While the director of the National Theater revels in offending Christians, he is ultra careful not to offend Muslims. What’s worse, he offends Christians by introducing extra-scriptural material (such as Jesus being “a bit gay”), which is offensive for the simple reason that it is not warranted and misrepresentative of Christianity; that is, it has no scriptural backing. With Islam, however, if anyone ever had the guts to make a movie or play about any early Islamic figure, and no matter how much they adhere to the authoritative sources (Koran, hadith, sira) — indeed, precisely because they closely follow the sources — such a production would undoubtedly be very “offensive,” to Muslims and non-Muslims alike (though for very different reasons). “Hytner ‘is afraid of offending Muslims,'” by Tim Walker for the Telegraph, July 30:
Nicholas Hytner, the fashionable director of the National Theatre, has been happy to offend Christians by staging shows such as Jerry Springer: The Opera, in which Christ was portrayed wearing a nappy and saying he was “a bit gay”.
However, according to Simon Gray, the leading playwright, Hytner is wary of putting on anything which could upset Muslims.
“If there’s going to be a play about ‘inside radical Islam’, it’ll be a profoundly sympathetic, inquiring play, I’m sure,” says the writer of such acclaimed works as Otherwise Engaged.
“I can’t imagine a play that’s violently opposed to Islam “¦ you can’t be publicly “¦ and certainly not at the National Theatre.” Graydescribes Hytner’s “fearlessness in attacking Christianity” as “a very easy sort of liberalism that allows [only] yourself, so to speak, to be beaten up”.
“It seems to me that you should say that the reason we didn’t bring that play was because we didn’t want to be bombed,” he says in Standpoint magazine. “I don’t think you should be proud of putting on Jerry Springer.”