Sent: 20/12/2004 22:40
Birmingham Theatre Scraps Sikh Play
The directors of a play depicting sexual abuse and murder in a Sikh temple have scrapped the production due to fears that protests against it would escalate.
Our right to free speech was further eroded today by an intolerant minority and a too tolerant majority. That the Sikh community should take advantage of their democratic right to condemn a play they deem as offensive and blasphemous but then choose to use undemocrat means to get the play closed down, namely the threat of and use of violence, is despicable. They want the right to make their views felt but do not want the author ( a Sikh woman) to have the same right. Such is the hypocracy surrounding this case, the author has even been threatened with kidknapping and murder. So much for democracy then!
That we allow religious and other minorities to come here and dictate what plays we can or cannot stage in this, the oldest of all democracies, is testament to the spineless, knee bending, focus group driven, shortsighted, misguided, politically inept leadership we now have in this country. A populist government is always a dangerous government and a shallow government. Allowing minority groups to dictate the agenda in this way will lead to more, not less, racial tension in this country and play into the hands of parties like the BNP!
That these Sikhs cannot see that the events depicted in this play have nothing to do with blasphemy but merely reflect the sinful behaviour of humans, shows just how narrow minded is their thinking. It is not God who is being accused of misbehaving. That might be construed as blasphemy. In this case, as I understand it, it is the humans that are erring not God. The sin is theirs, not God's. So what is the fuss about? Surely no one is claimimg that Sikhs are without sin, are they?
Imagine what would happen if christian believers burned every book, play or newspaper that either depicted or carried a story of a priest committing a lewd or sinful act in a church or destroyed every cimema that had ever shown a controversial film about Jesus. What kind of a democracy would that be?
We don't do this sort of thing because no matter how strongly we may disagree with the views expressed or detest the nature of the material, we still respect the right of those who hold such views to express them. That is the bedrock of our democracy. If you don't like the play, book or film don't fork out the money!
We believe in freedom of choice and freedom of speech. These people say they do but resort to violence when someone says something they dislike! In my opinion these people should go live in dictator land where they can force everyone to agree with them, if that is what they want.
I prefer to stay here and agree to disagree with those who do not share my opinions or visa versa. As long as they do not try to force me to agree with them, I will not force them to agree with me.
It does not mean that we cannot share a pint and talk about something else on which we can agree, like what a great football club Tottenham Hotspur are for example! Alright, alright! I am only kidding.......................come on you Spurs!!!!!!!!!