Precinct 333

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Anyone Disturbed By This Besides Me?

This news in from England.

LONDON - A theater on Monday abandoned further performances of a play that caused a riot by Sikhs who said it demeaned their religion. Executive director Stuart Rogers said the Birmingham Repertory Theatre had been left with no alternative but to end its run of "Behzti," a play by Sikh playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti that depicts sexual abuse and murder in a Sikh temple.

"It is now clear that we cannot guarantee the safety of our audiences," he told reporters at the theater in Birmingham, central England. "Very reluctantly, therefore, we have decided to end the current run of the play purely on safety grounds.

Three men were arrested Saturday when 400 Sikhs stormed the theater, forcing staff to cancel the Saturday evening performance. Theater staff said protesters caused thousands of pounds (dollars, euros) in damages.

Rogers said the decision to abandon the play had been taken after discussions with West Midlands Police and leaders of the Sikh community Monday.

"Sadly, community leaders have been unable to guarantee to us that there will be no repeat of the illegal and violent activities that we witnessed on Saturday," he said.

Now hold on. We Christians are attacked in art and literature all the time. We are expected to put up with it. Nobody cancels plays, cancels gallery exhibits, or alters their behavior because we are angry about insults to our faith. And if local Christian religious leaders said they couldn't guarantee their followers wouldn't attack a theater over a blasphemous play (like Corpus Christi), cops in riot gear would be out front and probably martyred believers dead in the streets.

So, why do the followers of non-Christian religions get better, preferential treatment?


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