Free Markets, Free People

How Terrorists Win

One is by making you afraid to do what you might normally do:

Is the Met afraid of Mohammed?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art quietly pulled images of the Prophet Mohammed from its Islamic collection and may not include them in a renovated exhibition area slated to open in 2011, The Post has learned.

The museum said the controversial images — objected to by conservative Muslims who say their religion forbids images of their holy founder — were “under review.”

Critics say the Met has a history of dodging criticism and likely wants to escape the kind of outcry that Danish cartoons of Mohammed caused in 2006.

To answer the question – no, the Met isn’t afraid of Mohammed. It’s afraid of some of his followers. The bomb throwing, murdering group of his followers who take offense at just about anything.

But is self-censorship the answer?

Isn’t the reaction exactly that for which they are hoping?

One of the things those involved in the arts like to tell us is one of the purposes of art is to challenge convention. To jab hard at those that are comfortable.  Smack their beliefs and conceptions around a bit.  Make ’em think. And when there’s no real risk, they’re all for it aren’t they? “Piss Christ” for example was done knowing no one would show up throwing bombs or threatening to kill those who exhibited the “work of art”.

But when it comes to the likelihood that there’s an actual possibility of violence, suddenly artists and their backers aren’t so keen on “challenging convention”, are they? Suddenly the challenge to convention – that purpose of art – isn’t really that important anymore, is it?

Funny how that works.



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20 Responses to How Terrorists Win

  • Note the behavior which they reward.

    Christians and Jews do themselves a tremendous disservice by not acting in a similar fashion.

  • PS-

    The museum said the controversial images — objected to by conservative Muslims who say their religion forbids images of their holy founder — were “under review.”

    ….. Just as a point of fact, their “religion” forbids MUSLIMS from making images of their founder.  The rest of us can do as we wish. If the Muslims want to refrain from making pictures of their founding child molestor (hey, the guy had a 9 yr old “wife”) that’s fine for them.

  • “Note the behavior which they reward.”
    Isnt that just the whole problem with the progressive/democrat/socialist movement? They reward the wrong behaviors? Given that though i dont blame the museum, the government obviously cant keep them safe and they dont want to worry about it, if it was a private business it would be a sound business move. Why put yourself into the hot water of a possible attack on the museum? The problem is that wont be their reasoning. If they came out and said ” We are removing the pictures because the muslim fundy’s are insane and we dont wanna chance it” id have some respect for it. But they will claim some kind of PC sensitivity nonsense.

    • The problem that comes in with the ‘art’ community is that they pat themselves on the back for standing up to Christianity while disregarding the concerns of the tax payers funding their work.
      But when there’s real danger, they roll over and I would expect rationalize their behavior in a way that insults my sentiment on the issue.

  • Interesting.

    1. go to Google
    2. type any of the following religions: christianity, judaism, hinduism, satanism, etc followed by “is.” Google will autocomplete some suggested searches……note results.

    3. Try typing “islam is”. note results.

    Why do you think Google would do that?

    • Tried it and got nothing for Islam but some interesting results for the rest.  Tellsyou where Google’s priorities lie.

      Not that I would expect anything esle from them.

  • But I thought that lefties were all about refusing to be frightened by terrorists.  Silly me.

    Guess the directors at the Met are all nasty ol’ paranoid Republicans / Tea Baggers.

    / sarc

  • Who would consider a picture of the Prophet Mohammed controversial or bucking convention other than conservative Muslims? But don’t let that thought stop you from taking a snipe at those nebulous artists who’s apparent hypocrisy caused you to completely misread a calculated PR move. The Met may be a museum, but it’s also a business and businesses do not like to piss off their customers or put them in harm’s way, remember? Sigh.

    • Well A) “radical” muslims aren’t necessarily “conservative” muslims – they’re muslims who choose to interpret their holy scriptures in a way which condones warring on those they choose to war on. B) the criticism wasn’t directed toward “nebulous artists”, it was directed at the arts in general and their self-identified “purpose” of challenging convention and moving people out of their comfort zones. The Met would be one of those places where the arts has chosen to indulge itself in such convention challenging – except when it comes to pictures of Mohammed.

      Then, not so much.

      • (A) That’s what the article calls those who are offended by the painting but if the more radical sects are pugnacious about it as well, then alright.
        (B) Oh, but McQ is now condemning the entire art community, whoever they are, and using this as an example of their hypocrisy when it comes to controversy. What is so controversial about a painting of the Mohammed besides the obvious groups who get riled up over it? Did the Met really exhibit this piece to give radical Muslims every the figurative middle finger? Did they or the artist who produced this painting admit to that? From the article it seems the exhibits were less politically charged and intended for historical record and cultural diversity.

        • A) Then take it up with the author of the article. I’ve told you why I disagree.

          B) I’ve stated my argument about how the art community is well known for stating one of “purposes” of art is to challenge convention and complacency. Yet when given the opportunity to fulfill this self-identified “purpose” at the Met, suddenly it’s now not such a burning need. What part of that don’t you understand?

          • I understand, but you haven’t given a definite link between this widespread attitude of bucking convention within the art community and this exhibit. Was this exhibit intended to be subversive? Because if that is the case then it would seem this self-censorship would be an instance of hypocrisy. The Met or the artist must have released a statement or indicated that this exhibit was put up with the intention of causing controversy in some way. Otherwise I see this nothing more than a PR move to keep business flowing and customers satisfied. No one likes bad press or drawing fire.

          • Per some muslims, and played out with the publication of the cartoons, any image of Mohammed is considered sacrilegious. The problem, of course, is how those muslims reacted to the cartoons being published.

            The Met or an artist don’t have to release anything – this “purpose” is the defacto excuse when any part of the arts community (backed by the rest) do something like the Piss Christ or the Christ statue made of dung and offend a segment of the public. We hear about freedom of expression, challenging convention and pushing people out of their comfort zones when those who are offended protest.

            Not in this case. Now suddenly not giving offense trumps the “purpose”.

            Hypocrisy driven by cowardice and fear.

            The point, of course, is the next time they trot out the “purpose” when they offend those who probably won’t harm them for doing so, I’ll run up the BS flag and remind them of the Met.

  • But when it comes to the likelihood that there’s an actual possibility of violence, suddenly artists and their backers aren’t so keen on “challenging convention”, are they? Suddenly the challenge to convention – that purpose of art – isn’t really that important anymore, is it?

    Don’t see how you can make that broad statement given that the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard had to hide in his bathroom with his granddaughter just 8 days ago.  I can keep listing other artists – Theo Van Gogh took the risk that cost him his life.  I can recall seeing one of the book chains putting a stack of Satanic Verses by the entrance to their store shortly after the fatwa against Salmon Rushdie was issued.
    Criticizing the Met – fine.  Criticizing “artists and their backers” – have to believe you know better.

    • Piss Christ – Mohammed — why one and not the other?

      • Worth noting again that the NYT used a picture of a Christian religious figure made from dung as the accompanying picture for their story explaining why they wouldn’t print the Mohammad cartoons.

        And that gives you your answer.  Again, if Pinch Sulzberger was made to have to hide in his bathroom over that incident, you’d see some changes.

      • Doesn’t seem to answer my point – numerous artists & their backers have put themselves at substantial risk – believe you should amend your point to make it less broad.

        • Some artists have done so (certainly not “numerous” in terms of those that identify with the arts community) and the arts community at large is famous for trotting out their “purpose” when other groups are “offended” and then ignoring them. The “broad” point was intended.

  • To the larger problem, this theorem:

    Jihadists blow up buildings; the Left destroys entire civilizations.

    Throw open your window and verify.