Islam mockery back on Carnival menu
Good news from Germany, where last year’s Motoons furore put a dampener on the carnival season. Several floats were cancelled in 2006 because they were deemed insensitive at a time of heightened Muslim sensitivity. This year, however, mockery and ridicule are not being restricted to non-Islamic religions, making the whole affair much more inclusive.
One of the most provocative float designers of the Dusseldörf Carnival is Jacques Tilly, whose Muslim women piece below was cancelled last year:
Tilly says one of today’s floats will be “right on the edge”, but refuses to give details to avoid censorship.
In 2005 Tilly offended Catholics with his depiction of the conservative Cardinal Joachim Meisner burning a woman at the stake. The puppet of the woman featured the words “I’ve had an abortion”.
The wonderful thing about offending the religious is the self-calibrating nature of the activity: the degree of offence taken is directly proportional to how much the offended person deserves it. Hooray for Jacques Tilly and the Dusseldörf Carnival!
UPDATE: (20 Feb)
The “right on the edge” float proved a bit disappointing. It carried two identical figures of a raging murderous mullah, the first labelled “cliche” and the second “reality”. The general secretary of the National Council of Muslims in Germany was quite offended but, encouragingly, not too offended.
This hasn’t got anything to do with humour [...] The message it gives me is: ‘We love our prejudices, we’ll stand up for them, even if they are flagrantly untrue.’
As a born-and-bred Rhinelander, I wouldn’t get too upset about it. I’m sure most of the revellers don’t want to spread anti-Islam cynicism.
He almost gets it, which is progress, of sorts. The constant drip-drip of ridicule may be having a positive effect. Keep it up!