It was about time that those who make their living from free speech (unfortunately in this case not journalists…) stand up for freedom. For some reason the BBC chose to mention Passion for Freedom on their Arab channel, and not the English speaking channel. Is that because the BBC thinks that criticism of Islam is more problematic in the UK than in the Middle East…? Read a review of the PfF exhibition at the Spectator here.
From Dispatch International, read the whole article here: Artists are worried about Islam.
Forty artists from around the world have got together due to their fear that the West is in the process of abandoning freedom. Their exhibition Passion for Freedom in London asks the question: Will our attempt to institute multicultural harmony pave the way for a totalitarian society?
What is freedom? How easy is it to lose it? And how hard is it to get it back? …
The fact that it is held in the British capital for the fourth consecutive year is not a coincidence.
With the introduction of Sharia courts and a growing number of burqa-clad women on the street, freedom is no longer a matter of course in the country that gave us the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. Freedom is something that is increasingly called into question.
It is also not a coincidence that several of the organizers behind Passion For Freedom are of Polish / Russian origin. They have experience with more than liberal democracy. “We know the totalitarian by its smell,” says Marianna Fox, a 27-year-old designer with roots in Russia. … “We are concerned to see that so many people take freedom for granted. Too many doesn’t realize how fragile it really is, and we would like to draw attention to this.” She stresses that the exhibition focuses on all threats to freedom. Thus China, Cuba and other states where freedom is in difficulty are subject of artistic treatment. …
Islam poses a threat to freedom that it is impossible to overlook, says Marianna Fox. “Many of us who work with the exhibition know what it was like under communism. We were young when it collapsed, but we recognize the fear and censorship that stems from Islam today. “We cannot just stand idly by while politicians restrict our freedom of speech and introduce Sharia courts all over Britain. We have to say no. We have to insist on equality before the law and the right for everybody to express their opinions freely. Otherwise we have learned nothing from history, and we are likely to repeat it.” …
Violence against women — or to be specific, female genital mutilation — is also the theme that English-born artist Fiona Dent has taken up. Her painting “Madonna of Mutilation” depicts a woman with cut and sewn lips. In the accompanying description of the painting the artist asks whether the British politicians and authorities would wake up if every year 24,000 little girls had their lips cut off and their mouths sewn together. “The question is rhetorical; of course they would,” says Fiona Dent. But it is obviously a different story when it comes to the more subtle cutting of female genitals. … “In this country there has not been one a single lawsuit about this matter. It’s a terrible disgrace,” says Fiona Dent.
From the Passion for Freedom exhibition: