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Militant Islam Monitor > Satire > British rewrite Koran burning scene from 15th century Marlowe play fearing "it will inflame passions in light of the London bombings"

British rewrite Koran burning scene from 15th century Marlowe play fearing "it will inflame passions in light of the London bombings"

November 24, 2005

MIM: The United Kingdom has gone one step closer to becoming the United Ummah.

According to the artistic director of the Old Vic, one of the most famous London theatres;

"...The burning of the Koran was "smoothed over"... so that it became just the destruction of "a load of books" relating to any culture or religion. That made it more powerful, they claimed..."

"...Simon Reade, artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic, said that if they had not altered the original it "would have unnecessarily raised the hackles of a significant proportion of one of the world's great religions..."

This appalling act of self censorship in Britain in order not to "raise the hackles of a significant portion of the one of the world's great religions" testifies to what degree Islam is influencing the artistic legacy of the Britain to the point where they are 'revising' their own cultural tradition. As Dr. Daniel Pipes pointed out in his blog "Islam Driving the Social and Legal Agenda" http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/160

MIM:Adding insult to injury is that the London bombings are being used as an excuse for this dhimmitude and deference .Which begs the question whether Marlowe's play "The Rich Jew of Malta" would have been renamed 'The Rich Guy of Malta' with the wealth replaced by monopoly money.

This forcing of non Muslims to defer to the Islamic reverence of Mohammed by intimidation and fear of violence shows that is is just a short step until Muslims acheive their goal - that the only mention of Mohammed heard from non Muslims will be when they recite the Shahadah prior to conversion.

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Marlowe's Koran-burning hero is censored to avoid Muslim anger
By Dalya Alberge, Arts Correspondent

IT WAS the surprise hit of the autumn season, selling out for its entire run and inspiring rave reviews. But now the producers of Tamburlaine the Great have come under fire for censoring Christopher Marlowe's 1580s masterpiece to avoid upsetting Muslims.

Audiences at the Barbican in London did not see the Koran being burnt, as Marlowe intended, because David Farr, who directed and adapted the classic play, feared that it would inflame passions in the light of the London bombings.

Simon Reade, artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic, said that if they had not altered the original it "would have unnecessarily raised the hackles of a significant proportion of one of the world's great religions".

The burning of the Koran was "smoothed over", he said, so that it became just the destruction of "a load of books" relating to any culture or religion. That made it more powerful, they claimed.

Members of the audience also reported that key references to Muhammad had been dropped, particularly in the passage where Tamburlaine says that he is "not worthy to be worshipped". In the original Marlowe writes that Muhammad "remains in hell".

The censorship aroused condemnation yesterday from senior figures in the theatre and scholars, as well as religious leaders. Terry Hands, who directed Tamburlaine for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1992, said: "I don't believe you should interfere with any classic for reasons of religious or political correctness."

Charles Nicholl, the author of The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe, said it was wrong to tamper with Marlowe because he asked "uncomfortable and confrontational questions particularly aimed at those that held dogmatic, religious views". He added: "Why should Islam be protected from the questioning gaze of Marlowe? Marlowe stands for provocative questions. This is a bit of an insult to him."

Marlowe rivalled Shakespeare as the most powerful dramatist of the Elizabethan period. He died aged 29 in a brawl over a tavern bill. Tamburlaine the Great was written not later than 1587. It tells the story of a shepherd-robber who defeats the king of Persia, the emperor of Turkey and, seeing himself as the "scourge of God", burns the Koran.

Mr Farr reworked the text after the July 7 attacks. The production closed last week. Mr Farr said in a statement: "The choices I made in the adaptation were personal about the focus I wanted to put on the main character and had nothing to do with modern politics."

But Mr Reade said that Mr Farr felt that burning the Koran "would have been unnecessarily inflammatory". The play needed to be seen in a 21stcentury context, he believed.He said: "Marlowe was not challenging Muslims, he was attacking theism, saying, I'm God, there isn't a God'. If he had been in a Christian country, a Judaic country or a Hindu country, it would be their gods he'd be attacking." He said more people would be insulted by broadening the attack.

Inayat Bunglawala, the media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, disagreed, saying: "In the context of a fictional play, I don't think it will have offended many people."

Park Honan, Emeritus Professor at the School of English, University of Leeds, and author of Christopher Marlowe: Poet & Spy, said: "It is wrong to tamper with the play, wrong to shorten it and wrong to leave out the burning of the Koran because that is involved with the exposition of Tamburlaine's character. He's a false prophet. This is meant to horrify the audience."

THE DEVIL CAN CITE SCRIPTURE FOR HIS PURPOSE

Behzti

Sikh protesters claimed that the play at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in December mocked their religion because it depicted sexual abuse and murder in a temple. The author, Gurpreet Bhatti, said that she had been threatened and police advised her to keep a low profile. After a weekend of demonstrations, the play was cancelled

Jerry Springer the Opera

It had a successful run in the West End but came under fire from Christian groups and mediawatch-UK when it was bought by the BBC and shown on BBC2 in January. They claimed that it contained 8,000 expletives and had mocking religious undertones. Estelle Morris, then the Arts Minister, ended up defending it in the House of Commons

Messiah

Steven Berkoff inspired widespread critical debate with his interpretations of Jesus's life at the Theatre Royal in 2001. Berkoff, who wrote and directed the show based on his own reactions to the Gospels, depicted Jesus as a foul-mouthed social reformer rather than the traditional representation of him as a preacher

The Merchant of Venice

The latest adaptation a year ago, starring Al Pacino, re-opened the debate on whether Shakepeare's Shylock was a deliberately racist caricature. Many claim that he reflects the anti-Semitism of the Bard's age, an essential element of the plot. But producers still come under pressure to tone down the more disparaging traits

THE OFFENDING LINES

Tamburlaine: Now, Casane, where's the Turkish Alcoran, And all the heaps of superstitious books Found in the temples of that Mahomet Whom I have thought a god? They shall be burnt . . .

. . . In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet.

My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell, Slew all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends, And yet I live untouch'd by Mahomet.

There is a God, full of revenging wrath, From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks, Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey.

So Casane; fling them in the fire.

(They burn the books.)

Now, Mahomet, if thou have any power, Come down thyself and work a miracle.

Thou art not worthy to be worshipped That suffers flames of fire to burn the writ Wherein the sum of thy religion rests . . .

. . . Well, soldiers, Mahomet remains in hell; He cannot hear the voice of Tamburlaine.

Seek out another godhead to adore:

The God that sits in heaven, if any god, For he is God alone, and none but he.

Act V, scene i Tamburlaine the Great

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