Vandals attack London art gallery
Windows and doors were smashed after a series of abusive phone calls and emails, prompted by Maple’s artwork. The show is entitled “This Artist Blows”, and it contains self-portraits of the England-born Muslim, as well as several burka-themed paintings including the one showing a woman carrying a pig, and another with the burka-wearer bearing a badge which reads “I love orgasms”.
Earlier this week staff had to call the police because what appeared to be an angry woman came in to complain:
“She was in a full burqa and was irate and upset. Her behaviour was quite threatening,”
said a staff member. Though how they knew it was a woman was not explained.
Mokhtar Badri, the vice-president of the Muslim Association of Britain – the man who had tacitly encouraged such reactions (“she clearly wants to provoke a strong reaction from Muslims and that is what she will get”) – is now “doing an Ihsanoglu” and seeking to distance himself from the resultant violence:
I urged the gallery and the artist to respect the community in the area, but if Muslims see the work and dislike it, it is completely wrong to use any violent expression of that.
Bunglawala from the MCB, who did not have a hand in stirring up the thugs, sounds a little bit more credible:
People may well have strong views on the use of Islamic imagery in Sarah Maple’s exhibition. However, there can be no justification whatsoever for hooliganism of this sort or issuing threats.
UPDATE (31 Oct): What a surprise. She’s getting death threats.