Karen Brooks writes a wonderful column at News.com.au defending a novel that includes good and bad Muslim characters against an Australian attack of PC tyranny that killed the work and threatens artists’ freedom.
Rebuffing a work of fiction on the basis of a “Muslim issue” is offensive. It somehow implies that the representations within the book are more than imaginative, and that, yet again, a few characters stand in for all. Ironically, those who protest against the content are doing exactly what they foolishly believe they’re preventing: stereotyping and reducing a diverse people to cliches.
But the negative response to Dale’s book has even wider implications for all creative artists. . . .
Whereas journalism ideally works in binarisms, presenting “both sides of the story”, creative artists are not so obliged. We rely on them to plunge us into the lives and psyches of different characters: good, bad and, yes, Muslim too. Without artistic licence, we stifle the creative impulse, curb imaginative expression and invite Orwell’s thought police into our communities and, worse, our heads. . . .
Whether we agree or disagree with the content and characters our artists create is irrelevant: don’t let being afraid (disguised as PC sensitivity) generate censorship.
Mr. Dale, please put your book up online. Don’t let the censors, no matter what their stripe, stop you.