Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Adam and Ewald

Iranian-born photographer Soorah Hera had two pieces pulled from a planned Spring show in a Dutch museum. The curator denies he pulled the work out of fear. The artist is in hiding. Artnet has the story.

I don't know what the first piece is. In the second, the men are wearing masks of Mohammed and his son-in-law Ali. Trigger death threats.

I never believed that al Qa'eda was a serious threat to democracy, or modern values. Suicide bombers threaten our security, our families, our lives, but not our freedoms. Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney have done more damage to our democracy than any Islamic fascist could ever hope to.

These, to me, are the real dangers from Islamic fascism - anonymous calls in the night, shadowy threats against anyone who violates a medieval and outdated code, a climate of fear that stifles dialogue and forces artists into a corner where art is safe, pretty, and non-threatening.

Bush can drop chemical bombs on all the Fallujah's in the Middle East, and it won't address any of this. It's not a conflict between us and them, and there is no clash of civilizations. Those who see this as just the latest inevitable collision between the West and Islam are ignorant of history.

The more I read, the more I realize that the history I grew up with - Egypt led to Greece led to Rome led to Europe, and over on the other side there was something to do with Mesopotamia and Babylon and Persia & occasionally we fight with them - was wrong. There was no linear progression, and the center of culture and learning passed numerous times between the Greek Islands and Cairo and Baghdad and Rome and Byzantium. There is no us and them - we have the same history.

If I see any on-going conflict here it's one between the Enlightenment and the Dark Ages.

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