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Danish-Iranian Artist Shreds the Koran
by Mark Tapson
Apparently Danish-Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan didn't learn her lesson back in September when a Danish high court found her guilty of racism for making anti-Islam comments. Now she has put together a bold art gallery exhibition that is guaranteed to further offend the hair-trigger sensibilities of European Muslim fundamentalists and their multiculturalist abettors.
Unambiguously entitled "Blasphemy," the exhibition in the small town of Skanderborg in central Denmark consists of the shredded remains of a Koran piled onto an Islamic prayer rug. "I want to continue to remind people that it's okay to disagree," says Bazrafkan, who is particularly critical of Iran's Islamic regime as well as religion in general. "But it takes place under democratic rules" – an undeniably reasonable position, but she's not up against reasonable forces.
Bazrafkan has a history of such provocative – sometimes sexually so – art installations and performance art pieces against either the Iranian regime or Islam. At an art installation called "Infidel" in 2007, she highlighted with a yellow marker the word "infidel" in a Koran every time it appeared (347 by her count). She also posted a video online of herself at the Arhus Museum on International Women's Day in 2013, snipping and ripping her way out of a burqa and headscarf until she stands unencumbered in Western jeans and blouse, hair uncovered. In a new video performance, she strips naked and covers a Koran with her clothes, while another artist recites passages from it.
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