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Author Topic: Following Dutch anti-Islamic film, German theater stages ‘Satanic Verses’  (Read 1745 times)
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« on: March 29, 2008, 01:16:39 PM »

Following Dutch anti-Islamic film, German theater stages ‘Satanic Verses’

With Europe still bracing for backlash following film depicting anti-Islamic tirade by Dutch MP, German theater in Potsdam decides to stage play based on controversial book ‘Satanic Verses’ by Salman Rushdie

Published: 03.29.08, 18:21
Israel News

A German theater is to stage a play based on the controversial book “Satanic Verses” penned by Salman Rushdie, the British publication The Guardian reported Saturday.

Fearing backlash by local Muslims, German police have already heightened security in the city of Potsdam, whose Hans Otto theater will begin an eight-week run of the play Sunday.

Ever since the inflammatory novel ‘Satanic Verses’ was published in 1988, author Salman Rushdie has largely been living in hiding, fearing retaliation from Muslim groups who were enraged by his novel. Rushdie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007 in recognition for his prolific contribution to the international literary scene.

Rushdie’s book has enraged many Muslims, who see it as derogatory towards the prophet Muhammad and as belittling the religion of Islam. Iran has even issued a Fatwa, an Islamic religious edict, calling for Rushdie’s murder.

German police enraged: They did not want any security measures

According to the Guardian, Rushdie’s book will be adapted for the stage by Marcus Mislin and Uwe Laufenberg, head of the Potsdam Theater and the play’s director. "I wrote Salman Rushdie an in-depth letter a year ago to ask for the rights to stage the book, and it only took him until the following day to give us the go-ahead," said Laufenberg.

Laufenberg also told the Gurdian that he would like to introduce a brand new audience to the controversial novel, better known for the headlines it generated rather than for its actual contents. “Almost everyone has heard of the book, but hardly anyone has read it, which is why I wanted to bring it to the stage. It's quite self-explanatory," he told the Guardian.

Meanwhile, German police are furious at the Hans Otto Theater and its director for not giving them adequate notice regarding the play so that they could take appropriate security precautions.

"When we discovered the play was in the theatre's program, we asked them what security measures they had in mind, but they wanted neither police protection nor checks of people at the door," head of Potsdam Security, Mathias Tänzer, told the Gurdian. "We're monitoring the situation, and if any concrete threats are received we'll advise the theater to cancel."

This contentious play comes right at the heels of the Thursday internet launch of a film by Dutch MP Geert Wilders depicting an anti-Islamic tirade. The 15-minute film sparked outrage, as well as numerous threats of violence, throughout the Muslim world.

The film was condemned by both UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as well as Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, but to date has not led to actual riots or violence.

Following Dutch anti-Islamic film, German theater stages ‘Satanic Verses’

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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2008, 01:18:06 PM »

By the way, “Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie is very much against islam. I got a copy from a friend in Canada, who has since passed away.

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