The reason? The director of the production stages a scene in which the decapitated heads of all the major religious figures are placed on chairs, including but not limited to Mohammed. Deutsche Oper director Kirsten Harms didn’t want a repeat of the protests that occurred after a Danish newspaper published editorial cartoons depicting Mohammed. So the production was canceled.
Cries of "censorship" followed, with some critics accusing Harms of Kniefall vor Terroristen — "kneeling to terrorists". Even the German chancellor has weighed in.
It reminds me of something a friend of mine said. We were both working at a record store, and he said, "I never wanted to be the kind of guy who says, 'Those damn kids today …' But, they make it so easy."
And so it is with Muslims. I wish not to be someone who paints believers of a religion with one big brush, but it’s kind of tough when the brush is practically placed in your hands.
The religious right in America is no better. In fact, they’re rather on the level with Muslim extremists. I keep hearing things about moderate Muslims, kind of like moderate Christians, but I think they’re just urban legends.
Not that "kneeling before terrorists" should be credited either. The scene as described sounds like the work of some auteur director wanking all over the repertoire, and it sounds like it sucks. Harms, in fact, requested the scene to be cut, and the director refused.
It should be canceled because it’s a bad production, not because a bunch of bullies are going to get upset. I despise monotheistic belief systems. They make arrogant sons of bitches out of its practitioners.
I don’t live in Berlin, and I probably wouldn’t have had the inclination to attend the performance anyway. I think Berliners should have been given the choice not to attend regardless.