freedom of expression

Critics Outraged by British Theater's Cancellation of Play About Muslim Radicalization

Image via National Youth Theatre/RNS.

Prominent artists and human rights campaigners have criticized the National Youth Theatre in London for canceling a play because its theme is the radicalization of young British Muslims and their attraction to terrorist organizations such as the militant Islamic State group.

There is growing concern the play, Homegrown — by British–born Omar El-Khairy — was shut down before its scheduled opening on Aug. 15 because of pressure from the British police.

report in The Times by Jack Malvern, the paper’s arts correspondent, quoted Nadia Latif, the play’s director, saying the police had asked to see the final script of Homegrown before the play opened at a school in Brixton, a part of South London with a large Muslim community.

“We Need to Talk” Saudi Arabian Contemporary Art

Saudi Arabia’s first public display of contemporary art opened last weekend in Jeddah.

The National reports that the city was crowded as people visited the raw concrete building that features more than 50 pieces from 22 local artists, under the somewhat provocative title, “We Need to Talk About It.”

The exhibit displays a spectrum of the land’s story – past, present, future. But because the art is open-ended, multi-faceted, and Saudi Arabia is governed by powerful clerics under a version of Sharia law, this public test of authority proves to be a difficult subject.