The Berlin's Deutsche Oper, not wanting to offend the 3.2 million German Muslims, has pulled the performances of the Mozart opera, which shows the severed heads of the Prophet Mohammad, Buddha and Jesus. The police warned that it could pose an "incalculable" security risk because of the violent reactions to Muslims to previous issues, such as the Pope's remarks last week and the Danish cartoons last year. There was no mention of offending Christians or Buddhists.
However, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans on Wednesday not to bow to fears of Islamic violence after a Berlin opera house canceled the Mozart opera work just because some scenes could enrage Muslims.
"I think the cancellation was a mistake. I think self-censorship does not help us against people who want to practice violence in the name of Islam," she told reporters. "It makes no sense to retreat."
Merkel's comments, which echoed those of other senior German politicians, fueled a row over the cancellation of Mozart's "Idomeneo" which overshadowed a government-sponsored conference to promote dialogue with the country's 3.2 million Muslims. (Reuters)
Merkel offered to make her point on the issue by recommending all attendees at the conference, which half are Muslim, to attend the opera if the cancellation is reversed. All agreed.