Dutch Museum Caves to Islamic Extremists- Removes Gay Mohammed Exhibit
“We’re going to burn you naked or put a bullet in your mouth.”
Islamists to Dutch Artist Sooreh Hera
After her photos of gay men with Mohammad masks were displayed at a Dutch art exhibit
A Dutch museum caved to Muslim extremists and decided to remove a controversial gay Mohammad display. The artist behind the display has been in hiding since receiving threats to slit her throat.
The Australian and ROP reported:
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 Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh 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, ‘We’re going to burn you naked or put a bullet in your mouth’,” she says, referring to menacing emails. “They say, ‘Now you are locked in your home and you cannot go out anymore’.”
She says that by photographing gay Iranian exiles in masks of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, and his son-in-law Ali, 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,” says Hera. “Works of art can be provocative. It is not an artist’s 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.