized that the empire could not expand indefinitely."

This assertion couldn't be further from the truth. Not only was the conquest of Spain, some 2,000 miles from the Arabian homeland, a straightforward act of imperial expansion, it hardly satisfied Islam's territorial ambitions. No sooner had the Muslims established themselves in that country than they invaded France in strength. Had they not been contained in 732 AD at the famous battle of Poitiers in west central France, they might well have swept deep into northern Europe.

Unperturbed by this historical record, Ms. Armstrong is making a fresh attempt to validate the "Islam equals peace" thesis. "Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time" (HarperCollins, 235 pages, $21.95), is a thinly veiled hagiography, depicting the prophet as a quintessential man of peace, "whose aim was peace and practical compassion" and who "literally sweated with the effort to bring peace to war-torn Arabia"; an altruistic social reformer of modest political ambitions, whose life was "a tireless campaign against greed, injustice, and arrogance" and who founded "a religion and cultural tradition that was not based on the sword but whose name — ‘Islam' — signified peace and reconciliation."

In truth, Islam's actual meaning is submission and not peace, or to use Ms. Armstrong's own words, "the perfect surrender (in Arabic the word for ‘surrender' is islam) that every human being should make to the divine." And it was to achieve this goal and subordinate the Arabian peninsula to his rule that Muhammad fought almost incessantly for the last 10 years of his life, having fled from his hometown of Mecca to Medina in 622 to become a political and military leader rather than a private preacher: not to bring peace to a war-torn country, let alone to eliminate "greed, injustice, and arrogance."

In contrast to Ms. Armstrong's depiction of jihad as a benign struggle for self-improvement, the Qur'anic revelations during Muhammad's Medina years abound with verses extolling the virtues of fighting "in the path of Allah," as do the countless sayings and traditions (hadith) attributed to the prophet. As he told his followers in his farewell address: "I was ordered to fight all men until they say ‘There is no god but Allah.'" Had it not been for his sudden death, Muhammad probably would have expanded his control well beyond the peninsula.

Ms. Armstrong goes out of her way to whitewash Muhammad's extermination of the Jewish presence in Medina, especially the beheading of the entire 600 to 800 male population of the Qurayzah tribe. "[T]he Qurayzah were not killed on religious or racial ground," she claims, adding that "Muhammad had no ideological quarrel with the Jewish people." This is of course a travesty of the truth. Muhammad might have had no ideological quarrel with "the Jewish people," but he was seething with anger at the Medina Jews, who had not only spurned his attempts to woo them into his incipient religion (for example, by adopting a number of religious Jewish practices and rituals) but had also become his fiercest critics. Reflecting this outrage, both the Qur'an and later biographical traditions of the prophet abound with negative depictions of Jews. In these works they are portrayed as a deceitful, evil, and treacherous people who in their insatiable urge for domination would readily betray an ally and swindle a non-Jew.

Ms. Armstrong glibly claims that "Later in the Islamic empires, Jews would enjoy full religious liberty and anti-Semitism would not become a Muslim vice until the Arab/Israeli conflict became acute in the mid-twentieth century." For one thing, such ahistorical analysis ignores the deep anti-Jewish bigotry dating to Islam's earliest days, which made it highly receptive to the worst precepts of Christian anti-Semitism, such as the "blood libel." For another thing, Armstrong overlooks Islam's pervasive mistreatment of its non-Muslim subjects, or Dhimmis as they are commonly known, who have been allowed to practice their religions in return for a distinctly inferior legal and institutional status, rife with social indignities and at times open persecution.

"If we are to avoid catastrophe, the Muslim and Western worlds must learn not merely to tolerate but to appreciate one another," Ms. Armstrong emphatically concludes her book. I couldn't agree more. Provided of course this is done in good faith and without rewriting the historical truth, let alone violently suppressing critical minds and dissenting voices.

Mr. Karsh is head of Mediterranean Studies at King's College, University of London, and author most recently of "Islamic Imperialism: A History," available from Yale University Press.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Are you trying to get us to feel sorry for the Muslims or side them? Get a life and get off the hate wagon Golf

Don't kill the messanger just because you are uncomfortable with the message, or in your case confused?

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 07:56 PM
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When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried. Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave.

Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate. When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, "Ah, yes, that's Mozart's Ninth Symphony, being played backwards."

He listened a while longer, and said, "There's the Eighth Symphony, and it's backwards, too. Most puzzling." So the magistrate kept listening; "There's the Seventh...the Sixth...the Fifth..." Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, "My fellow citizens, there's nothing to worry about. It's just Mozart decomposing."

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried. Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave.

Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate. When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, "Ah, yes, that's Mozart's Ninth Symphony, being played backwards."

He listened a while longer, and said, "There's the Eighth Symphony, and it's backwards, too. Most puzzling." So the magistrate kept listening; "There's the Seventh...the Sixth...the Fifth..." Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, "My fellow citizens, there's nothing to worry about. It's just Mozart decomposing."
Nice.....LOL

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 08:15 PM
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Amadeus Rocks.

It's their loss, IMO
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馬鹿は死ななきゃ治らない。

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 08:18 PM
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Amadeus Rocks.

It's their loss, IMO
tihs ym taE

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