Skip to comments.Woman Artist Gets Death Threats Over Gay Muslim Photos (Homosexuals Wearing Muhammad Masks)
Posted on 01/06/2008 8:47:14 AM PST by DogByte6RER
Woman artist gets death threats over gay Muslim photos
THE Dutch were debating the limits of freedom of expression last week after an artist who photographed gay men wearing masks of the prophet Muhammad was forced into hiding and her work removed from a museum exhibit.
Speaking on the telephone from an unspecified location in the Netherlands last week, the artist, an Iranian exile who goes by the pseudonym of Sooreh Hera, said she had been threatened with execution. She accused the director of the municipal museum in The Hague of cowardice for caving in to Muslim extremists.
Her story is a reminder of the tensions that have put the Netherlands and other European countries on the front line, sending dozens of people threatened by extremists into hiding since 2004, when a Dutch film-maker was murdered on the street and his collaborator driven into exile.
This leaves Hera, 34, in no doubt that she is in real danger. They said to me, Were going to burn you naked or put a bullet in your mouth, she said, referring to menacing e-mails.
They say, Now you are locked in your home and you cannot go out any more.
She said that by photographing gay Iranian exiles in masks of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and Ali, his son-in-law, she had wanted to expose a hypocritical attitude towards homosexuality in countries such as Iran, where men can be hanged for homosexual conduct.
They condemn homosexuality but in countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia it is common for married men to maintain relations with other men, said Hera. Works of art can be provocative. It is not an artists job just to paint flowers. Art should shine a light on social issues.
The photographs were part of an extensive collection of images by Hera of mostly Dutch gay men. Another part of her exhibit was a video featuring hard rock music and images of Iranian clerics interspersed with pictures of naked men.
Wim van Krimpen, director of the museum, initially praised Heras collection of photographs as exceptional. Last month, however, he announced that the masked men could not be included in the forthcoming exhibition because certain people in our society might perceive it as offensive.
This was no understatement. When a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Muhammad in 2005 it unleashed what the prime minister referred to as the countrys biggest international crisis since the second world war as Muslims staged violent protests.
The museum director was very afraid, said Hera. He gave in to pressure from the Islamists. It is censorship. In protest, she withdrew the rest of her photographs from the exhibition and Ranti Tjan, director of a museum in Gouda, agreed to put them on show. He received threats from extremists and was under police protection last week. Hera declined to discuss her own security arrangements.
She said she would like to attend the opening of the show in Gouda if it went ahead, but that it might be too dangerous. There are times when I am very afraid, she admitted, times when I feel like a prisoner.
The affair has highlighted deep divisions among Europeans over how to deal with the Islamic extrem-ism since the murder of Theo van Gogh over a film that criticised Islams treatment of women.
A note attached to his body with a knife threatened other people, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born former Dutch politician and his collaborator. She fled to America, accusing the Dutch of appeasement of extremists. She has since returned to the Netherlands and is said to be working on a film about the repression of gays in Islamic societies.
She may not get much support from the politicians, who seem determined to avoid confrontation even if some might accuse them of turning a blind eye to the erosion of artistic freedom. When Hera wrote to Ronald Plasterk, the culture minister, asking for his support he agreed to meet her but would not help to reinstate her photographs in the exhibition.
Wouter Bos, the deputy prime minister, seemed to take a stand for freedom of speech, saying: In a democracy, we do not recognise the right not to be insulted. The left wing de Volkskrant newspaper, by contrast, praised the museum for its great professionalism in excising the images.
For her part, Hera, who fled Iran seven years ago, says she has no regrets, particularly when she thinks about the young men and women being hanged there for offending the countrys code of sexuality. I do it for them, she said, for the boys and girls with no freedom in Iran.
Maybe the Iranian artist should have just posed a bunch of muslim men named Muhammad dressed up as homosexuals? Oh wait...it would BE the SAME thing!
This news report is just a reminder why Islam is "The Religion of Peace."
The pics are quite weird and tasteless, so I will not post them directly on this thread.
But, you see see a few of the pics at this blog:
I’m puzzled by how an observer would know, first, that the people in the photo were homosexual, and second, that the masks represented the “prophet” Mohammed. Were the pictures captioned in Farsi?
Those faces are depictions of the Imam Ali... or Imam Hussein as commonly depicted by Shias. I’m pretty sure that’s not the Big Moe.
Why is it the liberal cowards in the West want to find limits in free expression but only when it comes to Islam?
look my post before. Those are the common depictions of the Shia imams. Prints of those plaster the streets of Iran and other Shia places.
Thanks for the additional information. And I suppose the situation in which the two men are pictures suggests homosexuality, no matter what the models actually do in real life.
Not that I’m taking sides with the Muslims, but are pictures of gay men wearing any kind of mask actually art?
More about the artist Sooreh Hera at:
Irrational muzzie ping. Send them some Sudanese Mo bears and an insecurity blanky...these news stories are becoming all too frequent and really getting on my nerves.
And she is correct. Pulling the exhibit after the threats doesn't remove the threat to this woman.
I didn’t follow the link but I assume that many of the photos have “behavioral clues.”
I suspect if the fags in her photos were wearing Jesus masks the museum would make her work the centerpiece of its exhibit.
While I admire her moxie, Maplethorpe at least had talent (subjet matter aside).
Not that Im taking sides with the Muslims, but are pictures of gay men wearing any kind of mask actually art?
No more than a Crucifix in a jar of urine. But at least nobody lost their head over THAT!
Is a Crucifix in a jar of piss, art? Is a painting of the Virgin Mary splattered with sh*t, art? You tell me. Then tell me why ragheads complaints about what offends them are addressed immediately while Christians are blown off with the claim what THEY object to is art and as such protected by free speech.
mohammed was a very white guy.
On Islamic ParadiseFrom the Qu'ran, Chapter 52, "The Mounting"]Lo! those who kept their duty dwell in gardens and delight,[I'm guessing that all needs and desires will be satisfied, one way or another]
Happy because of what their Lord hath given them, and (because) their Lord hath warded off from them the torment of hell-fire.
(And it is said unto them): Eat and drink in health (as a reward) for what ye used to do,
They will recline (with ease) on Thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks; and We shall join them to Companions, with beautiful big and lustrous eyes.
... Round about them will serve, (devoted) to them, young male servants (handsome) as Pearls well-guarded.
They will advance to each other, engaging in mutual enquiry.
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