Sikhs, Christians Protest Play About Rape and Murder in Sikh Temple

December 29, 2004


Wire Service: AP

On December 29, 2004 the Associated Press reported, "The violent clash of views sparked by a dark comedy depicting rape and murder in a Sikh temple shows that art and religion still often fail to understand each other.

Some British Sikhs feel 'Behzti,' or Dishonor, is offensive to their religion - an opinion shared by a Roman Catholic archbishop who said the play 'demeans the sacred place of every religion.' Artists and civil libertarians fear the devout are growing bolder in attempts to silence 'offensive' artwork, and claim government moves to ban religious hatred will make things worse.

'The causing of offense is part of our business,' said Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the National Theatre.

'I don't think people have the right not to be offended by works of the imagination,' he told the British Broadcasting Corp."