Under the Black Flag

Arabs at the Opera

Opera has been in the news lately—in Paris and New York, that is.  And no, this doesn’t mean things are culturally looking up—to the contrary, I’m afraid.  Let’s start with the City of Light, where millions of Muslims surround the capital (most of them in the suburbs), waiting for the day they can sweep away the fuzz, burn down the cathedrals, and establish sharia.  Mind you, it’s an Islamic dream that won’t happen in my lifetime, but it might take place during the lives of some of you younger readers.  During a performance of La traviata at the Opera Bastille, the capital’s hulking modernist opera house, home of the Paris National Opera, a woman in the front row was asked by an attendant to remove the covering over her face.  The performers had spotted her and had warned the conductor before the second act that they would not sing if the woman kept her face concealed.  Score one for the singers.  The woman refused to uncover her face, and the camel slob from the Gulf who was her husband (a particularly ugly man) and she were shown the door, end of story.

But not quite.

The French law is clear: no wearing of clothes that conceal the face in public places.  Masks, balaclavas, niqabs—all are forbidden.  But since when did a European country’s law matter where Muslims are concerned?  The pig—and...

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