Monday, July 31, 2006

A Closed Set

How depressing it is to see the arts community cave in yet again to pressure from those who would restrict what we would watch or read. Protests from local ‘activists’ in London’s East End have had the desired effect, and filming of the adaptation of Monica Ali’s much-praised satirical novel Brick Lane, about the Bangladeshi community, will not now take place there. The producers, Ruby Films and FilmFour, have ‘taken police advice’ and are using other locations.

There was what the BBC called ‘a noisy and passionate’ protest on Saturday, of predominately male Bangladeshis, who allege that the book, about a woman facing an arranged marriage, insults them.

In an albeit minor echo of what happened when Islamicist extremists demonstrated outside the Danish Embassy over the now infamous publication of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, police took to silencing one man, Dan Simon, who had attempted to remonstrate with the protesters.
Such incidents as these flare up and then disappear, but the underlying trend we’re left with – which is that broadcasters, writers, and the cultural establishment in general will increasingly self-censor - is insidious. If anyone doubts this, then it is perhaps worth considering that there are now no conceivable cultural or artistic circumstances in which we would see a depiction of Mohammed.

1 comment:

Morfiny_Books said...

Living in Indonesia, I can confirm that the Muslim environment is hostile to freedom of expression, even in this 'democratic' country.
Only a month ago, a woman named Lia was jailed for 5 years for starting a harmless, tiny cult, yet none of the mob of primitives who besieged her home/headquarters prior to her arrest was charged with any offence. Thugs of one religion can act with impunity.
Another minority group, Ahmadiyah, basically dissident Muslim, is hounded from its homes and places of worship regularly.
Two women in Indramayu Province were imprisoned for allowing Muslim kids to attend their school. though no 'conversion' was mentioned.
Christians are often bullied and harrassed from worshipping by Islamonazi groups like FPI.
Even singers like Inul, extremely popular, are subject to menaces from these evil bigots.
I've tried writing it into my novels here, but you need to see and hear it for yourselves.