Monday, February 03, 2003
Suicide bomber play cancelled.
Commissioned by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, that city's principal institutional theater, the 50-minute play was to tour high schools beginning in March, but the tour was canceled after a protest by local Muslims. (The executive director of the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Jad Humeidan, said there are 15,000 Muslims in the area.) As a result there has been a windstorm of controversy in Cincinnati. [...]
In anticipation of possible criticism in dealing with such an incendiary subject, Mr. Stern presented an unrehearsed reading of the play on Dec. 16 for an invited audience: the playwright (who lives in New York); Mr. Stern and Mr. Goldstein, who was scheduled to direct the play; and several local people, Rabbi Robert B. Barr of Congregation Beth Adam; Elizabeth Frierson, a professor of Islamic history at the University of Cincinnati; and Majed Dabdoub, a structural engineer.
To the playwright's surprise, he said, Mr. Dabdoub was accompanied by 10 other Muslims, and the discussion after the reading was filled with rancor. "It was hardly a debate," Mr. O'Malley said. "It was more like an attack, and I was the object of this fire. They said the play was worse than an F16 fighter-bomber in the damage that it would do and also that it was poison. The fact that I was called anti-Islam is very dangerous. People get killed for that." [...]
When he heard the reading of the play, Mr. Dabdoub said, it was as if "someone was slapping me in the face." `He said the play was "one-sided, not balanced, not adequate to go to schools." [...] On the broader issue, he said: "Everybody is against suicide bombing. I can't imagine somebody blowing themselves up. When I see it on TV, I turn it off. Who is interested in seeing body parts? Why are we focusing on this? What is the message? To promote hatred? Are we trying to scare people in this country? We need to promote peace and not to promote war."
If everyone is against suicide bombing, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THOSE PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST DOING IT FOR? Why did this soccer tournament honour one during its opening ceremony? Promoting peace is a fantastic idea, I'm all for it. But Jesus Christ, try and work out who you really need to promote it to.