SHOCKER! British Left Wing Theater Group takes a bare naked look at Islam

DV8′s Artistic Director Lloyd Newson’s latest work at the National Theater deals with freedom of speech, censorship and Islam. Can We Talk About This? uses real-life interviews and archive footage to examine influences on multicultural policies, press freedom and artistic censorship. 

HERE on the politically correct South Bank, is powerful criticism of the establishment which has wetly appeased hostile cultural forces. 

This polemic against misguided Western liberalism is an admission, 27 years late – here in this cockpit of leftwing London’s arts! – that the Bradford schoolmaster Ray Honeyford was right when he criticised multiculturalism in 1985. The production by the DV8 company lasts 80 minutes and presents a series of historical events, starting with the late Mr Honeyford who was sacked for speaking his mind.

It progresses via the Rushdie saga, the Danish cartoons controversy and others. En route we are shown modern British Muslims screaming that their religion will take over the country, will enter every house, will ‘conquer Rome and the world’, not least the state of Israel.

Performers raise the issues of freedom of speech, censorship and Islam, all based on interviews, thoughts and speeches of individuals such as Maryam Namazie, the director of ‘One Law for All,’ which fights for the rights of women, and against Sharia courts and Sharia law being introduced in Britain.

The Arts Desk  “Do you feel morally superior to the Taliban? Well, do you?” And we’re off, with another of director/choreographer Lloyd Newson’s interrogations of a taboo subject. 

 Can We Talk About This? is a relentless barrage of the horrors brought about by secular liberalism’s acceptance of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism, it is carefully spelt out, is not an acceptance of tolerance, but an acceptance of intolerance, an acceptance of apartheid, of communities that force certain sections of their (and, they hope) the wider population to live not by the rules of that wider society, but by the rules the smaller groups enforce. Our tolerance, this evening reinforces, our multicultural laissez-faire-ism, enshrines inequality.

Thus the cost of tolerance is intolerance: if we accept that freedom of speech permits certain groups to preach hatred of gays, of Jews, of “other”, we slide invisibly into accepting that, at the same time, we may not ourselves preach hatred of fundamentalism.

 Newson has a point, and his eleven-strong troupe present scene after scene describing the fall-out of the Salman Rushdie fatwa, of the Geert Wilders debacle, of forced marriage, of honour killings, of the Danish Muhammad cartoons and more. Some of the visual and physical effects are extraordinarily powerful – Christina May, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, describes her situation as the scriptwriter of the film Submission, for which Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered, all the while scoring her body through with a great black line – defacing herself. Or the company stand, one by one dropping photographs of all of those murdered in the name of “respect” for Islam. Or the remarkable Joy Constantine as MP Ann Cryer, is manipulated magically across the stage as she gently tells of her campaign to bring the crimes of forced marriages and honour killings to national attention.

Dance Bloggers  Martin Amis was cool but his audience was livid. Speaking at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, in London, the writer told his left leaning audience something they didn’t want to hear.

If liberals could not make a stand against a global wave of religious fervour that was ‘irrationalist, misogynist, homophobic, inquisitional, totalitarian, imperialist and genocidal”, that attitude represented a moral failure.

In Amis’s view, and I think Newson’s, this timid response is a statement of principle. Many liberals, Amis said in a later interview, did not feel free to feel morally superior to anyone except Americans and Israelis.

As Newson himself writes in his program note to his new production: “Because of our desire to be tolerant and perhaps because of post colonial guilt and a fear of being labelled racist of Islamophobic, I feel there is a liberal blind spot”.


19 comments on “SHOCKER! British Left Wing Theater Group takes a bare naked look at Islam

  1. The title should be a world-known motto: Can we talk about this? We can hope that someday soon Theo van Gogh’s name and his last words will be known by every serious person who loves liberty.

  2. I am in no way prepared to hold my breath here whatsoever, but having said that, This troupe DV8, is presenting some powerful statements here. They are, it seems, trying to break free of the constraints of the classic leftist paradigm of multiculturalism, and the maddeningly impossible paralysis it inposes upon one’s moral bearings, one’s very fundamental sense of right and wrong.

    I conceive of this paradigm as the “Picadilly Circus Effect.” Think of liberalism as a sort of traffic circle. A dizzying, stultifying spinning of one’s metaphorical wheels, going nowhere but round and round and the only way to break free of the endless, eternal cycle is to tack to the right, which is the whole purpose of a traffic circle to begin with. In this case both literally and metaphorically (politically). A simple right turn. By saying this, i’m not inplying DV8 is turning right wing, they’re not, but they do seem to be aknowledging impirical, objective reality here by hearing the deafening silence on all things muslim (except the well-worn, oft repeated islam is a peaceful religion mantra) as a threat to their own sense of well being, cultural, and artistic expression.

    Great art is meant to challenge one’s pre-conceived notions, even to the point of provoking uncomfortable feelings within the audience in order to invoke critical self-analysis, to make use of one’s God-given mental faculties to really give thought to why one believes the way one does, as well as provide a necessary vision, a beam of light on the road ahead, so to speak.

    It is evident several of these cutting edge artists have had some kind of epiphany on some level because they are asking the questions that need asking and I for one, am thankful somebody of their community, of their social milleu is making this inquiry.

    This statement of multiculturalism not being an acceptance of tolerance, but rather an acceptance of intolerance is most profound and correct, and I applaud these artist’s vision and their responsibly in spelling it out while exercising their inalienable right to free speech as it was meant to be. They do us all a great service and I hope their message is heeded. I would love to see this work of post-modern performance art live, though as I stated earlier, I will not hold my breath the message will be well heeded by the targeted demographic. Not for lack of want and effort on the performer’s part, but rather potential recalcitrance on the audience’s part. They may very well throw rotten tomatoes, i’ll throw roses instead. All in all, I give them the Cloven Hoof Posse seal of approval, lol.

  3. did not feel free to feel morally superior to anyone except Americans and Israelis. muslims already own Briton if that is how they feel.

  4. The loony lefties with self expression of dance, Look like a mob of kangaroos in a sudden thunder storm and I may add with the same intellectual capabilities.

  5. ‘Can we talk about this’? is not some random title plucked from nowhere.

    They were the final words of Theo Van Gogh before Mohammed Bouyeri decided to kill him instead.

    Obviously in Islam killing is far more preferable to dialogue.

    • I didn’t know that. How profoundly powerful for them to choose that as a name for their presentation and that, at least for me, reenforces my esteem for their politically motivated art. Amps it up a bit.

      Thanks for that info.

        • Me too. If not, it would be nice to see a full legnth video on it. If posted on youtube, I doubt it would remain there long though. They’re such muzturd lovers at youtube.

  6. It is time this notion about free speech explodes across the world. And, may I recommend a new book to you all. Its How Apostacy & Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide. Its name is
    SILENCED,By Paul Marshall & Nina Shea.

    This is a scholarly presentation by two academics from Oxford University People and is published by Oxford University Press.

    Read it and feel vindicated about our stand.

  7. A left Wing entity using a “shoe on the other foot” test for equality and objectivity?! Surely this MUST be a sign of the Apocalypse! Does this mean they’re beginning to see through the disingenuous veil of “Objectivity is just antiMuslim”?

  8. And they are all still alive ??
    I suspect the islamic muslimes will soon cause most, if not all, to have deadly “accidents” as a warning to those who may have the guts to tell the truth about the death cult religion.

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