No Retreat, No Surrend
German authorities closed an art exhibition organized by a Danish artists group named Surrend after "after threats believed to be from Muslims " unless they removed a poster depicting the Kaaba. "The director of the art gallery in Berlin said there had been threats of violence if the poster was not removed, so they had decided to shut for a while."
A poster on display showed the Kaaba - the black granite cube-shaped building in Mecca. The words "stupid stone" in German were superimposed on it. It is toward the Kaaba that Muslims must pray. ...
The art group Surrend says its mission is to make fun of the world's powerful men and crazy ideological conflicts, using stickers, posters and advertisements.
In 2006 Surrend took out an advertisement in an Iranian daily with a picture of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressing support for his fight against US President George Bush. It looked harmless, but the text was carefully arranged so that the letters at the start of every line spelled out the word "swine" when read vertically.
The imminent release of a film by Geert Wilders sending up the Koran has so terrified Dutch authorities that the Prime Minister has urged him not to release it. Both the Wilders and Surrend incidents are examples of a guerilla culture war between a radical Islam and secular activists in Europe fueled by the very system of political correctness that was supposed to prevent it in the first place. Surrend and Wilders have discovered that it is not necessary to threaten violence to get political attention. It is only necessary to raise a certain subject -- and that subject will supply the rest. Political correctness itself has empowered the guerilla culture war.
Surrend can now shut down an art gallery and and a Prime Minister will plead with a backbencher to prevent them from doing the most trivial things: displaying a poster or releasing a film about a book. Things you could do on a Saturday afternoon in former times without remarking on it yourself. It would be as if the President of the United States appeared at your front door one morning with the entire National Security Council in tow begging you not to mow your lawn.
A recently arrived observer from another Galaxy could be excused for thinking he was witnessing a comedy skit which never quite gets to the point. If told that publishing or reprinting a cartoon, showing a black cubic object or releasing an amateur film risked international peace in the 21st century, the alien might demand an explanation. The Catch-22 is that explaining the situation is also a provocation in itself.
The danger Wilders is being warned against theoretically doesn't exist. How could it? All faith traditions, with the possible exception of Evangelical Christians, 'filthy' Jews and the Scientologists -- certainly the Scientologists -- are religions of peace . Recent riots have been the work of disaffected 'youths', presumably comprised of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and local glee clubs in equal proportions. There's no danger; no danger at all. For so long as we all keep quiet. And keep quiet about why we are keeping quiet.
But the enforcers of political correctness have failed to grasp is that things have already gone too far. It's no longer about dialogue, it's about a deadly ideological conflict. Yet when momentous issues pivot around hanging up a poster or releasing a home movie it's probably a sign that we are both in deep trouble and deep denial.
Wilders is no longer engaged in 'dialogue'. He's engaged in guerrila theater; gone outside of parliament to snipe from behind the cover of the very things his unnamed opponents shelter behind. It's not the art gallery that is temporarily shutting down but the cognitive processes of the politically correct mind. They're in an endless loop with no hope of escape until someone hits the reset button.
What the Dutch Government fears
Dutch News reveals details of the threats facing the Netherlands unless Wilders stops releasing his movie on the Koran.
The premier summed up examples of "critical signals" he received. "At a festival, a Dutch product was refused; the Taliban announced action towards Dutch soldiers; and stewardesses are afraid to fly to certain destinations. These are only the examples of one day. This is the reality we are in. (...) Mr. Wilders cannot ignore the sentiments that are already being expressed." (...) Economic sanctions, attacks, threats, great consequences. The one carrying the responsibility for that, is the one who is currently providing grounds for that."
And the men making the threats? But I digress.
CDA parliamentary leader Pieter van Geel also made a plea to Wilders, who is leader of the 'anti-Islamisation' Party for Freedom (PVV), to drop the film due to "the seriousness of the possible consequences".
The race to assume the onus for being offensive has already begun. Acts by Dutch citizens in the Netherlands are now subject to the veto of ... even that must remain unmentionable.