Violent homophobes stop theatre play

From the news today:

A classroom exercise that was to have featured the controversial play Body of Mohamed, which depicts the prophet of Islam as a gay man, was cancelled in Baghdad, Iraq, this weekend, following a flood of threats to the university.

I can already imagine the Pawlow’s dog style reactions from Western conservatives and “liberal” hawks to this: “Those f******* Muslims don’t understand Western values like free speech!” “Nuke Iraq; nuke Afghanistan; make Somalia a parking lot!” “Expel all immigrants from Muslim countries [even if they are Christian, atheist, or whatever]!” “Down with dhimmitude!” And, from Ayaan Hirsi Ali Magan [her real name]: “Muslims will never stop being homophobes. So, convert them to Christianity, so they will become sweet and nice to gay people like Christians.”

But … wait a moment. The Rightist Pawlow’s dogs have salivated and barked too soon. I made mistakes in quoting that news item.

The real item is; from CBC in Canada; about the USA:

Gay Jesus drama workshop scuttled by threats

Texas university cites ‘security concerns’ for cancellation

Last Updated: Monday, March 29, 2010 | 12:59 PM ET

A classroom exercise that was to have featured Terrence McNally‘s controversial play Corpus Christi, which depicts Jesus as a gay man, was cancelled in Stephenville, Texas, this weekend, following a flood of threats to the university.

Late Friday evening, Tarleton State University announced it was cancelling the student-directed productions — including an excerpt from Corpus Christi — which had been slated to be staged on Saturday.

The productions, part of a workshop assignment for an advanced theatre directing class, were not to have been open to the public or media.

The restricted audience was to have included only instructors, class members and invited family.

In a terse statement issued Friday night, officials at the school cited “safety and security concerns for the students as well as the need to maintain an orderly academic environment” as reasons for the cancellation.

The performances will not be rescheduled, according to the statement.

An assistant professor later told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the school had received a barrage of threatening telephone calls and more than 800 emails.

President defended staging

Earlier Friday, Tarleton University president F. Dominic Dottavio had posted an open letter saying that the school did not endorse the play and had not paid any costs associated with the student productions.

Though he admitted that he personally found the work “offensive, crude and irreverent,” Dottavio nevertheless defended student John Otte’s right to present the McNally work as part of his assignment.

“Like every citizen of the country, the student who chose to direct excerpts from the play enjoys his right to free speech,” Dottavio wrote.

“The play is a project for a class. It is not intended for the public any more than a student’s math assignment.”

News first emerged earlier this month that a student was planning to stage the controversial work at the university. Otte, 26, told campus journalism outlet Texan TV News that his choice of project was not meant to offend.

“I am both a Christian and gay,” Otte said in the interview. “This play deals with that subject matter, I believe, in a tasteful way.”

Award-winning playwright

Acclaimed playwright, screenwriter and librettist McNally, whose credits include Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, premiered Corpus Christi in 1997.

The play explores intolerance and gay teenagers in its retelling of the story of Jesus, which he modernized by depicting Christ and his disciples as gay men living in Texas in the 1960s.

The one-act work from the Corpus Christi-raised writer was contentious from its debut, with death threats initially forcing the Manhattan Theatre Club‘s board to cancel the production.

After a storm of protest from other noted playwrights, the board reconsidered its decision and staged the production, which drew hundreds of religious protesters. Subsequent productions of the play in the U.K. and Australia also drew strong criticism and protest from religious groups.

See also here. And here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Interview with the student at the center of the gay Jesus “Corpus Christi” – plus other news and interviews from Texas TV news.

“Hurray” for the oh so “peaceful” Christian Right in the USA. Not just killing people for being pro evolution instead of creationist; killing doctors for helping women; threatening to kill Muslims for being Muslims, threatening to kill the President of the USA for not being white. And now threatening to kill Christians for being gay.

By the way, it is very hard to imagine anything like this happening in Iraq now. Quite apart from the subjects of plays: about 90% of the artists living in Iraq during the Saddam Hussein regime have been killed or have fled from Iraq since Bush’s 2003 invasion. People don’t dare to go to plays, whatever the subject. Iraqi film makers have fled to Syria. In 2003, just before Bush’s invaion, there basically was dancing on stage for the last time in Baghdad.

Iraq is the most murderous country in the world for LGBT people now. Because of George W. Bush’s local allies; backed up by US armed forces presence.

5 thoughts on “Violent homophobes stop theatre play

  1. Pingback: Stop sending LGBT people to death in ‘new’ Iraq | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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